Arthur (series)

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Arthur (series)
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🎵 And I say, hey! What a wonderful kind of day, where you can learn to work and play, and get along with each other! 🎵
Genre: Comedy-drama
Problem solving
Slice of life
Running Time: 20–29 minutes
Country: United States
Release Date: October 7, 1996 – February 21, 2022
Network(s): PBS
Created by: Marc Brown
Distributed by: PBS Distribution
WildBrain (1996-2011)
9 Story Media Group (2012-2016)
Oasis Animation (2016-2022)
Starring: Roman Lutterotti (season 22 - 25)
Sonja Ball
Ethan Pugiotto (season 22-25)
Bruce Dismore
Daniel Brochu
Seasons: 25
Episodes: 253
Next show: Postcards from Buster

Arthur is a long-running American-Canadian cartoon for children ages 4 to 8, created by Cookie Jar Group (formerly known as Cinar) and WGBH for PBS. It started on October 7, 1996 and it ended on February 21, 2022, after 25 seasons.


Bespectacled aardvark Arthur Read demonstrates to kids how to deal with such childhood traumas and challenges as homework, teachers and bullies. He also has to contend with his sisters, but loves playing with his friends: tomboy Francine, foodie and best pal Buster, supersmart Brain, rich girl Muffy and geography expert Sue Ellen.

