|This article is about the series. You may be looking for the character.|
Arthur is an Canadian-American animated educational children's television program. It is based on a book series of the same name, created by Marc Brown in 1976 and Brown himself, as well as some of his family, have been heavily involved in the show's production. The book series was later adapted into the TV series in 1996 on PBS. It is the longest running animated children's television series and the 2nd longest running animated show behind The Simpsons. It has also won numerous awards, including the New York Times Bestseller list, several Emmys and The George Foster Peabody Award for Excellence in Broadcasting.
Arthur is an animated series that airs daily on PBS Kids. Aimed at viewers between the ages of four and eight, Arthur's goal is to help foster an interest in reading and writing and to encourage positive social skills. Based on the children's books by Marc Brown, Arthur premiered in 1996 as one of the first ongoing animated programs based on a book series. The show chronicles the adventures of Arthur Read (an eight-year-old aardvark) through engaging, emotional stories that explore issues faced by children such as cancer, bedwetting, etc. It is a comedy that tells these stories from a child's point of view without moralizing or talking down. Situations on Arthur develop in realistic ways, and don't always turn out as people or Arthur and his friends might think.
As of the sixteenth season, PBS Kids airings are broadcasted in widescreen high-definition where available, though this option had been available in some non-U.S. markets for at least a couple of previous seasons. Originally produced by Cinar (later Cookie Jar Entertainment), production of the series later shifted to 9 Story Media Group and later Oasis Animation. It is also a co-production of WGBH.
In Context to the Storyworld Itself
The characters in Arthur are self-aware that they are on television. For example, in many opening scenes Arthur narrates to the audience.
Likewise, music from the series is known by the characters. In "Breezy Listening Blues", Arthur hears a slowed down version of "Believe in Yourself" and says, "I've heard this somewhere." In "D.W., Dancing Queen", Binky quotes lines from the same song. When D.W. asks if he made it up, Binky replies, "No, I heard it somewhere. But I can't remember where." As well as this, D.W. hums a few bars from the song in "Mom and Dad Have a Great Big Fight".
At the end of "The Making of Arthur", the episode goes so far as to suggest that Matt Damon and Arthur began making the series after Matt saw Arthur's one minute video. This creates a paradox in which the creator's work is creating itself.