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Arthur character
Arthur, the title character of the series, in an opening sequence
Arthur Timothy Read
Age 8
Voiced by: Dallas Jokic (2008–present)
Cameron Ansell (2004–2007)
Mark Rendall (2001–2003)
Justin Bradley (2001)
Michael Yarmush (1996–2000)
Pamela Adlon (computer games)

Arthur Timothy Read is the title character of both the book series and the PBS children's television show Arthur which was created by Marc Brown. On the show, he is eight years old, in third grade, and lives in Elwood City. Arthur was ranked #26 on TV Guide's 50 greatest cartoon characters of all time.[1]

Contents

Arthur's appearance

Arthur is an eight-year-old male English-American anthropomorphic aardvark,[2] and the star of the self-titled TV series and books. His trademarks include his bright yellow sweater, blue jeans, big round glasses, and red-and-white sneakers that he wears in most appearances. According to creator Marc Brown, he is supposed to be a representation of the average American third-grader and is based on the author's own experiences growing up in Erie, Pennsylvania as a child.

In the first Arthur book, Arthur's Nose, Arthur had a long nose and he resembled an actual aardvark. However, his design evolved over the first half dozen books, he now has a much shorter nose, and many more human features. In the second book in the series Arthur's Eyes, he acquires his trademark glasses.

Arthur's relationships

Boston Children's Museum displays an inflatable Arthur on the roof to advertise an Arthur-related exhibit within.
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Family

A recurring theme in the Arthur series are the tensions between Arthur and his younger sister. Arthur is constantly pestered by his four-year-old sister Dora Winifred Read (nicknamed D.W.), and even though she celebrated her fifth birthday during the TV series' third season, Arthur still referred to her as a "four-year-old" in the episode Return of the Snowball, which aired in the seventh season. D.W. usually tries to get Arthur into trouble, although there are times when Arthur can also be mean to D.W. or retaliate. Despite that, Arthur tries to ignore D.W.'s annoying antics most of the time, and often does her favors - sometimes on his parents' behest - against his will.

Arthur's parents include his mother Jane, who is a work-at-home accountant and his father David Read, who runs a catering business. His mother is from the Pittsburgh area, and knew Fred Rogers as a child. He also has a baby sister named Kate and a pet dog named Pal.

Appearances from Arthur's extended family include Grandma Thora, Grandpa Dave, Uncle Fred, Uncle Richard (Dave's brother), Aunt Jessica, Aunt Loretta, Aunt Lucy, Great-Grandma (Thora's mother) and his cousins Cora, Monique, Ricky, and other unnamed relatives. However, the only two members of Arthur's extended family who have appeared more than once as of today are Grandma Thora and Grandpa Dave. Most of the Read family are Ohio natives as well.

Grandma Thora lives in a house not too far from Arthur's in Elwood City and is known to be a bad cook, but a loving grandmother and a world-class marbles player. She loves to play Bingo every Friday night, and in some episodes has to watch over Arthur and D.W. Grandpa Dave lives on a farm that he claims has been in the Read family for 150 years.

Friends

Arthur's best friend is Buster Baxter, a jolly but naïve rabbit who is very silly. He loves jokes, is fascinated with aliens, has a strong interest in food, and can be quite sloppy. His prized possession is a collection full of his very favorite foods. He has his own holiday, Baxter Day, which he celebrates with his mom on christmas. He lives with his single mother (Bitzi Baxter) who is divorced from his father, an airplane pilot.

Arthur's other good friends include:

  • Francine Alice Frensky, a tomboyish monkey who can be quite bossy and loves sports. She is also an exceptional singer and drummer, but cannot do both simultaneously. Her family is Jewish. She has an older sister, Catherine.
  • Mary Alice "Muffy" Crosswire, a monkey whose father is the wealthiest businessman in Elwood City, and hence she tends to be spoiled. She loves fashion and has a lot of marketing and business savy for someone her age. She has an older brother named Chip who is in college.
  • Alan "The Brain" Powers, a very intelligent bear, hence his nickname, who also excels at sports and is known for his politeness. Although, he had repeated Kindergarten because he was a "cryer". His family is African-American, and celebrates Kwanzaa.
  • Sue Ellen Armstrong, a cat who has lived abroad in many countries and practices martial arts.
  • Fern Walters, a dog. She is a quiet girl who loves reading, especially mysteries and horror stories, also enjoys writing poetry, and pretending to be a detective.
  • George Lundgren, a timid, moose, who daydreams regularly. George is a skilled ventriloquist and has a giraffe puppet named Wally that he sometimes talks through. He loves to build things. His family are of Swedish descent. He is also a very great wood designer. He loves the blues and writes songs on his harmonica.
  • Binky Barnes, a bulldog who is repeating third grade. Although his first appearances portray him as a bully, it was later revealed that he enjoys fine arts, such as ballet, and playing the clarinet. He has a very soft personality, which he hides in order to be accepted by the tougher fourth-graders. On the last episode of season 11, Binky's family adopts a baby girl from China named Mei-Lin.
  • Jenna Morgan, a cat who is very good at sports (particularly badminton) and won the Athlete of the Year award, but prefers to keep a low profile at school. She also suffers from nocturnal enuresis.
  • Prunella Deegan, a poodle who enjoys fortune-telling, yoga, and the Henry Screever series, a parody of Harry Potter. She is a fourth-grader, and prone to superstition. She has an older sister, Rubella, and a blind friend with whom she shared a braille book.

References

  1. ^ http://archives.cnn.com/2002/SHOWBIZ/TV/07/30/cartoon.characters.list/
  2. ^ PBS Kids web site

External links


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