Why It's A Wonderful Kind of Day

  1. It is one of the longest-running American kids shows in history, running since 1996 and has concluded its run in 2022. Even though this can arguably be seen as flaw of the show (see BQ# 4 for more details), similar to most other shows that end up running for a surprisingly long time.
  2. Great animation for roughly the first 15 and last 4 seasons and decent animation for Seasons 20 and 21.
  3. Awesome and memorable theme song
  4. Stays 100% faithful to the book series. All of the characters are portrayed here just like they were in said books and the stories for the episodes, or at least the first ones, are based on the plots of said books.
  5. Despite being aimed at younger audiences, it's not too "dumbed down" or ponderous, as it respects the intelligence of younger and older viewers alike.
    • Although it airs on PBS Kids, it isn't really a typical educational animated series, but rather an endearing slice of life cartoon that interweaves valuable lessons and morals into good stories and comedy.
  6. Smart, witty and mature humor, which even includes some genuinely savage moments such as this one
  7. Every character has realistic flaws, a distinct personality, and comes from diverse backgrounds.
    • Arthur Read himself, the main character of the show, is an incredible protagonist. He feels more like a real 8-year old boy than anything, since he's written to simply be just that relatable.
    • D.W. Read, Arthur's younger sister, despite being unlikable in prior seasons, has gotten some impressive character development in Season 16. The ultimate outcome was her becoming notably much more mature and likable than she was before.
    • Buster Baxter is a boy who has asthma, is obsessed with aliens, interested in comedy, and is an amateur detective. He loves eating, practices gardening and playing the tuba, and keeps expired food in his room and school desk. He's also the only child in the series to have his parents' divorce.
    • Francine Frensky is a tomboy who enjoys soccer, playing the drums, and horseback riding. She comes from a Jewish background and, in spite of her tendencies to occasionally pick on Arthur, still cares for him.
    • Alan "Brain" Powers is an intelligent boy of Senegalese descent. He's highly educated in a large number of subjects, especially when it comes to science and math. So much so that his classmates began calling him "Brain".
    • Shelley "Binky" Barnes is a member of the Tough Customers, which are a group of bullies. But in spite of this, he is shown to have a huge soft side, one of the major examples of this is the fact that he's a close friend of Arthur and the main cast.
  8. Many great and memorable episodes, such as:
    • "Arthur's Eyes" (which started Season 1 and the series on a decent note, depending on your view)
    • "Arthur and the Real Mr. Ratburn"
    • "Arthur's Family Vacation"
    • "Bully for Binky"
    • "Arthur's Tooth" (depending on your view)
    • "Arthur Meets Mister Rogers" (which started Season 2 on a high note)
    • "The Short, Quick Summer"
    • "Arthur's Faraway Friend"
    • "Grandma Thora Appreciation Day"
    • "Sue Ellen's Little Sister" (which ended Season 2 on a high note)
    • "Buster's Back" (which started Season 3 on a high note)
    • "And Now Let's Talk to Some Kids"
    • "Arthur's Almost Live Not Real Music Festival"
    • "D.W.'s Library Card" (which started Season 4 on a high note)
    • "Buster's Breathless"
    • "The Contest"
    • "The Blizzard"
    • "Prunella's Prediction"
    • "That's a Baby Show!" (which ended Season 4 on a high note)
    • "The Shore Thing"
    • "You Are Arthur"
    • "Bitzi's Beau"
    • "The Big Dig"
    • "The Secret Life of Dogs and Babies"
    • "Arthur and Los Vecinos"
    • "The Boy with His Head in the Clouds"
    • "Elwood City Turns 100!"
    • "D.W.'s Time Trouble"
    • "April 9th" (which ended Season 7 on a high note)
    • "Dear Adil" (which started Season 8 on a high note)
    • "Bitzi's Break Up"
    • "Fernfern and the Secret of Moose Mountain"
    • "Postcards from Buster"
    • "Big Horns George"
    • "Buster's Green Thumb"
    • "My Fair Tommy"
    • "D.W. Beats All"
    • "Binky Goes Nuts"
    • "Happy Anniversary" (which started Season 10 on a high note)
    • "Binky vs. Binky"
    • "Operation: D.W.!"
    • "Brain's Shocking Secret"
    • "The Making of Arthur"
    • "Big Brother Binky" (which ended Season 11 on a high note)
    • "The Blackout"
    • "Mei Lin Takes a Stand" (depending on your view)
    • "Kung Fool"
    • "The Great MacGrady"
    • "When Carl Met George"
    • "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Tibble"
    • "The Wheel Deal" (which started Season 14 on a high note)
    • "In My Africa"
    • "Buster Spaces Out"
    • "The Long Road Home" (which ended Season 14 on a high note)
    • "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" (depending on your view)
    • "Whistling in the Wind"
    • "To Eat or Not to Eat" (depending on your view)
    • "Grandpa Dave's Memory Album"
    • "Get Smart"
    • "Baby Steps"
    • "Night of the Tibble"
    • "The Last Tough Customer"
    • "The Best Day Ever" (which ended Season 16 on a high note)
    • "Speak Up, Francine!"
    • "Binky's Music Madness"
    • "Brain Freeze" (which ended Season 17 on a high note)
    • "The Substitute Arthur"
    • "Whip. Mix. Blend."
    • "Shelter from the Storm" (which ended Season 18 on a high note)
    • "Wish You Were Here"
    • "Maria Speaks" (depending on your view)
    • "Postcards from Binky"
    • "Carl's Concerto"
    • "Mr. Ratburn's Secret Identity"
    • "The Last Day" (which ended Season 19 on a high note)
    • "Buster's Second Chance" (which started Season 20 on a high note)
    • "Lend Me Your Ear"
    • "The Butler Did It"
    • "Binky's 'A' Game" (which started Season 21 on a high note)
    • "Arthur Takes a Stand"
    • "Slink's Special Talent"
    • "When Rivals Came to Roost"
    • "Binky Can't Always Get What He Wants" (depending on your view)
    • "Fright Night" (which started Season 23 on a high note)
    • "Citizen Cheikh"
    • "When Duty Calls" (which ended Season 23 on a high note)
    • "The Great MacGrady [Remake]"
    • "D.W.'s New Best Friend"
    • "George Scraps His Sculpture"
    • "Binky Wrestles With a Story"
    • "Making Conversation"
    • "A Cloudy Day"
    • "Arthur's New Old Vacation"
    • "All Grown Up" (which ended the series on a high note, despite ending on a cliffhanger)
  9. Some episodes don't focus on Arthur alone, they also focus on some of the supporting characters.
  10. Arthur goes through numerous relatable childhood situations, such as getting too much homework, learning about himself, growing up, being the last kid to lose a baby tooth, accepting people as they are, and dealing with a tragedy.
  11. Teaches great messages to children and adults, such as to have fun while you still have to chance, handle your responsibilities carefully and not forget about your friends no matter how old you become.
  12. It tackles many serious topics, like gay marriage, Alzheimer's, cancer, and there's even an allegory towards 9/11.
  13. Makes hilarious pop culture references and parodies, including Titanic, Star Wars, and even Beavis and Butt-Head (twice!) and South Park.
  14. Postcards from Buster was a pretty good spinoff to the series.
  15. The show has had many guest stars, including Fred Rogers.
  16. Season 3 is the best season of the show with not having many bad episodes and having what is arguably the best episode of the entire series.

