Category Archives: Arthur

DTV Wonders: Stitch the Movie

  This cover made me overestimate 625’s role.

 

Oddly after I pan The Lion King II the next film ahs a trailer for the DVD release of the first one.  This trailer made my brother want to play the safari game so much we bought it.  We also lost it in the last few months.  I always liked the Bionicle: Mask of Light commercial, but I never felt a need to see it.  It makes me wonder what film has a commercial for its sequel.  The commercial for the series has many spoilers for the film, which I somehow missed the first time I watched this around twelve years ago.  The main menu has a part with Stitch swinging from a rope, which made me assume he would do that in the climax.

T8              Gantu is back to be one of the main villains.  He still comes off as intimidating.  I know several fans think he got way weaker after the original, but considering he is now much stronger than Jumba (Jumba fought Stitch far better than Gantu in the original) I have doubts about that.  He is now working for Hamsterviel.  Despite Gantu still being rather intimidating the overly small stuff and Hamsterviel’s voice keep this part surprisingly funny.  The plan is for Gantu to go Earth (which the aliens no longer call Yars) and retrieve the other 625 evil experiments.

T9.png

The new animation did make the characters look uglier, but I only thought that for two minutes.  The main plot line is Lilo and Stitch want more people outside of their family to like Stitch.  This leads to the main problem, there is very little story.  In fact the run time is less than an hour, but there are still plenty of scenes that could have been cut easily.  This easily could have been reduced to a 2 part episode.  As expected it does not go well with Stitch scaring a few people away and that results in a little fire (Lilo was very happy to help put it out).  Stitch goes to Jumba (his creator) to ask about family.  Jumba says they both have no family.

After a few jokes such as Pleakly cooking dog food, which is actually more nutritious than most human food and David getting his small role to keep his fans happy Gantu breaks in.  This film has received a few idiot plot accusations.  I disagree with most, but I always found it odd that Gantu beats Stitch early and does not use the opportunity to finish him off.  It would have saved him a horde of misery the next three years, and it is later revealed that Hamsterveil would have plenty of use for him.  Also Jumba just then tries to actually hide his other 625 monstrosities he thinks should not be activated instead of burying them a while back.  Also Gantu decides to just kidnap Jumba instead of looking harder.  He des also find experiment pod 625, with its ominous music.  When I was younger I only noticed the first one, and I thought it was very bad for the main heroes that Jumba is aliennapped.

Stitch then hotwires Jumba’s ship, and they chase him into space.  Stitch apparently has really good aim and manages to shoot the engines without actually hurting Jumba, but they run out of power.  Presumably they have some emergency power that Stitch uses to make sure they fall at home and not in Antarctic or Venus.  Wow, I am already throught one quarter of he film.  I have criticized David’s role as being filler but most of his lines are funny such as him watching an alien invasion movie oblivious to Gantu having just assaulted his want to be girlfriend’s house.  This leads to Nani calling Cobra for help.  Lilo realizes that one of the experiments could repower the ship letting them chase after Gantu.  Pleakly has the more long term plan of calling every phone in the galaxy.

Lilo and Stitch release 221, but he wrecks the house’s power and leaves.  They should have used insulators.  They go looking for him, but it goes nowhere except some fun ideas for the characters like seeing Stitch’s night vision in action.  It was not important, but the scene is fun to watch.

In the meantime Jumba is set up to be tortured by Hamsterveil but nothing worries him especially Hamsterveil threatening his family.  “Ha, I have no family.”  I like how happy he is to say that.  Hamsterveil is really hard to understand, but I still enjoy his blunt rudeness, Jumba’s uncaring attitude, and Gantu being overly polite.  These three are really funny.  They then decide to release 625 on him.  The music indicate that is very bad.  All three are scared of him, until it turns out he is very lazy an just makes and eats sandwiches.  625 makes the funny trio an even funnier quartet.  Eventually Jumba is singing ninety-nine beers on the wall except he is singing about pieces of me on the wall.  I have actually sung that many times.  Pleakly reaches him, but Hamsterveil takes the phone and makes a ransom demand.  Gant puts the phone gently away…

No! Slam it!  I think one of the idiot plots is how Pleakly tried to reach Jumba, which actually gave the villains an option for a ransom, and Lilo now regretting releasing Sparky since the ransom is now incomplete.  I thought that was a nice change where plans work or fail.  Sometimes a person realizes half way through their plan was bad and now has to change it.  Stitch hotwires Cobra’s car, and they look for Sparky over a montage.  I remember my dad laughing at the part where Stitch drinks an entire case of coffee.  After that they find Sparky by following the screaming people and broken electronics.  Stitch catchshim witht he rope swinging in the menu (I was surprised to see it so early) and a glass vase.  They bond over some similarities, and they realize they are family.

