|This article is about the character. You may be looking for Arthur, the TV show.|
|Eye color||Blue (books only)|
|Family||Jane Read (mother)|
David Read (father)
D.W. Read (sister)
Kate Read (sister)
Thora Read (paternal grandmother)
Dave (maternal grandfather)
Gustav (maternal great-great-grandfather)
|Book debut||Arthur's Nose|
|Cartoon debut||"Arthur's Eyes"|
|Voiced by||Michael Yarmush (s1 – s5)|
Justin Bradley (s6)
Mark Rendall (s6 re-dub; s7 - s8)
Cameron Ansell (s9 - s11)
Dallas Jokic (s12 - s15)
Drew Adkins (s16 - s17)
William Healy (s18 - s19)
Jacob Ursomarzo (s20 - present)
Philip Penalosa (singing voice in ANF and APC)
Carr Thompson (AMP)
Ben Ellis (LB: ARR; ACA; AB; DTPE)
Duncan Wold (LB: ATT; AB)
Arthur is an aardvark, like the rest of his family. The shape and look of his head came mostly from his father David. He wears round brown glasses, a yellow sweater, a white shirt underneath, blue jeans, a brown belt, a white undershirt, white boxer shorts with blue polka-dots, blue bionic bunny boxer shorts, white socks, and red-and-white shoes.
His shirts worn underneath his sweater are tucked into his pants. His most notable trademark is his pair of round glasses. However, it is unclear how the glasses stay on the side of his head due to his ears' being located on top of his head. In the early books, he typically wore brown shoes but has since switched to the red and white shoes, like his friends Buster and Francine wear.
Arthur's shoes have white laces in the cartoon, but with red Velcro straps in the books. In the first season, Arthur's eyes, when seen without his glasses, were drawn with white sclerae and black pupils, but later on they were redrawn completely black like Prunella's; although his appearance with sclerae is shown again during flashbacks before getting glasses and as an elderly man in the future wearing half-glasses, and he still has the sclerae for eyes in the later books.
In "Arthur Goes to Camp," he had a pair of red Bionic Bunny underwear among his clothes. His sleepwear includes blue pajamas that have a long-sleeved button-up top, pajama pants, and a pair of white bunny slippers (in the books, his pajamas often had a striped pattern, though the animated series often restricts the details of certain clothing in order to simplify the animation process). When the weather is hot, Arthur wears a purple short-sleeved pajama top and pajama shorts.
Arthur's swimming gear is a pair of yellow swimming trunks. In the summertime, he wears a blue short-sleeved T-shirt with white accents and dark blue shorts. Arthur's basketball uniform consists of a yellow T-shirt and white shorts, which both have blue accents.
His baseball uniform consists of a yellow baseball cap, a yellow T-shirt with an orange #7 on the rear, and the "LW" logo for his school is sometimes seen on the front (although the front is sometimes blank). His ears originally would stick out from the caps he wears, but in later seasons his ears are always inside.
His football uniform consists of a light green oversized shirt with a green #1 on the front and a green football helmet with a purple stripe and purple face mask. During cool weather outside of winter, he wears two zip-up jackets: One is green with yellow pockets and another is black.
During wintertime, Arthur wears a red hat, brown winter coat, red mittens, and brown boots. In "Arthur Cleans Up," he wore a green Clean-up Brigade uniform while cleaning up the littered park where he and his friends like to play frisbee.
For formal occasions, Arthur wears either a white suit or a tuxedo. He has two stained tuxedos and a suit. One of his stained tuxedos is light blue and has two buttons on the right side of the jacket and two pockets, one on each side, with the stain near the left breast pocket.
He also wears his usual yellow sweater and white shirt underneath and a dark purple bow tie. As well, he wears dark blue trousers and brown shoes. Arthur's other tuxedo is either black or charcoal with a tuxedo jacket, white tuxedo shirt, black bow tie, matching tuxedo trousers, and black dress shoes.
Arthur's suit is made up of the same jacket that he wears when he wears his blue tuxedo. However, he wears a white shirt with no jumper like he does with the tuxedo and wears either a purple bow-tie or a purple four-in-hands tie. The trousers are the same as his blue tuxedo, and the shoes are brown.
