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Arthur Read

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Arthur Read
Arthur Read
Age 8[1]
Grade 3rd
Gender Male
Animal Aardvark
Birthday May 25[2]
Eye color Blue (books only)
Favorite color Yellow[3]
Residence Reads' House, Main St., Elwood City
Family Jane Read (mother)
David Read (father)
D.W. Read (sister)
Kate Read (sister)
Thora Read (paternal grandmother)
Dave (maternal grandfather)
Gustav (paternal great-grandfather)
Book debut Arthur's Nose
Cartoon debut "Arthur's Eyes"
Voiced by Michael Yarmush (s1s5)
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 - present)
Philip Penalosa (singing voice in ANF and APC)
Carr Thompson (AMP)
Ben Ellis (LB: ARR; ACA; AB; DTPE)
Duncan Wold (LB: ATT; AB)
image gallery

Arthur Timothy[4] Read is the son of David Read and Jane Read, and is the brother of D.W. and Kate. He is a 3rd grader in Mr. Ratburn's class at Lakewood Elementary School.

Physical appearance

Arthur is an aardvark, like the rest of his family. The shape and look of his head comes mostly from his father David. He wears round brown glasses, a yellow V-neck sweater, a white shirt underneath, plain jeans, a brown belt, a white undershirt, white briefs, 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 are 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.

His Bionic Bunny costume was first seen in "Water and the Brain" during a flashback, the hat and bunny ears were added in The Fright Stuff, and the costume was shown again in "Hic or Treat".

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.

Past life

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 fliming 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"[5].

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.

Future life

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.

Other Media

In the Living Books computer games that are based upon the books, Arthur had a light brown complexion in Arthur's Teacher Trouble and it was changed to pale in Arthur's Birthday.

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 card

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,[6] 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.

Although he is average to well in school most of the time, he occasionally receives help from the Brain.[citation needed]

Arthur enjoys reading - his best friends were shocked after he left a book on the ground in "Arthur Goes Crosswire." Also, he remembers reading many exciting books in "The Short, Quick Summer."

At times, he helps out Buster, who has a general dislike in homework, whom he feared was falling behind and could repeat the third grade[7].

He is occasionally referred to by his full name when he gets into trouble, although his middle name Timothy wasn't actually mentioned until "Arthur's Big Hit" from Season 4.

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.

However, despite being a generally nice character, he is seen to have a darker 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 dogs head onto Sue Ellen's body and emailing it to her.

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.



Arthur home 04 roll

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[8]; which embarrassed him, and made him believe she's a "show-off".

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 and Buster meet for the first time

Arthur and Buster meet for the first time

Arthur's 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 in Elwood City Arthur is her 4 houses down the block neighbor. He enjoyed her stories until she tells the fake story.When she asks him if he belives that the other storiesare true he just replied ''I don't know what to think".Then he triesto give her another chance and convices Buster,Francine,Muffy to give her another chance. Then Ladonna lost her hat by a raccoon they (except Arthur) don't believe her afte rshe told them what happened.After she fines the hat with Arthur then shows the gang and her and Arthur become friends.
  • Francine Frensky: She and Arthur are each other's second 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. 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 each other's third best friends. They both share the same birthday: May 25th, although they don't usually hang out with each other that often, but they are still best friends and good companions, and somewhat, third best friends. 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. Besides friendship, its possible that Arthur may have feelings for her. One 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 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.[9]
  • 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: Not much is known about their friendship, although they don't hang out very 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 "Sue Ellen's Lost Diary", he and many other friends were able to retrieve her diary she once lost in the Elwood City Public Library.
  • 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.

In "Team Trouble" he plays American football. He is forward and goalkeeper for the Lakewood Elementary Soccer Team.



Arthur's signature, along with Buster's, from the "Arthur's Guide to Children's Hospital Boston" website feature.


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.[10] He decided to round the character's face off in the second Arthur book, so as not to frighten children.[11] Brown describes the character as being an "Everykid who experiences all the milestones, those things that are so important in the lives of children."[12]

Voice Acting

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 re-dubbed Season 6 due to complaints from Carol Greenwald stating that Bradley's voice was too low and he lacked the vocal range of Yarmush.[citation needed] After Rendall left, Cameron Ansell took up the role for seasons nine, ten and eleven.

Starting with season twelve, he was voiced by Dallas Jokic. In the Living Books computer games: Arthur's Teacher Trouble and Arthur's Birthday, he was voiced by Duncan Wold and Ben Ellis.

During season 16 and 17, he was voiced by Drew Adkins.

He is currently voiced by William Healy starting with season 18.

In the Direct-to-DVD CGI film, Arthur's Missing Pal, he was voiced by Carr Thompson.[citation needed]


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.[13]

In 2002, TV Guide ranked Arthur No. 26 on its list of the "50 Greatest Cartoon Characters of All Time."[14]

Cultural Influence

Boston Childrens Museum

An inflatable image of Arthur Read, seated on the top of the Boston Children's Museum in order to advertise the "Arthur's World" exhibit inside

In May of 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.[15]




Season 1

Season 2

Season 3

Season 4

Season 5

Season 6

Season 7

Season 8

Season 9

Season 10

Season 11

Season 12

Season 13

Season 14

Season 15

Season 16

Season 17

Season 18

Season 19



  2. Arthur's Birthday (episode)
  4. "Arthur's Big Hit", "Tales of Grotesquely Grim Bunny"
  5. "Pet Projects"
  6. "Arthur vs. the Piano"
  7. "Buster Makes the Grade"
  8. "Cast Away"
  9. "The Perfect Brother"
  10. Arts in America; An Aardvark Gets to the Top (Literally) at a Museum. Sara Rimer, New York Times. August 4th, 1998. Retrieved on December 29th, 2008.
  11. KING 'ARTHUR' PBS' GENTLE AARDVARK RULES KIDS' TV; HIS SECOND SEASON BEGINS ON MONDAY. Paul Schultz, Daily News Entertainment. Tuesday, October 14, 1997. Retrieved on December 29th, 2008.
  12. Arthur the Aardvark accepts a Mission. Glenn Collins, New York Times. November 10th, 1996. Retrieved on December 29th, 2008.
  13. Young Artist Awards Ceremony of 1999, at the Internet Movie Database. Retrieved on December 29th, 2008.
  14. About the Program. PBS Retrieved on December 29th, 2008.
  15. Arts in America; An cat Gets to the Top (Literally) at a Museum. Sara Rimer, New York Times. August 4th, 1998. Retrieved on December 29
  16. "Arthur Changes Gears"

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