Bad Qualities

  1. Some of the characters are pretty mean-spirited:
    • D.W. is often despicably unlikable due to her bratty behavior and frequent temper tantrums. However, she's gotten some redemption since Season 16.
    • The Tibbles are D.W. but with less Redeeming Qualities, male, and get no karma.
    • Other characters like Francine, Muffy, Binky, and even Arthur himself (sometimes) can also be mean-spirited at times.
  2. D.W. and Arthur tend to bicker with each other too much.
  3. The show declined in quality in Season 16 a bit.
  4. There are a handful of bad/mediocre episodes, such as:
    • "D.W. All Wet" (the first bad episode of the series)
    • "Arthur Accused!"
    • "Francine Frensky, Superstar"
    • "Arthur, World's Greatest Gleeper"
    • "Poor Muffy" (the worst Season 1 episode)
    • "D.W., the Picky Eater"
    • "Go to Your Room, D.W."
    • "Play it Again, D.W."
    • "Arthur the Loser"
    • "Arthur vs. the Very Mean Crossing Guard"
    • "D.W.'s Very Bad Mood" (the worst Season 2 episode)
    • "Buster's Growing Grudge"
    • "Arthur's Big Hit" (the most infamous episode of the series)
    • "The Rat Who Came to Dinner"
    • "Arthur and the Big Riddle" (which started Season 5 on a sour note)
    • "Double Dare" (depending on your view)
    • "Nerves of Steal"
    • "Sleep No More"
    • "The Last of Mary Moo Cow" (depending on your view)
    • "Muffy Gets Mature" (which ended Season 5 on a sour note)
    • "Brother, Can You Spare a Clarinet?" (depending on your view)
    • "Citizen Frensky"
    • "More!"
    • "For Whom the Bell Tolls" (depending on your view)
    • "Cast Away" (which started Season 7 on a sour note)
    • "Vomitrocious"
    • "Bleep" (depending on your view, which ended Season 8 on a mediocre note)
    • "A is for Angry"
    • "The Squirrels"
    • "D.W., Bossy Boots"
    • "Germophobia"
    • "MacFrensky"
    • "The Secret Origin of Supernova" (which ended Season 13 on a sour note)
    • "D.W. Queen of the Comeback"
    • "So Funny I Forgot to Laugh"
    • "The Longest Eleven Minutes" (depending on your view)
    • "D.W. and Dr. Whosit"
    • "The Princess and the Pea" (depending on your view)
    • "Arthur's Big Meltdown" (which ended Season 24 on a sour note)
    • "Blabbermouth"
  5. The episode "The Great MacGrady" (while still a pretty good episode) has aged poorly due to the influence of Lance Armstrong's banning from his cycling career due to his usage of drugs. Thankfully, it got a remake in Season 24 due to this.
  6. Like SpongeBob SquarePants, being an unbelievably long-running show, while impressive on paper, isn't always a good thing, because it's easy to run out of ideas for episodes, and as a result, some episode ideas are reused. The show has also somewhat gone downhill since Season 16 due to the aforementioned reuse of ideas and lazier animation (as said below). Luckily, the show ended in Season 25.
  7. Some of the later voice actors don't do the best job voicing the characters.
    • While Michael Yarmush does an amazing job voicing Arthur, his voice deepened during Season 5, which made him sound like a 14-year-old than an 8-year-old.
    • Justin Bradley does a pretty bad job voicing Arthur in the original dubs of Season 6 as he sounds like he didn't want to be there and similar to Michael Yarmush in Season 5, sounds too old to be a convincing eight-year-old. Thankfully, Mark Rendall redubbed his lines for Season 6, as he does a much better job than the former.
    • Cameron Ansell is very annoying to listen to as he sounds like a girl.
    • Same with Dallas Jokic.
    • Oliver Grainger and Robert Naylor have screeching voices.
    • Lyle Lettau also makes Brain sound like a girl.
  8. Seasons 1, 5, 11-14 and 16, while still good, are the weakest seasons of the series.
    • Season 1 has weaker animation compared to the other seasons (see BQ #9).
    • Season 5 has more bland/boring episodes compared to the first four seasons.
    • Season 12-15 have a lot of boring episodes.
    • Season 16 is arguably the weakest season of the series as the animation switched to Flash and it has "So Funny, I Forgot to Laugh", one of the worst episodes of the series.
  9. The animation is not perfect and does have a few hiccups:
    • Season 1's animation (while still good) has lots of errors, and many characters appear off-model. Though it is understandable given that animation used more traditional methods.
    • The title cards from Season 2 onwards have a font that feels generic, unlike the Season 1 title card fonts.
    • The flash animation in Seasons 16-19, while still a decent effort, is a mediocre downgrade from the first fifteen seasons, as the movements look more robotic, and at times can be uncanny. However, it improved slightly during Seasons 17-19.
  10. Sequel Baiting: As mentioned, the finale ended on a cliffhanger.


