Maria in Castles in the Sky
|Hair color|| Moderate orange (season 9)|
Brilliant orange (season 19)
|Complexion|| Light amber (season 9)|
Pale, light grayish gold (season 19)
|Full name||Maria Pappas|
|Other names||Ms. Pappas|
|School||Lakewood Elementary School|
|Residence||Maria's house, Elwood City|
|Family||Mrs. Pappas (mother)|
|Behind the scenes information|
|Book debut||Arthur's Teacher Trouble|
|TV debut||"Arthur's Eyes"|
|Voiced by||Stacey DePass|
Maria was present at Lakewood Elementary in second grade, but was not in Mr. Marco's class. Sometime during this year, she walked into the girls' bathroom when Arthur had accidentally entered moments before.
When Principal Haney announced that Maria and her new classmates were going to be in Ratburn's class, she screamed with everyone else. However, she enjoyed Ratburn's puppet show of Jack and the Beanstalk. She did not qualify to participate in the Spellathon but she did watch from the audience. On a field trip to Rainbow Rock State Park, she did not find any fossils. When Arthur lost a library book, Binky investigated if she or others had stolen it. Before a big test, Buster bounced a crumbled piece of paper off her head, which annoyed her. Maria played the role of a reporter for the class play about Thomas Edison. In the winter, she went ice skating with John. After Prunella's half-birthday, Maria went to her to have her fortune told through the Cootie Catcher. She went on the class field trip to Crosswire Motors, the Ice Cream Shop, and the Elwood City Dump. When Mr. Ratburn lost his voice and his sister was substitute teacher, Maria found Ms. Ratburn's teaching style to be too easy. She was overjoyed when her regular teacher returned. Hoping to check out a copy of the new Scare-Your-Pants-Off Club book, she waited outside the library until it opened. Muffy rallied Maria and the rest of her class to take a stand against whoever stole Francine's bike, whom, at the time, they believed to be Binky.
Maria was present when Mister Rogers visited the school. On a trip to the Elwood City Art Museum, Maria partnered with Brian and Jenna to write a report on a work of art. She wore a green mask for their project. Maria signed up with everyone else (except Binky) for the TV-Free Week. She and Steve competed in the Brother-and-Sister race in the Annual Picnic.
Maria went scuba diving with Muffy in the Crosswire Mansion swimming pool when Arthur delivered news that Buster was coming home. When the Magic Toolbox team came to film an episode with her class, Maria had to say something about the Solar System. Maria bought a yellow/orange Woogle, but later abandoned it in favor of the new bottle cap trend. Over spring break, she took a camp at the community center. One class was a karate class hosted by Mr. Ratburn. She and her class competed at the Medieval Fair and she was in the Library Card song.
She read a book at the library. She went on the teacup ride with Steve at the amusement park. When Buster found out he had asthma, Maria went with her class inside Buster's lungs to see what asthma is. The tour may or may not have been a real experience. Prunella invited Maria to her birthday party, and she had a good time. She watched the school talent show. At Mill Creek Mall, she met with a boy in Mrs. Fink's class. She was reading a book at the library, but Francine mistook her for Arthur.
When the school population had a lice situation, she probably caught it from trying on Muffy's hat during the school assembly. She said something to Francine that upset her. She and Fern jumped rope in the park. Over winter break, she went shopping in the Mill Creek Mall and attended Muffy's Christmas party.
Maria helped raise money for the school band to purchase new uniforms and musical instruments. Playing with a doll, she was surprised when Hammer walked by her house. She attended the school's Athlete of the Year Award Ceremony.
Maria and her mother went to Crown City and bought pretzels from a shop in the Crown City Subway station. She had a role in the school's city centennial play, "Oh, Elwood!", as a present-day student. She went on a field trip to Lapp Farm in Amish Country and helped with the barn-raising. She tried the static electricity exhibit and went on the overnight field trip at the Science Museum. When there was a fire in the teachers' lounge, she evacuated the building with her class and made it to safety. For the next few weeks, her class would attend school at Mighty Mountain. She became a big fan of U Stink at the PTA rally, and was even more excited when U Stink played alongside the Backstreet Boys at a concert.
