Arthur (TV series)
|Format||children's television series|
|Created by||WGBH, based on the series of books by Marc Brown|
|Country of origin|| United States
|No. of episodes||190 (aired)
195 (approx.) (List of episodes)
|Running time||30 minutes (approx. 11 minutes per episode)|
|Original channel||PTV:(September 2, 1996-September 5, 1999)
PBS Kids (September 6, 1999-October 10, 2004)
PBS Kids GO! (October 11, 2004-present)
|Original run||September 2, 1996 – present|
Arthur is a Canadian/American children's television series, based on a series of books written by Marc Brown. The series has made 190 episodes made between September 1996 and October 2012 in fifteen seasons so far. The show is about a human-like aardvark named Arthur Read. The show is focused on his life, and deals with normal childhood problems.
Characters[change | edit source]
Children[change | edit source]
- Arthur Timothy Read is the title character of the series. He is a third grade student at Lakewood Elementary in Elwood City. He has two younger sisters, Dora Winifred (D.W.) and Kate. He likes reading, watching television, playing sports, playing piano, and spending time with his friends.
- Alan "The Brain" Powers is one of Arthur's friends and classmates. He is an only child. He excels in academics and athletics. He spends his free time working at his parents' ice cream parlor, while also managing a career as an amateur soccer player. Also, "Brain" and his family celebrate Kwanzaa as revealed in Arthur's Perfect Christmas. He is of Senegalese descent.
- Alberto Molina, 13, is one of Arthur's newer neighbors. He became a character in the season during season six, following the departure of Mr. Sipple. Alberto and his family hail from Ecuador. He practices kendo in his spare time, and enjoys reading "El Conejo Bionico", the Spanish version of Bionic Bunny.
- Binky Barnes is one of Arthur's friends and classmates. Binky is a stereotypical bully, who secretly harbors sensitive and caring feelings. He enjoys studying the fine arts, including playing the clarinet and performing ballet. He is the leader of a "bully clique", known as the Tough Customers who, in later seasons, become less bully-like. Recently, his family adopted a baby sister, named Meilin, from China.
- Buster Baxter is Arthur's best friend. Buster enjoys watching television, reading works of science fiction, and playing video games. Buster lives with his mother, Bitzi, and occasionally travels with his father. Buster also had his own spin-off series, entitled Postcards from Buster.
- Francine Alice Frensky is a tomboy who loves sports, drumming and singing. She is often blunt and outspoken. She is Jewish and of Polish descent. Francine is best friends with Muffy Crosswire.
- Dora Winifred "D.W." Read is Arthur's little sister. She goes to preschool, and enjoys watching children's television shows such as "Mary Moo Cow". Many of the series' plots revolve around tensions between D.W. and her brother.
- Emily is one of D.W.'s classmates and friends. She first meets D.W. in a gymnastics class, and later became a regular character in the series. She is very rich.
- Fern Walters is one of Arthur's classmates. She is often shy and quiet. She enjoys reading poetry and mystery novels. Fern's mother, Doria, tries to get Fern to become more outgoing.
- George Nordgren is one of Arthur's classmates. He is well known in his class as a ventriloquist, performing with his dummy, Wally. He has dyslexia.
- Katherine Frensky is Francine's older sister, around 16 years old. She reads teen magazines and often talks on the telephone.
- Jenna Morgan is a minor character in Arthur's grade. She plays badminton, helps coach soccer, received an Athlete of the Year award from Michelle Kwan, and is allergic to milk (making her lactose intolerant). Jenna has nocturnal enuresis, otherwise known as bedwetting.
- Kate Read is Arthur and D.W.'s baby sister. She's been shown to be able to communicate with Pal and other animals in some of the episodes.
