Caroline Lenarcic from Arthur Read: Between the Lines
July 5, 2022 To say Arthur left an impression on my young brain would be an understatement. For years I’ve ached to articulate the “je ne sais quoi” that makes the show such an enduring hit. Could it be its timeless quality, its ability to craft stories so reflective of American/Canadian life without ever devolving into a 1-to-1 parody of real world pop culture? Or perhaps it’s the dignity with which it treats its audience, daring to depict the beauty and difficulty of interpersonal relationships with nuance, never too heavy-handed in its morals. Or maybe it’s the impressively large ensemble of relatable characters, each so lovable that I can’t pick a favourite, all becoming more detailed in their strengths and their flaws as the seasons progress.
Arthur is all of this and more, and that “more” is the unique personal connection that each of us brings to our viewing experience. For me, it’s the way in which this little kids’ show allowed me to bond with my older brother. When we were young, the profound impact of Thomas’ developmental disability was not so apparent to me. We enjoyed many activities together: day trips with our parents, playing with toy trains, and of course watching TV. But as the years passed, I became painfully aware that, unable to talk and unable to comprehend our world to the same degree that I could, he wouldn’t be growing up with me. I envied my friends’ relationships with their siblings, realizing my brother and I would never be like them.
One day during my teenage years, I caught Arthur on the TV guide. I had fond childhood memories of the show and, evidently, so did Thomas. Through the remainder of my time in high school, we tuned in to PBS Kids every day at 4:00 PM, a ritual that my routine-oriented brother appreciated. Together we laughed at D.W.’s dramatic outbursts and through every song in “Arthur’s Almost Live Not Real Music Festival.” With the gift of Arthur, my brother and I could finally connect over a shared interest. Even my parents got in on it; my dad still gathers us around the computer to watch clips of “Baxter Day” each Christmas.
The connection doesn’t stop there. Several months ago, I finally realized my teenage dream of starting an Arthur review show, something I’m honoured to share with my best friend Gabe. We had no expectation that there would be an audience for our humble passion project, so imagine our surprise when we received an email from The Frensky Star, who had somehow stumbled across our show, welcoming us to the lively online community of Arthur fans. I have very little experience existing in online spaces and I had no idea there were so many others wanting to talk about Arthur like us. Finding fellow fans is a joy I’m continuing to discover.
Just as Arthur’s plotlines often centre on relationships, the show’s own legacy helps us spark new connections and strengthen old ones. I’ll always be grateful for this show and for viewers like you. Thank you!
July 5, 2022 I’ve been reading Arthur books and watching The Arthur TV show when I was a kid, I still read and watch Arthur, I’m 19 years old, and I can’t wait to see the 25th season, even since it aired in 1996. Marc Brown had a good team for making books and television, and kids learned from Arthur, D.W., Binky, Buster, Francine, Muffy, The Brain, and all their friends about all the problems they have. I can’t wait to see the additional Arthur content soon.
Arthur and Marc Brown can teach me and others of wanting to become a Children’s Author and Illustrator, like tips on reading many books, keep a journal, write what is the best stories, and stuff like that. I’m already working on my first book for all the kids to read, I hope.
Arthur and D.W. had been voiced by many different people. The Voices of Arthur Read: 1. Michael Yarmush (Season 1-5) (1996-2000) 2. Justin Bradley (Season 6) (2001) 3. Mark Rendall (Season 6 Redub, 2001) (Season 7-8) (2002-2003) 4. Cameron Ansell (Season 9-11) (2004-2007) 5. Dallas Jokic (Season 12-15) (2008-2012) 6. Drew Adkins (Season 16-17) (2012-2014) 7. William Healy (Season 18-19) (2014-2016) 8. Jacob Ursomarzo (Season 20-21) (2016-2018) 9. Roman Lutterotti (Season 22-25) (2019-2022). The Voices of D.W. Read: 1. Michael Caloz (Season 1-3) (1996-1999) 2. Oliver Grainger (Season 4-6) (1999-2001) 3. Jason Szwimer (Season 7-10) (2002-2006) 3 1/2. Ryan Ehrenworth (Season 11 Episode 1A, 2007) 4. Robert Naylor (Season 11-15) (2007-2012) 5. Jake Beale (Season 16-17) (2012-2014) 6. Andrew Dayton (Season 18-19) (2014-2016) 7. Christian Distefano (Season 20-21) (2016-2018) 8. Ethan Pugiotto (Season 22-25) (2019-2022).”