She partnered with a preschooler to do a cross-school team project. On a hot day, she, Muffy, and Fern had agreed to put a dust ruffle on the side of their desk group. After a long series of escalating tension, Maria joined in the classroom riot. When the principal told them to stop, she helped clean up the classroom before the teacher returned. She had ice cream at the Ice Cream Shop with her mother.
As part of the Lakewood Elementary Choir, she practiced the song "In the Good Old Summer Time" to perform in Crown City. After a closed road forced the bus to take a detour, she sang in a diner with her choir. She enrolled in the Elwood City Kids' Circus camp with her friends. On performance night, she juggled pins alongside Arthur and Buster. She watched a soccer game. and rallied for Arthur and Brain in the checkers championships. Maria and Fern got treats from the Ice Cream Shop. On a sunny day, she and Alex read together from a book.
After watching the classic horror film, The Squirrels, Maria was too frightened to go outside, but seeing a real squirrel in class changed her mind. As an end-of-the-year assignment, Mr. Ratburn challenged his class to choose one food that would sustain them if they were stranded on a desert island. Maria chose cheese as her food. She waited with the class for the school bus to arrive for a field trip to the zoo, but the request for the bus was never delivered, so they had an impromptu spelling bee instead.
When Buster discovered a list of numbers and names of students, Maria was number 23. However, it was later learned that this number had no significance. On Mr. Ratburn's Student of the Month chart, Maria had the fourth lowest score, slightly behind Fern. Maria was shocked to hear that Mrs. MacGrady had cancer. At the community center, she read a book. Maria attended a swim meet where she talked to a boy before the race began. Maria briefly became a member of the Lakewood Pride Committee and ran in the track meet against Mighty Mountain.
Maria watched the free throw contest between Brain (with Lydia) and Sam Scarborough and George's report on Buster. Muffy's new playground amusement park idea did not interest her. She was interested, though, to see George walk all the way to Elwood City from Crown City.
When George went on a radio show to win money for the school, Maria listened to the broadcast from the assembly in the school auditorium. In the same auditorium, she listened to Binky performing music for the clarinet. Maria and her mother went to David's Toys. She took the Stoddard Wilkins Elementary Aptitude Test, but did not take Mrs. MacGrady's relaxation lesson with the rest of her class.
Maria welcomed Ladonna to class when she moved to Elwood City. She participated in the first annual Lakewood Derby. When Lakewood started using the HUGO 3.0, Maria was interested at first, but she later cheered for Brain when he defeated the computer. She tried reading at the library, but the Shush Customers were too loud. After earning points in the IRP system, she looked at toy trucks among the prizes available.
Maria went with Steve to Wonder World when it opened a new roller coaster, The Buzzard. After waiting in line, they rode on it together. When Jenna had a birthday party, Maria went to her house to celebrate. Maria attended a pageant performed by the preschool class last fall, according to Arthur's memory of the event. After Hurricane Sadie, Maria attended Ladonna's surprise birthday party at the Tree House. Later, she and Jenna bought ice cream at the Ice Cream Shop's reopening.
Maria went to Muffy's dad's drive-in movie. She and her class played a game of baseball with Sue Ellen's pen pal Tenzin before he had to leave for home. She watched George's puppet show at the PTA variety show. On a rainy day, someone held an umbrella for Maria when she had to wait in a line. Mr. Ratburn appointed Maria as the lead reporter for the Lakewood Elementary News. Initially excited for the opportunity, she was overcome with nervousness due to her stutter and could not do the show. By practicing talking with her friends and a speech therapist, Maria was able to host the next show a few weeks later. When Buster and George tried to distract the Tough Customers with the sound of an ice cream truck, Maria also fell for the trick. While she did not enter the Little Miss Crocus pageant, Maria went with Beulah to get a paper about it. At the end of the school year, Maria and her whole class sang a song for Mr. Ratburn.
Maria is usually a bit shy. In spite of this, however, she does often participate in class lessons. She is also willing to have lines in a class play, so long as they aren't solo lines. This is because she has a stutter and did not want everyone to know about it. However, with practice her speaking has improved and her confidence with it.