- Marina Datillo is Prunella's best friend. She is blind and is obsessed with Henry Screever, the show's parody of Harry Potter. She and Prunella met when Prunella unwillingly received a Braille edition of the latest Henry Screever novel and let Marina borrow it, and since then they have become best friends. Marina is notably good at yoga and joined Prunella and her mother, Wanda, in their early-morning yoga routine. In one episode, she is seen in a Mighty Mountain soccer uniform. In another, she is in a Lakewood uniform.
- Meilin is Binky's little sister who was adopted from China. In her debut (at the Chinese restaurant), she was talking to Baby Kate. She and her brother are very close to each other.
- Mary Alice "Muffy" Crosswire is Francine's best friend, though they are opposites in many ways. She is the wealthiest girl in school, the stereotypical rich/spoiled girl. She tends to be extremely self-centered, and like Francine, her behavior occasionally leads her into trouble with her friends.
- Molly MacDonald is close friends with Binky. She is known to be good at giving advice. Molly has short brown hair that completely covers her eyes. She has a little brother named James who is in D.W.'s preschool class.
- Prunella Deegan is a grade above Arthur and his friends, and as a result is somewhat snobbish and condescending towards the younger kids. She is interested in yoga, fortune telling, and paranormal phenomena.
- Rattles is another member of the Tough Customers, in fourth grade at Lakewood. Rattles has been a Tough Customer member since the first season of the program. In one episode, he almost did a stunt of rollerblading over trash cans but was thwarted when Binky told Principal Haney.
- Rubella Deegan is Prunella's older teen sister. She is very spiritual and obsessed with psychic and paranormal phenomena. She is typically depicted as a mystical, and she often talks in a very dramatic tone. She often chides in on Prunella.
- Sue Ellen Armstrong is a recent transfer to Arthur's school. Her father is a diplomat, and so her family has lived in various spots around the world. She is interested in world culture, and has a black-belt in the martial arts.
- Timmy Tibble is one brother in a set of twins who routinely exasperate Arthur, D.W., and most everyone with their mischievous antics. Timmy wears a blue scarf and is the more mischievous of the twins.
- Tommy Tibble is the other brother in a set of twins. Tommy wears a red scarf, and D.W. once taught him to be good.
- Vicita Molina is Arthur's new neighbor who moved in after Mr. Sipple moved out, introduced in season 6. She's three and seven-eighths, in her own proud words, and often plays with D.W. and the Tibbles. Her family is from Ecuador.
The adults[change | edit source]
- Mr. Armstrong: Sue Ellen's father, a diplomat.
- Mrs. Armstrong: Sue Ellen's mother, is a homemaker with a penchant for exotic clothes.
- Bailey: Muffy's chauffeur and sometimes the Crosswire Family's butler. He also has a notable talent in creating kinetic art, and follows Muffy's orders without question, even when told to drive the Crosswire limo in quite dangerous fashion. Although in one episode he was called James.
- Mr. Barnes: Binky's father.
- Mrs. Barnes: Binky's mother, a nurse.
- Bitzi Baxter: Buster's mom, the editor-in-chief of the Elwood City Times. She's overprotective of Buster and a frantic character.
- Bo Baxter: Buster's father, who is divorced. He is a pilot. Buster flies with him around the United States in the spin-off Postcards from Buster series. In Postcards from Buster, he is shown with short brown hair and glasses. However, during his few appearances in earlier seasons of Arthur, his face is noticeably hidden from view, for instance behind a newspaper. He looks almost exactly like Harry, Bitzi Baxter's former boyfriend. His physical appearance has changed several times.
- Coach Biltwell: The Lakewood Elementary School Gym teacher.
- Ms. Brian: The Lakewood Elementary School Art teacher.
- David L. Read: Arthur and D.W.'s father. Mr. Read runs a catering business from home and is frequently shown garnishing trays of hors d'oeuvres in the family kitchen. In some older episodes, his first name is said to be "Nigel", creating strange inconsistencies. In the episode "D.W. Aims High," Arthur's dad hinted that he was born in the early 1960s.