Pleakly and Cobra go to meet Hamsterveil and Gantu at the lighthouse.  Cobra’s actions do fit into his plan later.  He is hoping to give the experiments to Hamsterveil, get Jumba back, then the Galatic Federation will destroy Hamsterveil and the experiments.  IT also has the good part where Lilo shows up and reveals she named 221 Sparky.  The real good part is where Cobra claims she cannot see how complicated the situation is when she is like him taking a third option, save everyone by using Sparky as a distraction, which gives Stitch time to save Jumba.  Despite that Hamsterveil gets the experiments, and Sparky takes out the Galatic Federation’s ship before it can destroy all 624 of them.  Hamsterveil and Gantu with the experiments get back in the ship.  Lilo and Stich ruin after them.  This is less heroic on a rewatch since Lilo was useless from here onward except for a bit of keep away Stitch could have done by himself.

They successfully get the experiments out of the window, and the case breaks letting them fall freely back to the island.  It looks happy until Pleakly points out how dangerous they will be and the chairwoman agrees with Pleakly.  to make it worse Lilo and Stitch are captured.  I still do not know why Stitch cannot go through the glass, but I guess Gantu used better material.  Hamsterveil threatens them from a huge pile of phone books.  He plans to cut Stitch in half so he can clone him.  Gantu is teleporting Lilo to a soup company.  He then gets distracted as 625 is getting a huge order of baloney teleported to them.  As everyone knew would happen Sparky comes in to save Stitch.  They easily overpower Hamsterveil.  Getting to Lilo is harder, as the musicand grunting make sit obvios the ship is hard to move through and the walls do not let Stitch climb them like he normally can.  He gets here, but he cannot stop the teleportation.  He then realizes it was for the baloney and frees Lilo from the other one.  Gantu then chases them and sees someone is stealing his ship, but it is just 625 wondering where his baloney is.  All he has is cheese and bread.  It was actually a red herring and Sparky locks the doors and sends Gantu’s ship crashing on Earth. It also turns 625’s sandwich into a grilled cheese.

They get back to earth.  Hamsterveil is arrested.  Sparky finds that he can do a lot of good at the lighthouse, which had no power before him.  The councilwoman then says she will evacuate the planet and gas it to destroy the experiments.  Lilo convinces her not to, as they will find them and turn them good.  Now I feel the ending is a poor set up.  When I was younger this made my whole family really want to watch the TV series, which is really good.

Today I do not care for this so called film, but as the target audience I thought it was a great pilot.   It is still funny, and it has good action.  It lead to a very good TV series, and I do like the new characters.  It is just too dull with the story for me now.

Advertisements

Survivor Metrics: Cambodia

At the website http://www.survivormetrics.com/ a formula was made to determine the best physical threats based off the IQ test.  The website has not updated since season 27 ended, but I have received permission to use the formula and post results (and give credit to the blogger who made the formula.

Joe

Spencer

Stephen

Tasha

Keith

Jeremy

Kelly

Kelley

Kass

Abi-Maria

Ciera

Andrew

Terry

Kimmi

In episode 4 Savage, Jeremy, and Terry competed. Terry came in the middle so no points change. Savage wins 2 points and Jeremy loses 2.

  1. Andrew 102
  2. Terry 100.
  3. Jeremy 98.

Episode 7. 13 people means 7 points at stake. Joe won them. 0.58 loss for everyone else.