  • The series has been acknowledged with the George Foster Peabody Award and four Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Children's Animated Program.
  • It holds a 7.3 out of 10 on IMDb and an 8.5 out of 10 on
  • The series is very popular in Israel.

Episodes with their own articles


  • Throughout the show, a few episodes have been banned, for example, the episode "Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone" was banned throughout the entire state of Alabama due to Mr. Ratburn being gay. A few of these banned episodes can still be seen aired on TV on rare cases, however.
  • The show has spawned countless amounts of Internet memes throughout it's run, such as "Arthur's Fist", and the "You've Gotta Be Kidding!" duology on YouTube.
    • However, by far, the season with the most memes is Season 2. Memes include:
      • "This is spinach...and I! HATE! SPINACH!!!!!!" from "D.W. The Picky Eater"
      • "Arthur and Buster trying to look cool" from "Buster and the Daredevils"
      • "D.W. Tired", which is a photoshop of a frame from "Francine Frensky, Olympic Rider"
      • "Arthur Eating A Whole Cake" from "D.W.'s Name Game"
      • "That Sign Won't Stop Me, Because I Can't Read!" from, once again, "D.W.'s Name Game"
      • "I said banana! Banana was MY idea! Without me, THERE IS NO BANANA!" from "How the Cookie Crumbles"
  • In July 2014, Chance the Rapper released his interpretation of the theme song of the series called "Wonderful Everyday: Arthur" with Wyclef Jean and Jessie Ware.
  • The show regularly incorporates parodies of and references to pop culture including popular shows and movies South Park, the James Bond film series, Law and Order, The Waltons and The Simpsons.
  • In and leading up to July 2016, the show regained attention from users of Black Twitter, where stills from the series have become explicit and comedic internet memes, often using an image of Arthur's clenched fist from the episode "Arthur's Big Hit". WGBH said, "We appreciate the memes that have been created and shared in good fun, we are, however, disappointed by the few that are outside of good taste."
  • In July 2020, YouTuber Lilly Singh created a parody of the show's theme song, called "Arthur Theme Song (2020 Version)", in which the lyrics satirise the nature of 2020.
  • A pilot for the spin-off series Postcards from Buster aired in December 2003 as a season 8 episode of the show. Postcards from Buster aired from October 11, 2004, to November 21, 2008; the series faced several years of hiatus, until a brief revival in February 2012, only to be cancelled after airing three unseen episodes that had been held over from the show's third season.
  • This show was the longest ran children's animated series in the United States, and the second longest-running animated series in the U.S., behind Fox's The Simpsons.


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