This article is about the special. You may be looking for the book or the album.
"Arthur's Perfect Christmas"

Arthurs Perfect Christmas DVD


Original Airdate: Flag of the United States September 12th, 2000 (home video)
November 23rd, 2000 (television)[1][2]
Flag of the United Kingdom December 24, 2000[3]
Written by: Peter K. Hirsch
Storyboard by: Eric Bergeron
Marie Blanchard
Angus Bungay
Mario Cabrera
Gerry Capelle
Emmanuelle Gignac
Stéphanie Gignac
Lyndon Ruddy
Nick Vallinakis
Robert Yap
"Special: Arthur's New Friend"
"Special: Arthur - It's Only Rock 'n' Roll"
Read transcript
Arthur's Perfect Christmas is an hour-long Arthur special that first aired on November 23, 2000.[4][5] It has since been released on home videos.

Arthur buying the glass bird


As the residents of Elwood City get ready for Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, and even "Baxter Day," they all want their holiday celebrations to be perfect—but just what does that mean?


The special opens with scenes of citizens of Elwood City busy preparing for Christmas, while Pachelbel's Canon is played in the background on piano. Arthur then sings the first of many of the special's musical numbers, "Perfect Christmas," in which he lays out his list of the things he wants in the upcoming Christmas:

  1. A large amount of snow
  2. An amazing dinner-turkey and the whole works
  3. A spectacular Christmas tree—most importantly, one without tinsel
  4. Everyone will love the presents he gets for them.

However, things don't always work out quite as Arthur wanted it to. As the special progresses, a number of other storylines are revealed: D.W. wants a new toy called "Tina the Talking Tabby," for Christmas and Santa Claus is unable to find it at any store as soon as he gets the letter. So on Christmas morning, D.W. gets a duck called Quackers and throws a big temper tantrum. However, she changes her mind and eventually takes a liking to the duck.

Uncle Fred is going on a trip to Florida, but his car just so happens to break down in Elwood City on the way there. So for the meantime, he and his dog, Rory, are staying at the Reads' for Christmas. Eventually on Christmas Day, the car is fixed.

The timing of Francine's family's celebration of Hanukkah conflicts with that of Muffy's "holiday extravaganza," causing her to miss the party. When Muffy states that Hanukkah isn't as important as Christmas, Francine stops speaking to her and calling her. Eventually, she and Muffy made up after Francine shows her how important Hanukkah can be.

And ever since Buster's parents got divorced, Christmas has been a difficult time for him and his mom. She wakes him up early on the days before Christmas and makes him pancakes, thinking that it's Christmas Day. Then he has to explain to her that it isn't Christmas yet. While Arthur, Buster, and their friends are at the party, they suggest he create his own holiday, Baxter Day. Buster is unsure, but he agrees to give it a try.

Every Christmas, Binky volunteers at a homeless shelter with his Dad, and this year, he's trying to bake something special to bring. However, he's forgetting some things in every recipe, like not removing the shells of the pecans when he makes pecan pie, unpeeling the bananas when he makes banana bread, and adding sugar when he makes brownies. As soon as Muffy's party is over, Arthur walks into the living room.

Meanwhile, Brain's family is celebrating Kwanzaa.

George's family is revealed to be Swedish and they celebrate Saint Lucia Day.

In the end, things don't work out quite as everybody may have hoped they would, but it seems to be for the better (assuming Arthur can ever get D.W. to stop her new toy "Quackers" from singing "Quick, quack, quaddy-quack") as Arthur wishes the audience a happy holiday.


  • Two versions were aired on PBS: an uncut version aired during prime time on the original Thanksgiving Day airing and an edited version aired during a pledge drive.
  • Muffy yells "How Rude!", a catchphrase that was said by Stephanie Tanner in Full House.
  • This is one of the VERY few times in the series where it features bathroom humor.
  • This special aired right after Season 5 had concluded and was released on VHS during the airing of that season.
  • This is the last time where Michael Yarmush voiced Arthur.
  • This is the first and so far, the only special to use with traditional cel animation.
  • This is also the last time that Ricky Mabe voices one of the Tibbles named Timmy.
  • After D.W. walks in on Arthur and laughs, stock audio of Michael Caloz is used.
  •  The Brain and his family are shown preparing to celebrate Kwanzaa; Kwanzaa does not start until December 26, the day after Christmas Day.
  • Even though both the televised and home video version are almost identical, there are some slight differences:
    • In the beginning before the title card, the animation on the smoke from the Reads' chimney is going slow. However, in the home video release, it's going fast.
    • After Uncle Fred's video, Arthur and D.W. laughed immediately right after. In the home video release, they didn't laugh until a few seconds after.
    • During "What`s the Use of Presents?", a fade effect was missing in the home video release. Also, Muffy's singing in both versions are slightly different.

Cultural References

  • Bitzi states that she and Buster are going to watch It's a Wonderful Life. This is a famous Christmas film starring Jimmy Stewart, this being one of the few direct references on the series to a real-world film or television program.


  • During the scene where Mr. Ratburn eats one of Binky's brownies, we see in the background a brown rabbit on the other side of Mr. Ratburn in his normal wear, but seconds later we see him in a red vest talking to Brain, but when Mr. Ratburn asks him if he put sugar in the brownies, the rabbit is white and is wearing a green shirt.
  • When Francine groans, her mouth doesn't move.
  • In Arthur's fantasy when his mom opens the gift, she pulls the top off, but when Arthur opens the gift to see if it's okay, he pulls the ribbon off to open it.
  • When Arthur was imagining his family in the stable, Grandpa Dave offered his roasted camel to Arthur. Camel is not considered kosher in Judaism, so they wouldn't have eaten it (although Arthur probably doesn't know that).






  1. Perfect Christmas (by Arthur & his family)
  2. Boogie Woogie Christmas (Rock and roll song by The Squabs)
  3. What's the Use of Presents? (by Muffy, with Arthur on soundtrack version)
  4. Baxter Day (by Buster)
  5. Sankta Lucia (by George and the Lundgren family)
  6. Perfect Christmas [Reprise] (by Arthur)

In Other Languages

Language Name Meaning
Romanian Craciunul Perfect a lui Arthur Arthur's Perfect Christmas

Home Video release

Arthur's Perfect Christmas 2012 DVD

2012 DVD

Arthur's Perfect Christmas 2012 DVD Back

The back of the box - 2012 DVD

The special has been released on DVD and on VHS prior to the format's demise. VHS copies are no longer in production. The original DVD and VHS releases were made available on September 12, 2000. A DVD re-release carrying the PBSKids logo was released on October 9, 2012. This release includes printable coloring pages and activities on DVD-ROM, two "A Word from Marc Brown" segments, and the usual promos for PBSKids programming of this era. Closed-captioning and descriptive-video features are available on this release. The special may be viewed via the Amazon Video service and costs $1.99 to rent, $5.99 to purchase and was once available to be streamed freely at any time by subscribers to Amazon's Prime service. Currently, it may be streamed only by those subscribed on Amazon to an additional PBSKids subscription, though this is made available as a free trial for those who have never used it before.


  • Corporation For Public Broadcasting
  • LEGO
  • Libby's Juicy Juice
  • Public Television Viewers

See also


Main article: Arthur's Perfect Christmas/Gallery

External links