On Halloween, he likes to wear his Bionic Bunny costume that is complete with a Bionic Bunny suit and cape, a red hat with an antenna, and bunny ears that can be worn on his aardvark ears.
On the front cover of Arthur's Scary Stories on VHS and DVD, his Bionic Bunny costume lacked the bunny ears and he wore gloves instead of having bare hands.
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 more human features. He and many other characters also originally had a tail and were sometimes pants-less, but Arthur's Eyes and all later books removed the tails and made them more humanoid and dressy. In Arthur's Valentine, his ears raised up. In Arthur's April Fool he became more humanoid.
When Arthur was a baby, he wore a yellow T-shirt that had blue cuffs like his basketball uniform, white disposable diapers, and periwinkle sneakers.
One day, while his father was filming him with a video camera, Arthur somehow was able to grab the camera from his dad's hands and walked off with it for a few seconds, thus making his first "movie".
From pre-school until the time between his first and second-grade years, Arthur wore long-sleeved shirts, shorts, different-colored sneakers, and (sometimes) overalls; and he wore different-colored pajamas.
He started wearing his usual yellow sweater, blue jeans, and red and white sneakers after turning seven, and started getting glasses during the first semester of second grade when his vision became poor.
Arthur's future life has been shown in a few shorts, such as "Buster's Growing Grudge," "The Contest," and "And Now Let's Talk to Some Kids." Unlike his early to present childhood, he seems to have clumps of hair like his father.
While as a teenager and young adult, he was wearing a shirt with red and blue stripes (he also wore that shirt in the book Arthur's Lost Puppy), gray jeans, and brown loafers; and still wore the same glasses like his childhood.
As an elderly man, he wore typical old-person half-glasses, a teal sweater with a white shirt underneath, gray pants, and gray shoes.
On many futuristic occasions, Arthur appears to be married to Francine. If the intro to the episode "The Election" happens, he will go to future President Muffy's inauguration and be arrested by future Binky.
It was likely due to color and tone restrictions during the 16-bit era of computers and software. He was voiced by Duncan Wold and Ben Ellis before the cartoon series replaced them with Michael Yarmush.
In the later games during the 32-bit era of computers and software (such as Arthur's Thinking Games), Arthur's appearance was the same as he looks in the cartoon series.
Personality and skills
Arthur is a mediocre pianist, though he has shown that he can truly play when he is motivated. However, he can forget to practice the piano at times, where he might not play the right note at a recital. He was originally taught by Mrs. Cardigan, who retired in "Arthur Plays the Blues" and was transferred over to Dr. Fugue's, but was once temporarily expelled for not practicing enough.
Arthur is generally polite and friendly with everyone. Despite his politeness, Arthur sometimes has a tendency to break promises his parents have given him, such as to not touch the computer during his mother's tax season, to clean up his room like being told, and to practice the piano - which he does other things instead. He is also known to "play with his glasses" whenever he lies, which D.W has caught him doing before.
Despite being a generally nice character, he is shown to have a meaner side in the episode "So Funny I Forgot to Laugh", where in which he teased Sue Ellen about a coat she had got as a present, and the teasing turned into harassment, going as far as Arthur Photo-Shopping a dog's head onto Sue Ellen's body and emailing it to her. While Arthur only thought Sue Ellen was overreacting thinking it was all in good fun he immediately apologized as soon as he realized he hurt her feelings showing that as soon as he realizes he's doing something wrong he'll do anything to make it right again.
Arthur is also not one to get angry so easily but when he snaps, the other kids are quite frightened by it. In "Arthur Cleans Up" while cleaning up the park with Pal for company he passes by the tough customers who start littering right in front of him and tease him about it but after Pal starts choking on their garbage and almost suffers Arthur angrily stops the tough customers from leaving and scolds them to help him clean up. In "Arthur's Big Hit" D.W. tries to make Arthur's model plane fly and throws it out the window only for it to break apart, having told D.W. countless times that model planes are not for flying and she is not to touch it Arthur's anger gets the better of him and he punches D.W.'s shoulder. In "A is for Angry" Arthur and the Brain play a best of 3 checkers match to see who will represent their school in a competition, at the start Arthur excited while the Brain is bored resulting in Francine and Muffy to start pep rallies to support Arthur and shun the Brain. Arthur gets annoyed by this, tells them to give it a rest only for Francine and Muffy to start pep rallies to support the Brain and shun Arthur. When Arthur learns of this, he snaps which scares off his friends and announces that he's quitting the competition and storms off home.