- Doria Walters: Fern's mother. She works for a real estate company and is very confident and encouraging in her daughter.
- Edward Crosswire: Muffy's father, the owner of a car dealership called "Crosswire Motors". It was revealed that he never attended college; rather he received an honorary degree after his donation of a library. He is also the coach of the soccer team.
- Mrs. Fink: The final third grade teacher at Lakewood Elementary School. Like Mrs. Sweetwater, she always did fun things with her class. She was seen in Arthur and the Real Mr. Ratburn, but has rarely been seen since.
- Dr. Frederick Fugue: Once taught Arthur piano lessons and later filled in for Ms. Krasny to take Mr. Ratburn's class to Crown City for a singing chorus field trip. He seems to have perfect pitch because he was able to tell that a car horn was needed to be tuned when it played a C#.
- Fritz Langley: Caretaker of the Elwood City Community Garden who sometimes suffers from arthritis in his hands while working. Most likely a reference to the 1920s German film director Fritz Lang
- "Grandma" Thora Read: Grandma Thora is Arthur and D.W.'s paternal grandmother, who is quite caring, but tends towards being a bad cook. Grandma Thora is based on Brown's own grandmother Thora, who encouraged him by saving his childhood drawings in a bottom drawer.
- "Grandpa" Dave: an aardvark. Grandpa Dave is Arthur and D.W.'s maternal grandfather. He lives on the family farm which has been in the family for 150 years.
- Harry Mills: Works at Bitzi's newspaper as a sports writer. Bitzi started dating him for a couple of seasons, but then broke off because she wanted more time to pursue other interests.
- Herbert Haney: Mr. Haney is the lovable yet absentminded principal of Arthur's school. He, like George, suffers from dyslexia. He also seems to have bad luck: something goes wrong almost everywhere he goes.
- Mr. Higgins: The Elwood City mail carrier who once told Buster during Buster's week long job as school mail delivery boy the G.L.A.D. mail procedure.
- Dr. Iris: She was the eye doctor who suggested that Arthur needed glasses in the first episode "Arthur's Eyes". (In the original Arthur book "Arthur's Eyes", Dr. Iris is a fox.)
- Jane Read: Arthur and D.W.'s mother. Mrs. Read is a work-at-home tax accountant.
- Jessica: Jane's sister. She is married to Richard and has a daughter, Cora. She appears in the episode "D.W. Thinks Big" for her sister Lucy's wedding.
- Ms. Krasny: The Lakewood Elementary School Music teacher.
- Laverne Frensky: Francine's mother.
- Loretta: Arthur's aunt on his dad's side. She is somewhat overbearing and uses the word "dear" a lot when speaking to Arthur's mother at the family reunion.
- Lucy: Jane's younger sister. She appears in the episode "D.W. Thinks Big", where D.W. rescues the ring at Lucy's wedding.
- Mr. Marco: an aardvark. Arthur's second grade teacher. He appears in some episodes in season 1.
- Marie-Helene: Emily's French nanny.
- Millicent Crosswire: Muffy's mother who likes opera.
- Ramon Molina: Arthur's new neighbor. Moved into Mr. Sipple's house when he moved out in Season 6.
- Mrs. Molina: Arthur's new neighbor; Ramon's wife. Moved into Mr. Sipple's house when he moved out in Season 6.
- Mrs. Morgan: Jenna's mother.
- Ms. Morgan: D.W.'s preschool teacher.
- John Morris: John Morris, a Lakewood Elementary School Janitor for 6 years, had recently moved to Roswell, New Mexico to live with his daughter after breaking his leg during the Lakewood Fire, and is seen in the Postcards from Buster episode "Alien Adventure" when Buster visited New Mexico.