  1. Joe 107
  2. Andrew 101.42
  3. Terry 100

4-13. Spencer/Stephen/Tasha/Keith/Kelly/Kelley/Kass/Abi-Maria/Ciera/Andrew/Kimmi 99.42

  1. Jeremy 97. 42

Episode 8. Ciera, Joe, Keith, Kelly, Kelley, and Kimmi won to split 6.5 points. 1.08 for each. Joe won 6.5 points for everyone else to lose 0.59

  1. Joe 114.58
  2. Andrew 101.42
  3. Terry 100

4-8. Keith 99.91

Ciera 99.91

Kimmi 99.91

Kelly 99.91

Kelley 99.91

  1. Kass 99.42

10-13. Spencer 97.75

Stephen 97.75

Tasha 97.75

Abi-Maria 97.75

  1. Jeremy 95. 75

Episode 9. Ciera, Joe, Tasha, Spencer, and Stephen split 6 points at reward challenge for 1.2 Everyone else loses 1. At immunity challenge Spencer and Stephen broke off for their own challenge that Stephen won to take 1.5 points from Spencer. That left Joe to win 5. Everyone else lost 0. 63

  1. Joe 120.78
  2. Andrew 101.42
  3. Ciera 100.48
  4. Stephen 100.45
  5. Terry 100
  6. Kass 99.42

7-10. Keith 98.28

Kimmi 98.28

Kelly 98.28

Kelley 98.28

  1. Tasha 98.23
  2. Spencer 97.45
  3. Abi-Maria 96.13
  4. Jeremy 94.13

Episode 10. Abi-Maria, Joe, Spencer, Ciera, and Tasha won for 5.5 points or 1.1 points each. Everyone else lost that many. For imunity everyone could have competed, but only Keith and Joe did. Joe wins 5.5 points and everyone else loses 0.61

  1. Joe 127.38
  2. Andrew 101.42
  3. Ciera 100.81
  4. Terry 100
  5. Kass 99.42
  6. Stephen 98.74
  7. Kelly 98.28
  8. Tasha 98.72
  9. Spencer 97.94
  10. Abi-Maria 96.62

11-13. Keith 96.57

Kimmi 96.57

Kelley 96.57

  1. Jeremy 92.42

Episode 11. With nine people left Stephen won 5 points. Spencer won 5 points for the immunity challenge. 0.63 point loss for everyone else in each challenge.

  1. Joe 126.12
  2. Stephen 103.11
  3. Spencer 102.31
  4. Andrew 101.42
  5. Ciera 100.81
  6. Terry 100
  7. Kass 99.42
  8. Kelly 98.28
  9. Tasha 97.46
  10. Abi-Maria 95.36

11-13. Keith 95.31

Kimmi 95.31

Kelley 95.31

  1. Jeremy 91.16

Episode 12. Kelley won the reward worth 4.5 points. She and Keith then each won 2.5 points on the immunity challenge. For the reward everyone else loses 0.64. For immunity everyone else loses 0.83

  1. Joe 124.65
  2. Stephen 103.11
  3. Kelley 102.31
  4. Andrew 101.42
  5. Spencer 100.84
  6. Ciera 100.81
  7. Terry 100
  8. Kass 99.42
  9. Kelly 98.28
  10. Keith 97.17
  11. Tasha 95.99
  12. Abi-Maria 93.89
  13. Kimmi 93.84
  14. Jeremy 89.7

Episode 13. Keith won reward and Spencer won immunity. Each challenge was worth 4 points. Losing resulted in a loss 0f 0.66 points.

  1. Joe 124.65
  2. Spencer 104.18
  3. Stephen 103.11
  4. Andrew 101.42
  5. Kelley 100.99
  6. Ciera 100.81
  7. Keith 100.51
  8. Terry 100
  9. Kass 99.42
  10. Kelly 98.28
  11. Tasha 94.67
  12. Abi-Maria 92.57
  13. Kimmi 92.53
  14. Jeremy 88.38

Episode 14 Tribal Council 1. Spencer won immunity for 3.5 points. Everyone else lost 0.7

  1. Joe 124.65
  2. Spencer 107.68
  3. Stephen 103.11
  4. Andrew 101.42
  5. Kelley 100.29
  6. Ciera 100.81
  7. Keith 99.81
  8. Terry 100
  9. Kass 99.42
  10. Kelly 98.28
  11. Tasha 93.97
  12. Abi-Maria 92.57
  13. Kimmi 91.83
  14. Jeremy 87.68

Tribal Council 2. Kelley won for 3 points. Everyone else lost 0.75

  1. Joe 124.65
  2. Spencer 106.93
  3. Stephen 103.11
  4. Andrew 101.42
  5. Kelley 103.79
  6. Ciera 100.81
  7. Keith 99.06
  8. Terry 100
  9. Kass 99.42
  10. Kelly 98.28
  11. Tasha 93.23
  12. Abi-Maria 92.57
  13. Kimmi 91.83
  14. Jeremy 86.93