Arthur has the potential to be an intelligent person but tends to be one who doesn't use common sense, much to the annoyance of his parents (especially his father). An example of this was in "Arthur's Knee," when he told D.W. to not tell Jane and David that he cut his knee from a lima bean can (D.W. wanted to explain to David why lima beans are "bad" for you).
Arthur competes on Lakewood's soccer,track, and baseball teams, as well as on a bowling team against Mighty Mountain. He won the school Spell-a-thon, plays piano in the band, and was one of the founding members of the Lakewood Pride Committee.
A recurring theme in the Arthur series are the tensions between Arthur and his younger sister. Arthur is constantly pestered and ridiculed by his four-year-old sister D.W. Read, 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. vehemently tries to get Arthur into trouble, although there are times when Arthur has retaliated by reciprocating the act of getting D.W. herself in trouble, even as far as hitting her once. Despite that, Arthur tries his best to ignore D.W.'s annoying antics most of the time, though very difficult, and often does her favors - sometimes on his parents' behest - against his will. Despite all of the shenanigans between the two, they are still a great brother and sister team, and they somewhat care for each other if the circumstance permits. D.W. often hugs Arthur most of the time when either Arthur or she does something that's a big deal, like in the episode, "D.W.'s Perfect Wish" from Season 3, Arthur talks about all the great stuff that D.W. did, and when he finished the story, D.W. hugs him because Arthur told her all the great stuff she did when she was 4, another episode was "Operation D.W." from Season 10, D.W. hugs Arthur probably because she's brave and for all that nice stuff Arthur did for her before the Operation.
He is also jealous of her for being a better songwriter, storyteller, and fly fisher; which embarrassed him, and made him believe she's a "show-off".
Unlike D.W. Arthur is shown to get along really well with his baby sister Kate Read, in Arthur's Baby he was shown to be nervous to how his new baby sister would act towards until he burped her to stop her from crying to which she is then seen snuggling into him and kissing his check. This is carried on in the episode D.W.'s Baby where he's feeding her milk bottle to her with no problem. Arthur has also been seen to make her laugh starting with the episode Arthur the Unfunny where he was purposely making mistakes on the piano while making funny faces. In Binky Barnes, Wingman Arthur dressed as a spider brings Kate to school dressed as a fly to help with his report on spiders.
Arthur's parents include his mother Jane, who is a work-at-home accountant and his father David Read, who runs a catering business. She often disregards D.W.'s constant pestering of Arthur and gives in to her childish fits.
Arthur's very best friend is Buster Baxter, a jolly but naive rabbit who enjoys works of science fiction (aliens especially) and eating, and has a knack for telling jokes. He lives with his single mother (Bitzi Baxter) who is divorced from his father, an airplane pilot. Arthur wearing bunny slippers and his friend Buster wearing aardvark slippers may represent the fact that they are best friends.
Arthur's other good friends include:
- Ladonna Compson: In the season 16 opening episode Based on a True Story.It shows that Compons' just moved toElwood City and Arthur is her neighbor four blocks down. He enjoyed her stories until she tells the fake story.When she asks him if he belives that the other stories are true he just replied ''I don't know what to think".Then he tries to give her another chance and convinces Buster, Francine and Muffy to give her another chance. Then Ladonna lost her hat by a raccoon they (except Arthur) don't believe her after she told them what happened. After she finds the hat with Arthur then shows the gang and her and Arthur become friends.