- Nigel Emil Ratburn III: Mr. Ratburn is Arthur and his friends' teacher. His passions are homework and puppetry; he also enjoys magic tricks and spent a summer working at Jack's Joke Shop. He is also knowledgeable about Japanese lutes, such as the Biwa, but is noticeably incompetent with computers. Even Prunella made a joke about Mr. Ratburn one time that he eats nails in a cereal bowl for breakfast. He is a fanatic of the show "Spooky Roo," the show's parody of Scooby Doo.
- Oliver Frensky: Francine's dad, who works as an sanitation engineer for the local city dump. He states he was formerly a volunteer firefighter. He is somewhat childish but optimistic in nature. He coaches the baseball team.
- Paige Turner: Ms. Turner is the friendly but strict librarian at the Elwood City Library. Originally she had brown/brunette hair until Season 11 when she sported blonde hair.
- Mrs. Pariso: Francine's next door neighbor, who is very good at horseback riding and also won prizes at Wimbledon. She banged on Francine's wall when she first moved in to their apartment building, which made Francine think she was mean, but the two became good friends in the end.
- Patty Jones: The woman who played Mary Moo Cow, who later appeared as a newscaster for the TV show "Stock Market Today".
- Mr. Powers: Brain's father.
- Mrs. Powers: Brain's mother, who owns and runs the ice cream shop. Mrs. Powers originally had brown hair for the first season, but later seasons show Mrs. Powers with yellow hair (despite evidence that Brain's family is African-American).
- Rodentia Ratburn: Mr. Ratburn's sister, who once filled in for Mr. Ratburn for a day when he was sick. Her teaching methods are notably similar to those of Mrs. Sweetwater.
- Mrs. Robertson: The Lakewood Elementary School Kindergarten teacher who is now retired. Brain was a student twice in her class.
- Mr. Sanders: The tyrant landlord who works for the apartment building where the Frensky family live. Mr. Sanders once accused Francine about the water usage and reading of water meters.
- Sarah MacGrady: Mrs. MacGrady is the lunch lady at Lakewood Elementary school, where Arthur and his friends study. She is full of unconventional wisdom, and is Grandma Thora's bingo buddy. She commonly wears a pink shirt and white pants.
- Susy Sipple: Arthur's odd next-door neighbor from Season 1 to 6, who enjoys barbecuing fish late at night and comes from a place where making faces on a bike means bring the biker a cabbage. He moves out in Season 6, and the Molinas move in to his home.
- Miss Sweetwater: She is also a third grade teacher in another Lakewood Elementary School class, she mostly does fun things to her students like singing songs (such as "I Like Fudge") on her guitar. One time Miss Sweetwater had an argument in the teacher's lounge with Mr. Haney telling him "I didn't move your cheese!" (A parody of the book Who Moved My Cheese?)
- Mrs. Tibble: The grandmother of Tommy and Timmy Tibble. (In early Arthur books, Mrs. Tibble is a human, however many newer books and the show have her as a moose.)
- Miss Tingley: Principal Haney's secretary. One time she was afraid of Miss Sweetwater's singing and Mr. Haney's sawing-in-half magic trick.
- Mr. Walters, a dog, Fern's father who was finally first seen in Season 11 in the episode Phony Fern.
- Wanda Deegan: a rat. Prunella and Rubella's mother. She enjoys yoga and granola.
- Wilbur Rabbit: The actor who plays Bionic Bunny. Wears glasses exactly like Arthur's.
- Mrs. Woods: Perky's owner. Her grouchy dog, Perky (aka Jaws), is Pal's mother.
Characters That Are Based on Real People[change | edit source]
- Bill Clinton (called The President) Although never specifically identified as Bill Clinton, the animation and voice is very close to Bill Clinton's look and voice. He appears when the Read family goes to Washington, D.C. and D.W. gets lost in the White House. At the end, he confesses to a love of pizza.
- George W. Bush: Any time after 2001, "The President" is now a rabbit that looks and sounds much like George W. Bush.
- Alex Trebek (called Alex Lebek in the episode to make it not so obvious): Alex Trebek appears in the episode Arthur and the Big Riddle as the host of the Riddle Quest game show.