Tribal Council 3. Jeremy finally won for 2.5 points. Everyone else loses 0.83

  1. Joe 124.65
  2. Spencer 106.1
  3. Stephen 103.11
  4. Andrew 101.42
  5. Kelley 102.96
  6. Ciera 100.81
  7. Keith 99.06
  8. Terry 100
  9. Kass 99.42
  10. Kelly 98.28
  11. Tasha 92.4
  12. Abi-Maria 92.57
  13. Kimmi 91.83
  14. Jeremy 89.43

Arthur: Continuing Season 1

Arthur’s Pet Business

Perky
Only that science guy on TV wears bow ties

 

This has a predictable plot, but there is something about it that keeps it interesting, probably knowing it should be an important part of Pal’s origins.  It is has a very memorable one note character in Mrs. Wood and some really goo comedy.  It also really brings Arthur to a low point and brings him back up making this one of the better current episodes.

D.W. the Copycat

 

D.W the Copy Cat 167
Hi Arthur!

The first D.W. episode written by Joe Fallon, and he excels at writing her.  Like many of the god D.W. episodes this is hilarious.  D.W. (and Binky in limited screen time) offer so many laughs.  It also further shows how smart D.W. is.  It also had a very good ending and talk with mom and dad that gave this more than just comedy.  D.W. is a wonderful character and it really is on display.

D.W the Copy Cat 94

Bionic Bunny is shown to be a robot, but it is mentioned he was born in season 10.  He really has changed in the first ten seasons.  This episode takes place after “D.W. Rides Again” based on her bike.

 

Locked in the Library

This is the first episode to show Francine’s good side.  She does get called out for her hypocrisy (hating being called a name despite constantly calling other people names).  It is able to portray both Arthur and Francine in a positive light despite giving each other legitimate reasons to be mad at each other.  My main complaint is this is a predicable story, and I never loved it.  It seems most Francine fans love it, and this is the episode for them.

Arthur Accused

First episode written by James Greenburg.  This also shows Buster’s goo side that becomes dominant.  It is also he first time Mrs. McGrady and Mr. Morris talk.  I presume that is to help make the viewers think one of them might be the criminal.  It has some plot holes like the quarters should have fallen out (at least some) or made noise clanging together but I never noticed until recently due to seeing it a young age and nostalgia blindness.  This is memorable and very important for Buster’s characterization, and I enjoyed it.

Arthur Goes to Camp

Arthur Goes to Camp 61

The only episode written by Rowby Goren.  It feels more like a Peanuts episode than Arthur, and it really shows with its limited cast with no Fern or George in the background.  I really like the setting, but the basic lot and to a lesser extent the main inter hero conflict leaves much to be desired.  It is the new least good episode.

Buster Makes the Grade

The first episode written by Peter K. Hirsch.  Obviously an unimportant writer.  Buster is failing third grade and it is really fun seeing him not care and then start caring by imagining the worst case scenario.  It also helps they show it still takes time after motivation, but the motivation is what his friends had to focus on.  This is the current best episode not written by Joe Fallon.

Arthur’s New Puppy

I miss it when Pal did not talk.  Pal is not drawn the same way here, but the different look helps to give him clear expressions.  It is fun seeing Pal be smart even though the plot was predictable.  It is still a cute episode with some good face expressions from Pal.

Arthur Bounces Back

The first speaking appearance of Grandma Read.  It probably has a more exciting premise than any episode yet, as it involves lying to parents and dealing with a lack of money.  Unfortunately it gets wrapped up too fast even if it is a memorable episode.

Arthur Babysits

1x09a

In the original books the Tibble twins were the only humans.  To make them fit in more they were changed to bears.  Since Grandma Tibble is way darker than them many have interpreted that they are mixed race and two of the few hybrids on this show.

This deals with the very real problem of younger children and it also helps that D.W., a brat, is so scared of them.  That is why they work as they foil D.W. where Emily foils her in the opposite direction.  The actual episode is really good, and I really felt Arthur’s pain babysitting them and get a sense of satisfaction when Arthur calms them down.  The Tibbles are love them or hate them characters and that is how most fans feel about this one.