- Francine Frensky: She is one of Arthur's best friends. According to "Locked in the Library!", they first met in pre-school; but in "Desperately Seeking Stanley" from Season 8 that aired seven years later, she went to his third birthday party. She often had the habit of teasing him. She called him a "four-eyes" when he started getting glasses and called him a "baby" when he hadn't lost any baby teeth. She also once accused him for calling her a "marshmallow" when she once wore a white sweater, yet they renewed their friendship. She also gave him Spin-the-Bottle for his eighth birthday, and other than that, there were many rumors where they would have a crush on each other; this is evidenced heavily in the book Arthur's Valentine, when she appears angered that Arthur has given a "mushy" (in her words) valentine to Sue Ellen Armstrong. Another example is in Arthur and the Square Dance where Muffy (upset that she has to dance with a clumsy Binky) spreads a rumor (with Binky's help) that Arthur and Francine are boyfriend and girlfriend and in love. This later scares the two of them and they admit that there are no romantic feelings between the two, or it just could mean that they weren't ready to admit their feelings, or they did not want to do so in front of anyone yet. She also appears to hang out with him and the other boys sometimes, besides her best friend Muffy. At the end of "And Now Let's Talk to Some Kids", they were shown as an elderly couple in the future watching The Magic Toolbox on VHS that turns out to be more than fifty years ago. In the books, they usually wear the same colored shirts (Arthur wears yellow and Francine wears red) and blue jeans unlike most other characters who wear different colored ones in different books and elements of each book, (Except Buster maybe).
- Muffy Crosswire: She and Arthur are good friends. They both share the same birthday: May 25, although they don't usually hang out with each other that often, but they are still good companions. Their own parents are close friends with each other: Arthur's mother Jane works as a tax accountant for Muffy's father Ed who runs Crosswire Motors, and Ed is often the customer for desserts that Arthur's father David bakes and delivers to people. While Arthur tends to be quite annoyed by Muffy antics like when she talks about shopping, gloats about her wealth or talks about how she's better than anyone else he'll still lend her a helping hand should she need. An example is in "You Are Arthur" when Arthur notices Muffy about to bump into the railing. He asks her if she is alright, and helps her up.
- Alan Powers: Another one of Arthur's best friends whom he and others nickname as "the Brain". The Brain usually gets an A+ and occasionally helps out Arthur with his homework. He also stayed at Arthur's for the weekend while his parents were out to the Ice Creamer's Convention, and was staying neat as a guest; but when he went back to his own house, Arthur found out that the Brain wasn't as neat as expected.
- Binky Barnes: There are times where Binky hangs out with Arthur and his other friends, although Binky often hangs out with a group of bullies known as the "Tough Customers", whom Arthur occasionally gets along with.
- Sue Ellen Armstrong: She is said to be one of Arthur's best friends, although they don't hang out alone that much. In the book, Arthur's Valentine, he expected her to be his secret admirer after she transferred to his school, but ultimately ended up with Francine instead. In "Arthur's Faraway Friend" she gave him the advice he needed to spend time with Buster before his long trip with his dad. In "Sue Ellen's Lost Diary", he and three of their friends were able to retrieve her diary she once lost in the Elwood City Public Library. In "The Secret Guardians" she invites him to sail her model ship with her near the tree house. In "The Best Day Ever", when she, Arthur and some of their friends were talking about their best day ever, Sue Ellen tells the group that Arthur returning her diary to her was her best day.
- George Lundgren: Even though they might not hang out very often, they're together enough times to know they care about each other and have some sort of friendship. In "Arthur's Dummy Disaster", when George's dummy Wally fell apart when he was suppose to give a speech, Arthur talked to George and helped him overcome his shyness, while helping him realize he can have courage to speak without the use of Wally.
It is hinted in a few episodes, that Arthur wants to be a lot bigger in size, for unknown reasons. In "D.W.'s Snow Mystery", he views himself as someone 1.5 times his normal size.
In "The World Record," he fantasizes as being the tallest person in the world. In the opening of Buster's Best Behavior, he views himself as being able to make himself much taller. These moments are unexplained.
Arthur is seen playing many sports throughout the show. He usually just plays baseball and soccer with his friends, but in the episode, "D.W. Goes to Washington" he has a daydream about him playing golf with the President.
Marc Brown first imagined the character of Arthur Read in 1976, when his son, Tolon Brown, asked him to tell him a bedtime story featuring a "weird animal." Brown then came up with an aardvark named Arthur, who worried that his nose was too long. He decided to round the character's face off in the second Arthur book, so as not to frighten children. Brown describes the character as being an "Everykid who experiences all the milestones, those things that are so important in the lives of children."
For the first five seasons of the television series, Arthur was voiced by Michael Yarmush. For season six, Yarmush was replaced by Justin Bradley, and for seasons seven and eight, the character's voice was provided by Mark Rendall.