- Art Garfunkel: Art Garfunkel appears in two Arthur episodes. He first appears in the episode The Ballad of Buster Baxter, and then later appears in Elwood City Turns 100! as one of the guests that Muffy invites to the play.
- Arthur Ganson: Arthur Ganson appears in the episode Muffy's Art Attack.
- The Backstreet Boys (Nick Carter, Howie Dorough, Brian Littrell, A.J. McLean, and Kevin Richardson): The Backstreet Boys appear in the episode Arthur, It's Only Rock n' Roll.
- Click and Clack, The Tappet Brothers (Tom and Ray Magliozzi): The Car Talk hosts appear in the episode Pick a Car, Any Car, where Arthur calls them about their car when it is about to go to the junkyard.
- Matt Damon: Matt Damon appears in the episode The Making of Arthur as the host of a show "Postcards from You" (inspired by the "Postcards from You" segment that has been the mid-show feature on Arthur since Season 11 and the feature on the second season of "Postcards from Buster").
- Edgar Rentería: Edgar Rentería also appears in The Curse of the Grebes also playing a Grebe.
- Frank Gehry: Frank Gehry appears in the episode Castles in the Sky, and helps the gang create a new tree house, although they do not know he is Frank Gehry until he gives them a signed photo of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.
- Fred Rogers: Mister Rogers appears on the episode Arthur Meets Mister Rogers. He visits Arthur's house and Arthur is embarrassed because he thinks that Mister Rogers Neighborhood is a baby show. Other people think that too. But, when Mr. Rogers comes for a visit to Arthur's class, they all change their minds when Binky says "Wow, can I have your autograph too?" to Arthur.
- Jack Prelutsky: Jack Prelutsky appears on the episode I'm a Poet, as the judge of a poetry contest. At the end of the contest, he can not decide who's the winner, so he says "I hate contests. You all win".
- Joan Rivers: Joan Rivers appears in the episode Is That Kosher?, playing as Francine's maternal grandmother.
- Johnny Damon: Johnny Damon also appears in The Curse of the Grebes, also playing a member of the Elwood City Grebes.
- Joshua Redman: Joshua Redman also appears in the episode My Music Rules as Francine's second-cousin-twice-removed, who they call "Uncle Josh". He gets invited by Arthur and Francine.
- J. P. Morgan: J. P. Morgan appears in Elwood City Turns 100!, during a flashback to the city's dedication by President Theodore Roosevelt.
- Koko Taylor: Koko Taylor appears in the episode Big Horns George, and is Alan "The Brain"'s favorite blues musician.
- Larry King: Larry King appears in the "And Now a Word From Us Kids" section of the episode Elwood City Turns 100! and interviews the gang.
- Marc Summers: He appeared in "Francine's Sloppy Decision", which was aired at Season 12.
- Michelle Kwan: Michelle Kwan appears in the episode The Good Sport, as the host of the Athlete of the Year Award at Lakewood Elementary. It is also said that she graduated from Lakewood Elementary in that series.
- Mike Timlin: Mike Timlin appears in the episode The Curse of the Grebes, playing a member of the Elwood City Grebes.
- Ming Tsai: Ming Tsai appears in the episode What's Cooking?.
- Rodney Gilfry: Rodney Gilfry appears in the episode Lights, Camera, Opera as he has a role in the Carmen opera that Muffy and Ed Crosswire see.
- Taj Mahal: Taj Mahal also appears in the episode Big Horns George with Koko Taylor.
- Theodore Roosevelt: President Theodore Roosevelt dedicates Elmwood City during a flashback in Elwood City Turns 100!
- Yo-Yo Ma: Yo-Yo Ma appears in the episode My Music Rules with Joshua Redman. He is the musician that D.W. invites (D.W. tended to call him "Yo Mama").
References[change | edit source]
- Arthur #1409 "In My Africa"