Arthur’s Cousin Catastrophe

Arthur's Cousin Catastrophe 45

 

This is a popular episode and Mo is still probably the most popular one episode character in the show’s history.  I think people remember her because this episode really captured hosting a family reunion (adding in the ridiculous games).  Talking with strangers, all the work to get the house ready, and wondering if you remember someone correct.  This episode is ended quickly but it feels right here, as it shows one thing can change everything so much.  It is also the first episode without Buster.

Arthur Recap List

Arthur’s Eyes

Real Mr. Ratburn

Arthur’s Birthday

Arthur and DW’s Baby

Family Vacation and Grandpa Dave’s Old Farm

Crunch Cereal Contest

World’s Greatest Gleeper

Almost Boring Day

Snow Mystery

Cleans Up

DW’s Blankie

I’m a Poet

My Dad the Garbage Man

Stolen Bike

First Sleepover/Arthur’s New Years’ Eve

Season 2

Draw

Fern’s Slumber Party

Love Notes for Muffy

Binky Barnes, Art Expert

Cat Saver and Play it again DW

Big Blow-Up

Short Quick Summer

DW Goes to Washington

Water and the Brain

Grandma Thora Appreciation Day

Arthur the Loser

Season 3

Ballad of Buster Baxter

I’d Rather read it Myself

Background Blues

Binky Rules

Popular Girls

Chips are Down/Revenge of the Chip

Dad’s Dessert Dilemna

Attack of the Turbo Tibbles

Music Festival

Francine and the Feline

Mom and Dad have a Great Big Fight

Arthur and DW Clean up

Season 4

DW’s Library Card/Arthur’s Big Hit

The Contest

Prove It

The Blizzard and Rat who Came to Dinner

1001 Dads

That’s a Baby Show

Season 5

Kids are from Earth…

The Shore Thing

You are Arthur

Sleep no More

Last of Mary Moo cow

Just Desserts

Pet Peeved

Season 6

Best of the Nest

Arthur Plays the Blues

The Secret Life of Dogs and Babies

Brother Can You Spare a Clarinet?

The Boy Who Cried Comet!

D.W.’s Backpack Mishap

Rhyme for your Life The Boy with His Head in the Clouds

Arthur Loses his Marbles

Season 7

The Great Sock Mystery

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

Season 8

Fernfern and the Secret of Moose Mountain / Thanks a Lot, Binky”

Arthur’s Snow Biz / Bugged”

Fernkenstein’s Monster / D.W., Dancing Queen”

“Postcards from Buster”

Tales from the Crib”

“Bleep”

Season 9

“Castles in the Sky / Tipping the Scales

My Fair Tommy

“‘A’ is for Angry!”

Arthur Makes Waves

The “A” Team

D.W. Beats All / Buster the Myth Maker”

Season 10

“Happy Anniversary”

Fern & Persimmony Glitchet”

D.W. Aims High / Flaw and Order”

The Curse of the Grebes / Arthur Changes Gears”

Unfinished

“Buster’s Special Delivery”

Season 11

Prunella Packs it in

Arthur Sells Out

Phony Fern

“Strangers on a Train”

The Making of Arthur

Hic or Treat

Big Brother Binky

Season 12

War of the Worms

Room to Ride

For the Birds

Chronicles of Buster

The Blackout

DW’s Furry Friend

Season 13

No Acting, Please / Prunella and the Disappointing Ending

Kung Fool

Arthur’s Number Nightmare / Brain Gets Hooked

The Good, the Bad, and the Binky

The Great MacGrady

When Carl Met George

The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Tibble

Fernlets by Fern

Season 14

The Wheel Deal

The Agent of Change

Tales of Grotesquely Grim Bunny

DW Queen of the Comeback

In My Africa

The Long Road Home

Buster Spaces Out

Season 15

15

Buster’s Secret Admirer

Cents-Less

Through the Looking Glasses

The Butler Did… What? / The Trouble with Trophies

Grandpa Dave’s Memory Album

Season 16

Based on a True Story”

Buster’s Book Battle

Fern and the Case of the Stolen Story / Sue Ellen Vegges Out”

The Best Day Ever”

Season 17

Kidonia

The Director’s Cut / Crime and Consequences

Caught in the Crosswires/ Framed

Season 18

The Tattletale Frog

The Case of the Girl With the Long Face

The Substitute Arthur

The Tardy Tumbler

Arthur Read: Super Saver

Tibbles to the Rescue

The Pageant Pickle

Shelter from the Storm

Season 19

Brain Sees Stars

Wish you were Here

Arthur’s Toy Trouble

Buster isn’t Buying It

Dueling Detectives

The Last Day

Postcards from Buster: The Music Mystery

That is the full recap list.  or e other episodes I will say anything important and give an opinion on whether it is good or not.