She once said something that upset Francine.
Maria received a 'C' on one of Mr. Ratburn's quizzes. On an oral report for history, the grade she received was a 'B'. She is not the best speller in her class. On the 'Student of the Month' chart, Maria ranks low compared to most other students; she had the fourth lowest (or ninth highest) score, slightly behind Fern at eighth highest.
Maria plays hopscotch and jump rope. She rallied for Arthur and Brain in the checkers play-offs. She is also a fan of Bionic Bunny. The music by the Finnish band BINKY was a favorite of hers.
Maria's older brother Steve also goes to Lakewood. They often talk with each other between classes and at lunchtime. The two were confirmed to be related by their participation in the brother-and-sister race at the Annual Picnic. They also go on amusement park rides together, such as the spinning teacup ride and The Buzzard, a roller coaster.
They have been seen outside of school together, enjoying dessert snacks.
Despite being one school grade apart, Maria was invited to Prunella's birthday party.
- Main article: Maria Pappas/Gallery/Designs
Maria is an anthropomorphic rabbit with a cream complexion. She wears a sky blue skirt, a cyan-and-light pink striped shirt, white knee socks, and light brown shoes. She has light brown hair in the form of a bob cut.
Behind the scenes
This list contains 202 items (bold indicates a speaking role)
- Arthur: (188)
- 101a. "Arthur's Eyes"
- 102a. "Arthur and the Real Mr. Ratburn"
- 102b. "Arthur's Spelling Trubble"
- 103b. "Buster's Dino Dilemma"
- 104b. "Arthur's Lost Library Book"
- 107b. "Buster Makes the Grade"
- 110a. "Arthur's Birthday"
- 110b. "Francine Frensky, Superstar"
- 112a. "Arthur Writes a Story"
- 113b. "Buster's New Friend"
- 117b. "Arthur, World's Greatest Gleeper"
- 121a. "Sue Ellen Moves In"
- 122b. "Team Trouble"
- 123a. "Bully for Binky"
- 123b. "Misfortune Teller"
- 124a. "Arthur's Tooth"
- 126a. "My Dad, the Garbage Man"
- 127b. "Arthur's Substitute Teacher Trouble"
- 128a. "I'm a Poet"
- 128b. "The Scare-Your-Pants-Off Club"
- 129b. "Stolen Bike"
- 201a. "Arthur Meets Mister Rogers"
- 201b. "Draw!"
- 202a. "Binky Barnes, Art Expert"
- 205a. "Arthur's Underwear"
- 207a. "Arthur's TV-Free Week"
- 208a. "Arthur vs. the Piano"
- 208b. "The Big Blow-Up"
- 209a. "Lost!"
- 214a. "Sue Ellen's Lost Diary"
- 215a. "Grandma Thora Appreciation Day"
- 215b. "Fern's Slumber Party"
- 216a. "Love Notes for Muffy"
- 218a. "Arthur vs. the Very Mean Crossing Guard"
- 218b. "D.W.'s Very Bad Mood"
- 220b. "Sue Ellen's Little Sister"
- 301a. "Buster's Back"
- 303b. "Sue Ellen and the Brainasaurus"
- 304b. "And Now Let's Talk to Some Kids"
- 305b. "Revenge of the Chip"
- 306b. "Meet Binky"
- 307a. "Arthur Rides the Bandwagon"
- 307b. "Dad's Dessert Dilemma"
- 308a. "Popular Girls"
- 308b. "Buster's Growing Grudge"
- 309b. "The Return of the King"
- 311b. "Arthur's Almost Live Not Real Music Festival"
- 313a. "Arthur's Dummy Disaster"
- 315b. "The Long, Dull Winter"
- 401a. "D.W.'s Library Card"
- 401b. "Arthur's Big Hit"
- 402b. "Muffy's New Best Friend"
- 403a. "Buster's Breathless"
- 405b. "The Rat Who Came to Dinner"
- 406b. "Prunella Gets it Twice"
- 407b. "To Beat or Not to Beat"
- 408a. "1001 Dads"
- 408b. "Prunella's Prediction"
- 409b. "Buster's Best Behavior"
- 410b. "That's a Baby Show!"