Jason Szwimer did a great job of working on a podcast called Finding D.W. where He found all the other seven voices of D.W. Read, I hope He would do a Season 2 of it. I also think someone like Jason Szwimer or Dallas Jokic would do a podcast about chatting with The Nine Voice of Arthur Read, that would be really cool to hear.
Hopefully, in the future,there will be new Arthur merchandise for online and in person stores, like toys, coloring stuff, clothes, party supplies, a complete series DVD set of Arthur and Postcards from Buster, and more.
Arthur, you’re doing great with all the books and shows, so I’m gonna do best to Believe In Myself, because that’s the place to start, and hope Marc Brown can wish me luck on my children’s author and illustrator career.
July 5, 2022 It is currently 12:00 AM on February the 21st, 2022. I had been watching the ,Arthur Mega Marathon that PBS Kids was broadcasting for the past couple of days, and knew that this childhood favorite of mine would be ending later in the day. As I scrolled through my Twitter feed, thinking about Arthur and its impact on my life, I couldn’t help but bawl my eyes out. It’s interesting. Arthur was the first show in a long time where I cried over its ending. While I was sad about shows like The Office, Steven Universe, and Regular Show ending, they didn’t move me to tears quite like Arthur did. As much as I adore those three shows, they can’t even hold a flame to the profound connection that I have with Arthur.
During the formative years of my life, there was nothing I loved more than to watch Arthur with my parents when the opportunity arose. While Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends was another show that I loved during this time, I felt that Arthur was a show that truly had universal appeal in my household. While humble in nature, the adventures of Arthur, his friends, and the citizens of Elwood City captivated my family with their grounded sense of writing, witty character interactions, and feel-good tone. I even remember dressing up as Arthur for Halloween when I was four––my mom made custom Arthur ears for my costume (I still can’t thank her enough for making them for me!). When my family adopted my sister from Korea in the mid-2000s, I knew that I had to share my love for Arthur with her. One of my fondest memories of watching the show with my sister was when we watched the episode “Big Brother Binky.” As an adopted child, it was heartwarming to see the episode resonate so strongly with my sister! Granted, I eventually got annoyed with her repeating the episode on a daily basis, but I’ve now look back on those days fondly, as they helped to make my sister feel welcome in the United States of America.
Years went by, and Arthur would find itself undergoing some drastic production changes. For example, the show switched from traditional to flash animation in 2012. In addition, the show’s writing had a different feel compared to previous seasons. When I first discovered these changes in early 2013, I remember having mixed emotions. On one hand, I felt that Arthur was starting to lack the integrity that made it such a fantastic show in the first place. However, I also recognized that there was a drive from the production crew to replicate the writing from previous seasons. Despite these changes, I still kept close tabs on Arthur. After all, no amount of production changes could take away my childhood memories of the show. This continued passion would pay off in 2021, when I met my current girlfriend. One summer day, we were discussing shows that we loved during our childhood. I had mentioned that I loved Arthur, and my main squeeze was elated with this discovery! She told me about her fondness of the show, as she watched it with her older brother when they were both kids. Since then, we have shared countless Arthur-related memes and TikToks with each other, and have sung the “Crazy Bus” song to each other enough times to drive Arthur up the walls!
By the time that I am writing this, it is currently 11:30 PM on February the 21st, 2022. By now, Arthur has concluded its 25-season long run and has provided me with countless experiences that I will never take for granted. As I am writing this essay, I am trying to fight back tears that are building up inside of me. Having a show like Arthur end is like having to put down your childhood pet, as both symbolize the end of simpler, happier times. However, I also recognize that Arthur reruns will continue to air for many years to come. In addition, I look forward to the little aardvark and his friends continuing to captivate audiences via new media like podcasts, online shorts, and games. As a matter of fact, with a world as diverse and expansive as Arthur’s, I would love to see an open-world adventure game inspired by the series, à la The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Not only could the game help introduce the open-world video game genre to younger generations, but I could also see the game being enjoyed by older generations; just like the TV show that it’s based on.
