Of all the television shows I’ve watched as a child, Arthur has a lot of value in a lot of ways. The premise of the show varies from episode to episode, just like any other show, but Arthur is a really cool show because it teaches conflict resolution, self worth, self esteem, and many other skills important to kids. While you might give this honor to Dragon Tales, that honor would actually go to Arthur because Arthur has lots of diversity in the characters. Ranked highly by Mojo, this show deserves a good watch if you’re a kid or an adult, whether you’re young or old. Here’s why.
- Each character is an animal, obviously. Marc Brown’s books are some of the first books in the series. Each animal character has diverse personalities. For example, Francine Frensky is Jewish and drawn as a mouse. Buster has no father, drawn as a bunny. Arthur, of course, is an aardvark and his family is pretty typical, but his dad works as a caterer. David and Jane Reed have a lot of lessons to teach their children, Arthur, Kate, and D.W.
- I like some of the episodes where Arthur and his friends get into some sort of thing. What do I mean by thing? Well, here’s an example. Mr. Ratburn, the teacher in this case, assigns the class some spelling words, and later they find that they’re in the all school spellathon. Arthur doesn’t think he can do this, but then Mr. Ratburn gives him the confidence to do the things he wants to, mainly study for the spelling bee. Spelling bees are amazing.
- Each character has a very special quality that people should learn about. Oh, and did I forget to mention there are disabled characters? Yes, and even Binky Barnes, the class clown or bully, has a food allergy in one episode. This is actually a very good way to teach kids with food allergies how to see themselves in the literature, and the story presents very well. I didn’t see the blind character in Arthur yet, but maybe I should do my research on that character. However, I want to point out that disabilities don’t stop the characters from doing the things they want to do.
- The show changes with the times. Mr. Ratburn, the teacher, gets married to a male partner in the most recent controversial episode, though it was banned in Alabama. Shame on that state for banning episodes so kids can learn tolerance. For one, each character’s diversity is there to teach the children tolerance, and I have a few things to say about this. I have gay friends, some married, some not. They saw themselves in Arthur’s teacher’s wedding episode, and that is good. Shows like Arthur validate the LGBTQI+ community because of the changes in time, how Mr. Ratburn reacts to his male partner, etc.
- Halloween doesn’t have to be the devil’s holiday. Arthur and his friends have a grand old time, but his little sister, D.W., has some plans for her brother, mainly pranks, to play on Halloween. The Halloween specials for Arthur are amazingly well done, and it’s pretty silly to think otherwise. I liked the Christmas special, mainly because Arthur learned a very important lesson about giving. Please watch that episode, and another lesson was also learned. D.W. wanted a certain toy so bad, but Arthur got annoyed, his mom couldn’t find it, and well, just watch it.
One of my favorite episodes has the following premise: D.W. learns a lesson about swearwords, and it’s very important because for three- and four-year-old children, swearwords aren’t that great. While I’ve written a few here in the blog, I have indeed indicated trigger warnings and content warnings on the top. Please note that what my opinions are here stated are only my opinions, but in my humble opinion, Arthur and the episodes I pointed to teach more than most television shows combined. I’ll be writing about other children’s television shows later.
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