- 501a. "Arthur and the Big Riddle"
- 501b. "Double Dare"
- 502a. "Kids are from Earth, Parents are from Pluto"
- 503a. "It's a No-Brainer"
- 505a. "The Lousy Week"
- 505b. "You Are Arthur"
- 506a. "The Election"
- 506b. "Francine Goes to War"
- 508b. "Bitzi's Beau"
- 510b. "Muffy Gets Mature"
- 602b. "Buster's Sweet Success"
- 603a. "Prunella's Special Edition"
- 604b. "Brother, Can You Spare a Clarinet?"
- 605a. "The Boy Who Cried Comet"
- 606a. "Citizen Frensky"
- 607a. "The Boy with His Head in the Clouds"
- 609a. "The Good Sport"
- 702a. "Francine's Split Decision"
- 702b. "Muffy Goes Metropolitan"
- 703a. "Ants in Arthur's Pants"
- 705. "Elwood City Turns 100!"
- 706b. "Jenna's Bedtime Blues"
- 707b. "Buster's Amish Mismatch"
- 708a. "The World of Tomorrow"
- 710. "April 9th"
- 801b. "Bitzi's Break-up"
- 803b. "Bugged"
- 804a. "Fernkenstein's Monster"
- 804b. "D.W., Dancing Queen"
- 805a. "Vomitrocious"
- 807a. "Desk Wars"
- 810a. "Big Horns George"
- 901a. "Castles in the Sky"
- 901b. "Tipping the Scales"
- 902a. "Francine's Big Top Trouble"
- 902b. "George Blows His Top"
- 903a. "Arthur Weighs In"
- 903b. "The Law of the Jungle Gym"
- 905b. "All Worked Up"
- 907b. "A is for Angry"
- 909b. "Buster the Myth Maker"
- 910a. "Binky Goes Nuts"
- 1001. "Happy Anniversary"
- 1002a. "The Squirrels"
- 1003a. "Desert Island Dish"
- 1008a. "Binky vs. Binky"
- 1009a. "Do You Speak George?"
- 1010a. "What's Cooking?"
- 1010b. "Buster's Special Delivery"
- 1101b. "Germophobia"
- 1104b. "Brain's Shocking Secret"
- 1106a. "The Making of Arthur"
- 1107b. "Mr. Alwaysright"
- 1108a. "Francine's Pilfered Paper"
- 1108b. "Buster Gets Real"
- 1203b. "Bats in the Belfry"
- 1205a. "The Chronicles of Buster"
- 1207b. "I Owe You One"
- 1209b. "Do You Believe in Magic?"
- 1210a. "The Perfect Game"
- 1301. "The Great MacGrady"
- 1302a. "The Silent Treatment"
- 1303a. "Arthur's Number Nightmare"
- 1303b. "Brain Gets Hooked"
- 1304a. "MacFrensky" (First identified as Maria)
- 1305b. "Prunella and the Disappointing Ending"
- 1306a. "When Carl Met George"
- 1306b. "D.W. Swims with the Fishes"
- 1308a. "Fernlets by Fern"
- 1308b. "Prunella and the Haunted Locker"
- 1309b. "The Pride of Lakewood"
- 1401a. "The Wheel Deal"
- 1401b. "The Buster Report"
- 1403b. "The Play's the Thing"
- 1407b. "Muffy and the Big Bad Blog"
- 1408a. "Arthur Unravels"
- 1408b. "All the Rage"
- 1410b. "The Long Road Home"
- 1501. "Fifteen"
- 1502a. "I Wanna Hold Your Hand"
- 1503a. "Buster's Secret Admirer"
- 1504a. "Cents-less"
- 1504b. "Buster the Lounge Lizard"
- 1505b. "S.W.E.A.T."
- 1507a. "Prunella the Packrat"
- 1507b. "What's in a Name?"