Arthur and the Very Beginning of Season 1

                          Arthur’s Eyes

It begins well with D.W. thinking Arthur was born with glasses.  D.W. found a picture of Arthur before he got glasses, and she assumes the picture is of a hidden third child since Arthur was born with glasses. The beginning of this episode is a good showing of their love-hate sibling relationship, but it goes downhill from here. This is before most title cards were made and the “swimming Arthur” card just means it is about the Arthur character.  It is a very common title card in the first few seasons.  Since Arthur cannot see he fails his math test, but there teacher, Mr. Rubio needs to take math lessons, since he says anyone with four or more mistakes should see him, yet there are only four problems. Most of the voices are very different now. Binky especially had a much deeper voice. The humor this episode like Arthur half blind going to the girls’ bathroom when every girl except Fern and Prunella are in the bathroom at once is more wacky than the later episodes’ more realistic humor, but that is not bad. The ending is fine, even if Francine’s humor is annoying, while Binky and D.W. still give most of the laughs. The animation is recycled form itself many times like Fern constantly just standing there in basketball.

AE41

What is she planning on doing? I guess the animators really loved drawing her. Also Sue Ellen is in an episode that takes place in second grade despite not showing up until third grade.

This show is very similar to Peanuts especially in the earlier episodes where most characters showed the potential meanness of childhood.   The notable differences are more time to the adults, Arthur being more of a winner than Charlie Brown, and Buster being nothing like Linus.

Only Binky, Francine, Buster, and Arthur are given actually character. Arthur is somewhat of a loser due to his lack of vision, but it goes away. He seems to really care about how others think of him, but he decides that is not important (a regular moral). Buster is mostly a loyal friend, but he can slip up like when he mocks Arthur when he thinks Arthur is not around. Francine is a teaser and a very mean one. Binky in this episode is just not smart. D.W. is very curious and too quick to act.

As a whole this is a good episode, but it is far from one of the best and probably one of the worst episodes of the first season.

I would like to point out for the first season the Executive Producers are Micheline Charest and Carol Greenwald.  Producers are Ronald A. Weinberg and Cassandra Schafhausen. Greg Bailey is the director. Ken Scarborough is the Story editor and head writer. Akom is doing the animation. For the first 13 seasons each cast list had one big one for the season. Michael Yarmush is Arthur. Michael Caloz is D.W. Bruce Dinsmore is Binky/dad. Sonja Ball is mom. Danny Brochu is Buster. Jodie Resther is Francine. Melissa Altro is Muffy. Luke Reid is Brain. Arthur Holden is Mr. Ratburn. Tammy Kozlov is Prunella. PAtricia Rodriguez is Sue Ellen (uncredited as Francine’s sister, Catherine).   The late Walter Massey is Mr. Haney. Joanna Noyes is Grandma Thora and Grandpa Dave. A.J. Henderson is Mr. Crosswire. Bronwen Mantel is Mrs. McGrady. Joe Fallon wrote the first episode.

                       Francine’s Bad Hair Day

Francine’s Bad Hair Day takes place in third grade after “Arthur and the Real Mr. Ratburn.” Altro’s voice for Muffy sounds much younger than it will in a very short time. Muffy clearly knows all of Francine’s week spots. Francine does show she cares more about sports than looks since her dream is more sports based. In later episodes Muffy would have paid for Francine’s makeover. Since Francine teases everyone else so much I like seeing the reverse. Brain’s first lines are gravity jokes. In the first game Fern is catcher, but in the second game Jenna is catcher. Maybe with Francine gone Fern is taking her place at shortstop or something.  Unlike most of the less good episodes of season 1 this does not have the fault of being resolved too quickly, but it as a dull plot.

Arthur_3rd_Grade_Picture

For animation it has plenty of the side characters just being still, but it also regularly points out its own animation errors like mentioning invisible rips.

 Arthur’s Teacher Trouble/Arthur and the Real Mr. Ratburn

This episode has changed titles over the years.  The original title was referenced in two other titles, which is why I prefer the first title.

