The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
The longest-running kids’ animated series, Arthur, has approached its series finale, after gracing our television screens for 25 years. Read on to hear about its impact and how it shaped kids’ lives for generations.
Since 1996, Arthur has graced our television screens with nothing but laughter, great lessons on friendships, funny memes, and an overwhelming playlist of catchy tunes. But, unfortunately, as the saying goes, “all good things must come to an end” and sadly our beloved aardvark is doing the exact same thing: coming to an end after twenty five years of bringing joy to children. Though it is sad to see a comfort show go, there still is so much to discuss! Here we will talk about how the show has impacted so many and its final episodes, which include a big plot reveal!
Arthur started off as a book series by Marc Brown in 1976, and became very popular because of the cute animations and great storytelling. 20 years later, the first episode aired on PBS kids, leading to a journey that has not only spread joy between children and adults but went as far as winning multiple awards such as Daytime Emmys for children shows for numerous years. Besides the outstanding accomplishments the show, itself, has something for everyone. Over the years, it has covered and conveyed numerous important topics such as diseases, asthma, and food allergies, while even keeping up with important societal issues like, race, sexuality, and disabilities. Arthur made a breakthrough in being able to explain things in a kid friendly way but also make it enjoyable. Whether it was a song, some funky dream sequence or special guest like Mister Rogers. To some, PBS was just a kid’s channel that showcased shows throughout the day. But, to me and others, it was a great environment that had shows of education, diversity, and overall comfort. It was a center that provided wonderful entertaining shows that still hold a great sense of educational value; something that is really important in our younger youth today.
Growing up, Arthur was one of the first shows many people my age watched that not only felt like a show of entertainment, but also found creative ways to express differences, solutions to challenges, and even a love for books. The library actually was one of the main sets through the series and even prompted an infamous sign about getting a library card. They made things like having a library card, spelling and even recycling fun, and honestly I can say I am forever grateful because now I have a stellar knack for reading books and enjoying them as well.
Now for the part we’ve been waiting for, the review of the last episodes! Season 25 consisted of 4 episodes and, as we know Arthur always has some time of creativity with their episodes, so the expectations were high. It started with an episode that answers the infamous question: “who stole DW’s snowball?” Well, we finally got our answer: it was her imaginary friend Nadine who stole the snowball all along in order to protect it from said aliens. This is revealed by a dream-like sequence that includes Buster and Bud, and was a nice touch as we do not necessarily see them interact.
The next segments felt like filler for the most part, except for the one episode about Francine’s grandmother passing; who was previously voiced by the late Joan Rivers. This episode was nice as well, and highlights things such as grief and how to be a good friend to someone who is grieving a loved one. The main lesson being that it is best to listen to how somebody wants to spend their grief and not push them.
Meanwhile, in the very last episode called “All Grown Up,” it starts off with Muffy Francine, Buster and Arthur in the famous library and they run into a fortune-telling game that is supposed to tell them their futures. It was humorous at first because it made so many teases on what they could possibly become — like Muffy possibly being a mail carrier, Francine in office work, and Buster a teacher, but coincidentally, Arthur’s prediction never gets mentioned. As they were all leaving the library, Marc Brown’s character appears for the first time and convinces Arthur to keep the sketchbook. At first glance, this seems pretty insignificant but when the 20 year jump happens and 29 year old Arthur is sitting at Sugar Bowl, run by George, Muffy is a politician running for mayor of Elwood city, Francine is head of an athletic shoewear company and has brand new edgy look, and Buster’s a teacher. Ironically Katie is a teacher, Binky is a news anchor, DW joins the police force, and what does Arthur become? A graphic novelist. He, then, shows the cover of his first novel which is actually the intro photo of the show. Overall, the comic is about his life and the first comic strip is the first ever episode of the series.
Fans really enjoyed this full circle moment because it was truly the end of an era. Although some people were disappointed we did not witness other character’s futures, I personally felt like it was still a nice ending as it felt like we grew up with him.
As we say goodbye to our beloved Elwood city and hear the iconic theme song one more time, remember that not only will they still be doing short videos from time to time, but we have been on a long journey for almost 2 decades, right alongside them. Arthur has made us laugh, sing, and cry for many years and his legacy will definitely live on and on for generations to come. As Arthur says his final “hey!” let’s thank him for all the wonderful memories.