Rendall also redubbed Season 6 due to complaints from Carol Greenwald stating that Bradley's voice was too low and he lacked the vocal range of Yarmush. After Rendall left, Cameron Ansell took up the role for seasons nine, ten and eleven.
Arthur's first voice actor Michael Yarmush got a Young Artist Award nomination for Best Performance in a Voice Over in a Feature or TV - Best Young Actor, for voicing Arthur; but unfortunately, his nomination lost to Courtland Mead's role as Gus in Recess.
In 2002, TV Guide ranked Arthur No. 26 on its list of the "50 Greatest Cartoon Characters of All Time."
In May 1998, the Children's Museum in Boston opened an exhibit titled "Arthur's World", featuring the character and his haunts in the fictional Elwood City. The museum's president Lou Casagrande commented that as the motive for the museum is to get behind well-known children's icons in media and culture, it was natural to have an Arthur-related exhibit. Marc Brown, creator of the Arthur books and television series, said that he felt overwhelmed seeing the twenty-two foot tall inflatable statue of Arthur at the top of the museum; meant to advertise the exhibit within. "Arthur's World" drew in a large amount of visitors; which increased by 40 percent over the summer of the year it opened.
- Arthur's bedtime is 9:00 pm.
- There are episodes that he hasn't appeared in. They are "Prunella Sees the Light", "Fernfern and the Secret of Moose Mountain", "Thanks a Lot, Binky", "Big Horns George", "My Fair Tommy", "Mind Your Manners", "Prunella Packs It In", "Strangers on a Train", "When Carl Met George", "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Tibble", "Prunella and the Haunted Locker", and "World Girls".
- His middle name is only heard three times in the entire series. The first time in "Arthur's Big Hit", the second time in "Arthur Changes Gears", and the third time in "Tales of Grotesquely Grim Bunny".
- He started on the show when he was eight years old, three months, and 22 days.
- It was seen in some episodes, in the future, Arthur and Francine will be married.
- Sue Ellen hints she has a crush on Arthur at the end of "Sue Ellen's Lost Diary" resulting in him blushing.
- The brown shoes that he wears in episodes where there are special occasions resemble the shoes The Brain wears.
- "Arthur's Eyes" 101a
- "Francine's Bad Hair Day" 101b
- "Arthur and the Real Mr. Ratburn" 102a
- "Arthur's Spelling Trubble" 102b
- "D.W. All Wet" 103a
- "Buster's Dino Dilemma" 103b
- "D.W.'s Imaginary Friend" 104a
- "Arthur's Lost Library Book" 104b
- "Arthur's Pet Business" 105a
- "D.W. the Copycat" 105b
- "Locked in the Library!" 106a
- "Arthur Accused!" 106b
- "Arthur Goes to Camp" 107a
- "Buster Makes the Grade" 107b
- "Arthur's New Puppy" 108a
- "Arthur Bounces Back" 108b
- "Arthur Babysit" 109a
- "Arthur's Cousin Catastrophe" 109b
- "So Long, Spanky" 113a (mentioned)
- "Buster's New Friend" 113b
- "Arthur the Wrecker" 114a
- "Arthur and the True Francine" 114b
- "Arthur's Family Vacation" 115a
- "Arthur and the Crunch Cereal Contest" 116a
- "Meek for a Week" 117a
- "Arthur, World's Greatest Gleeper" 117b
- "Arthur's Chicken Pox" 118a
- "Sick as a Dog" 118b
- "D.W. Rides Again" 119a
- "Arthur Makes the Team" 119b
- "Arthur's Almost Boring Day" 120a
- "The Half-Baked Sale" 120b
- "Sue Ellen Moves In" 121a
- "The Perfect Brother" 121b
- "D.W.'s Snow Mystery" 122a
- "Team Trouble" 122b
- "Bully for Binky" 123a
- "Misfortune Teller" 123b
- "Arthur's Tooth" 124a
- "Arthur Cleans Up" 125b
- "My Dad, the Garbage Man" 126a
- "D.W.'s Blankie" 127a
- "Arthur's Substitute Teacher Trouble" 127b
- "I'm a Poet" 128a
- "The Scare-Your-Pants-Off Club" 128b
- "Arthur Meets Mister Rogers"
- "Arthur's Lucky Pencil"
- "Arthur's Underwear (episode)"
- "Arthur vs. the Piano"
- "Arthur vs. the Very Mean Crossing Guard"
- "D.W.'s Very Bad Mood"
- "Buster's Back"
- "The Ballad of Buster Baxter"
- "Arthur Goes Crosswire"
- "And Now Let's Talk to Some Kids"
- "Meet Binky"
- "Arthur's Almost Live Not Real Music Festival"
- "Arthur Plays the Blues (episode)"
- "Arthur and Los Vecinos"
- "Arthur Loses His Marbles (episode)"
- "Cast Away"
- "Ants in Arthur's Pants"
- "Elwood City Turns 100!"