While Arthur’s end may be heart-wrenching to me, I would still like to thank Marc Brown, Carol Greenwald, and the rest of the show’s production team for crafting an amazing, smart, heartfelt, and powerful series that provided me with unforgettable experiences and helped me forge the closest relationships I could ever have with other people. Thanks to these incredible people, the memories I have of the show will never stop me from having a wonderful kind of day.
July 5, 2022 I was Born in Houston, Texas on February 13th, 1996 The Year that Arthur Comes on the air. The funniest part is The Scream, the gasps and Other Silly thing that made me laugh Hard. So funny I Just Peed my pants for Laughing Hard.
Now arthur is Coming to an end and I Wanna Bid Farewell to arthur. Thank you for being A Wonderful Kind of day to our hearts. We will Never forget you. Forever Arthur Read!!
Toy Junk Stuff
February 28, 2022 I have so many fond memories surrounding the show. The show taught me the importance of being a good friend, sibling, and person in general! I would watch the show before and after school every day. I even remember how excited I would be whenever I got to pick an Arthur book from the school book fairs! I dreamt of trying the Little Bo Peep Pot Pie, owning my own Woogle, and meeting Binky… and if I’m being honest, I still do.
I go back to watch the episodes and I catch the more subtle jokes, relate to the different characters, and truly appreciate how well the show handles difficult topics. I had a few Arthur toys growing up, but it wasn’t until I got older that I started seriously collecting anything and everything “Arthur”. It’s something that brings me so much joy and it makes me so happy that other people appreciate my collection as well! I’ve connected with so many amazing people through a mutual love for Arthur.
Growing up with Arthur has been such a privilege. He isn’t just a character from a show, or an illustration in a book. Arthur is a best friend!
Matthew (AKA Peeebs)
February 22, 2022 My memories of Arthur go back all the way to early childhood. I was only two years old when the TV show started on PBS, so Arthur has pretty much always been there for me, both on TV and in print. One of my earliest memories from preschool is listening to the teacher read "Arthur's Halloween" to my class. Marc Brown's books were always some of my favorites. I love his artistic style and especially the little hidden "Easter eggs" and unique details in his drawings. I would often find myself doodling Arthur characters in my school notebooks. I like to think that some of Marc Brown’s work had an early influence on the creative side of my brain.
Beyond the books, I’ve become more and more connected with the TV show as well. Arthur was something that my older brother and I both enjoyed. We were big Arthur fans as kids. We memorized a lot of the early episodes, and would competitively guess what episode was coming on next, as soon as the theme song ended. Growing up with 5 TV channels, PBS and Arthur were staples in my after-school routine.
Eventually, by my teenage years, I drifted away from Arthur a bit, but I would still check in occasionally when I heard of new episodes. By the time I was in college, a renewed interest in the show was sparked somewhere inside of me, and around that time, the show was celebrating 20 years on the air! That’s also when the memes started taking over online. I was beginning to recognize the cultural impact Arthur has had. I was just shocked that it was all happening to my favorite show from childhood. And even more recently, it's amazing to see the online Arthur community continuing to grow and flourish, and all the wonderful friends I've met thanks to it!
I don't think anyone knew how popular and long-lived the show would become, but I believe it goes to show just how timeless the stories and characters are. I think everybody can relate to one or more characters and their personalities. With 500 TV episode segments, we are able to really get to know the characters as they grow and develop. There’s a multitude of classic childhood conflicts to relate to, like losing baby teeth or dealing with a bully, in addition to more nuanced situations, such as helping a grieving friend or understanding different cultures and religious traditions. All these real-life situations are presented in a respectful way that depicts the mistakes and lesson-learning that happen to all of us. There’s also many episodes that are just plain fun, like the music video episode or seeing life through the eyes of dogs and babies. And thanks to the brilliant writing, the show is even enjoyable for adults, with humor and references intended for older viewers and special celebrity appearances from time to time. Callbacks to past episodes also serve as a little reward for longtime viewers. The show has successfully appealed to a wide range of ages for all these reasons.
After 25 years, I think it’s safe to say Arthur has joined the ranks of other monumental public television shows like Sesame Street, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, and Reading Rainbow. It will be sad to see the series go into reruns with no more new episodes, but it’s great to look back and appreciate all that has happened already, and look forward to what PBS has planned for the future of Arthur and his friends in new media coming soon!