- 1509b. "The Trouble with Trophies"
- 1601. "Based on a True Story"
- 1602a. "Flippity Francine"
- 1602b. "Muffy Takes the Wheel"
- 1604a. "Get Smart"
- 1606a. "The Last Tough Customer"
- 1607b. "Brain's Biggest Blunder"
- 1608a. "Buster's Book Battle"
- 1610a. "So Funny I Forgot to Laugh"
- 1610b. "The Best Day Ever"
- 1703b. "Buster Bombs"
- 1704a. "Opposites Distract"
- 1705a. "All Thumbs"
- 1706a. "Speak Up, Francine"
- 1708b. "Crime and Consequences"
- 1709a. "Caught in the Crosswires"
- 1710b. "Brain Freeze"
- 1801b. "D.W. & Bud's Higher Purpose"
- 1802b. "Surprise!"
- 1803a. "The Case of the Girl with the Long Face"
- 1803b. "The Substitute Arthur"
- 1804a. "Best Wishes"
- 1804b. "The Tardy Tumbler"
- 1805a. "Fountain Abbey"
- 1805b. "Arthur Calls It"
- 1808a. "Arthur Read: Super Saver"
- 1809a. "The Pageant Pickle"
- 1810. "Shelter from the Storm"
- 1901b. "Brain Sees Stars"
- 1902a. "Sue Ellen Adds It Up"
- 1902b. "Wish You Were Here"
- 1904b. "Dueling Detectives!"
- 1905a. "Buster Isn't Buying It"
- 1906a. "Maria Speaks"
- 1907b. "Too Much of a Good Thing"
- 1908b. "Little Miss Meanie"
- 1909a. "Mr. Ratburn's Secret Identity"
- 1909b. "Besties"
- 1910. "The Last Day" (First identified as Pappas)
- 2001a. "Buster's Second Chance"
- 2001b. "Arthur and the Whole Truth"
- 2002a. "Fern's Flights of Fancy"
- Specials: (4)
- Games: (1)
- Online: (4)
Development and design
Maria first appeared in Marc Brown's 1986 book Arthur's Teacher Trouble. Although a similar rabbit girl had been appearing as early as Arthur's Eyes (1979), Maria's design for the TV series was based on an unnamed background character in Arthur's Teacher Trouble.
According to Peter K. Hirsch, Maria (and Alex) were created to keep the classroom from looking too empty. Like many other recurring extras, Maria was given a name for the storyboard artists' convenience. On one reference sheet from 1996, she is labelled "#2 Maria". Maria is likely named after someone who worked at Cinar at the time.
Maria's given name appeared in written form in "Arthur's Number Nightmare" (2009). However, the context of this episode could not narrow down the name to this character. "MacFrensky", which aired the next day in the U.S., proved that the last unnamed girl in Mr. Ratburn's class was Maria. The Arthur crew has since confirmed this on social media and at live appearances.
At New York Comic Con in October 2013, Peter K. Hirsch mentioned Alex and Maria by name. The ARTHUR Facebook page added, "[...] we may hear from them in the future". An episode featuring Maria was announced May 9, 2014. Its title, "Maria Speaks", was revealed May 2015. The episode aired May 24, 2016 on PBS Kids.
Depiction in other media
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In the Living Books computer games that are based on the books, Maria had a light yellow complexion and brown hair in Arthur's Teacher Trouble. When the player clicks on the poster behind her, the drawing comes to life and looks between Maria's ears. Clicking on Maria herself makes her say, "I thought I'd win," which was her first distinct speaking line ever. It is unknown exactly who voiced her, since the voice actors for minor characters were listed together with no distinction.
- See also: Maria Pappas § Minor speaking roles
Note: These do not include quotes from "Maria Speaks".
Quotes by Maria
I thought I'd win.
|—Maria, Arthur's Teacher Trouble|
We don't believe it!
|—Alex, Fern, and Maria, "Francine Frensky, Superstar"|
Quotes about Maria
If you say that again you're going to get it!
|—Francine to Maria, "Francine Goes to War"|
- Main article: Maria Pappas/Gallery
Notes and references