- "Pick a Car, Any Car"
- "Is There a Doctor in the House?"
- "Return of the Snowball"
- "April 9th"
- "Dear Adil"
- "Arthur's Snow Biz"
- "Postcards from Buster (episode)"
- "Desk Wars"
- "Desperately Seeking Stanley"
- "Castles in the Sky"
- "Arthur Weighs In"
- "Lights, Camera... Opera!" 905a
- "All Worked Up"
- "Arthur Makes Waves"
- "Three's a Crowd" 907a
- "A is for Angry" 907b
- "Happy Anniversary" 1001
- "The Squirrels"
- "Fern and Persimmony Glitchet" 1002b
- "Desert Island Dish" 1003a
- "Feeling Flush" 1004a
- "Family Fortune" 1004b
- "D.W. Aims High" 1005a
- "Flaw and Order" 1005b
- "The Curse of the Grebes" 1006a
- "Arthur Changes Gears" 1006b
- "Unfinished" 1007a
- "D.W., Bossy Boots" 1007b
- "Binky vs. Binky" 1008a
- "Do You Speak George?" 1009a
- "What's Cooking?" 1010a
- "Buster's Special Delivery" 1010b
- "Swept Away" 1101a
- "Germophobia" 1101b
- "Arthur Sells Out" 1102a
- "Buenas Noches, Vicita" 1103a
- "Brain's Shocking Secret" 1104b
- "The Making of Arthur" 1106a
- "Dancing Fools" 1106b
- "Hic or Treat" 1107a
- "Mr. Alwaysright" 1107b
- "Francine's Pilfered Paper" 1108a
- "Buster Gets Real" 1108b
- "Spoiled Rotten!" 1109b
- "Big Brother Binky" 1110
- "Is That Kosher?" 1201a
- "Never, Never, Never" 1201b
- "Bats in the Belfry"
- "On This Spot"
- "The Blackout" 120801
- "Home Sweet Home" 120901
- "Do You Believe in Magic?"
- "D.W. Swims with the Fishes"
- "The Secret Guardians"
- "The Pride of Lakewood"
- "The Secret Origin of Supernova"
- "Nicked by a Name"
- "Tales of Grotesquely Grim Bunny"
- "Buster Baxter & the Letter from the Sea"
- "Arthur Unravels"
- "Buster Spaces Out"
- "The Long Road Home"
- "Prunella the Packrat"
- "Muffy's Classy Classics Club"
- "Through the Looking Glasses"
- "Grandpa Dave's Memory Album"
- "Buster's Carpool Catastrophe"
- "Based on a True Story"
- "Flippity Francine"
- "Get Smart"
- "Baby Steps"
- "Read and Flumberghast"
- "Baseball Blues"
- "So Funny I Forgot to Laugh"
- "The Best Day Ever"
- "Show Off"
- "Dog's Best Friend"
- "Molina's Mulligan"
- "Buster Bombs"
- "Opposites Distract"
- "Just the Ticket"
- "All Thumbs"
- "Waiting for Snow"
- "The Director's Cut"
- "The Substitute Arthur"
- "Fountain Abbey"
- "Arthur Calls It"
- "Super Saver"
- "The Pageant Pickle"
- "Shelter from the Storm"
- "Dueling Detectives!
- "Carried Away"
- "One Ornery Critter"
- "Buster Isn't Buying It"
- "Arthur's Toy Trouble"
- "Too Much of a Good Thing"
- "Mr. Ratburn's Secret Identity"
- "The Last Day"
- Arthur Read at Internet Movie Database
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