Ratburn

The students get Mr. Ratburn, the show’s fourth best character, as their teacher.  This is referenced even in the most recent seasons.  They get a teacher they are horrified of and they overhear him say he needs heads.  Arthur, Buster, and Francine try to stop him, as they watch him do what seem to be many part time jobs.  Eventually Arthur and Buster discover he was talking about puppet heads and he tells them about organizing their time, as he is a teacher everywhere.  The boys leave all happy until Mr. Ratburn reminds them of their geography reports due on the second day of school.

Mr. Ratburn is characterized as a very hard working, smart, and good teacher, but also incredibly hard.  He really is the most thoughtful adult on the show and this is where the show really begins to stand out.

The first time that Mr. Haney is used as a clown where he forgets the clown and falls over on his horse. The animation is much improved. Characters that are not talking are still really still, but they have clear expressions and they are blinking more. They are also moving more often. The list of animation errors like the last two episodes is huge, but these are less notable errors. The recycled animation in “Arthur’s Eyes” were very obvious. In “Francine’s Bad Hair Day” they kept pointing to things that did not exist like the tear in Francine’s dress” but here they are less notable and better hidden by a superior story. Even better the fear is making the characters act more robotic temporary, which the animators take advantage of to make both an ominous and humorous mood.

                    Arthur’s Spelling Trubble

It has the rain title card, which usually means a minor disaster.  Arthur is nervous about a spelling bee and imagines himself as Benjamin Franklin flying his kite.  The first time I ever even heard of Benjamin Franklin.  Also I think it is the first time Arthur’s last name, Read, is revealed.  The flash forward is over and it is revealed Arthur has trouble spelling and he is fine with that.  He still studies some for the class spelling bee to try to get the prize, but he only learns Aardvark since he just listens to the now loved song.  Fortunately that is his word.  Normally that is against writing 101.  Coincidences should never help the protagonists, but it is immediately revealed the prize is to compete in the all school spelling bee that it is more of a curse.  There is also something about everyone else’s arrogance contrasting Arthur’s humility that make him more likable than usual.  He tries to drop out, but in an important scene Mr. Ratburn tells him he can become a great speller.  It is a touching scene to see such encouragement and it really motivates Arthur.  His whole family helps him get ready and he wins the spelling bee.  To show how much the writers love this they mention it for many seasons and even posted it as Arthur’s favorite event on facebook.  This is the new reigning best episode.  It also cements Joe Fallon as the favorite writer.

                                   D.W. All Wet

D.W..png              In this episode D.W. is afraid of octopuses and she eventually overcomes it when Arthur is pretending to be in danger.  She is portrayed as shockingly brave around some things like sharks and fearful around others like octopuses. She is also shown to be courageous at the end. This has a compelling plot, but some parts that do little to actually advance the plot like Buster’s water cap, which at least plays a role and Buster and Arthur’s plot does not feel rushed, a real strength the show will use. D.W. is funny and heroic, which is a major reason why she is my second favorite character.

 

Shark
Hi sharky.  You have nice teeth.  I want one.

 

                        Buster’s Dino Dilemma

There is plenty of early installment weirdness.   Buster will go on to be a goof ball who is book dumb and obsessed with food. Here he is portrayed as very smart and he even the least concerned about food of the entire class. Apparently the food was really good, since no one noticed Buster finding a fossil and jumping in the water. This further characterizes Buster as a trouble maker and Arthur as his conscience. This is where the Arthur character when he is not the lead is first shown. He is trying to be everyone else’s conscience and keep them moral, while not losing his own way. He also becomes probably the most moral child in the show. Mr. Ratburn gets further shown to be a good, stern teacher. Brain finally gets some real screen time. Oddly Alex gets a line, which is still incredibly rare. In fact he gets two lines in season one, two in an episode of season seven, and one in season eighteen.

It gets resolved too quickly (a common problem that will go away soon), but I did feel Buster’s pain as a dinosaur lover and the nightmare was really good.

                     D.W.’s Imaginary Friend

The first episode written by head writer, Ken Scarborough.  This introduces Nadine, D.W.’s imaginary friend.  Arthur wants to go to a theme park because, it has a famous new ride.  D.W. wants to go because it offers “barf bags.”  It is D.W. who convinces dad to take them, but Arthur tries to make her drop the imaginary friend.  Here D.W. is shown to be freakishly brave and smart, I like her even more already.  She regularly outdoes Arthur in their sibling rivalry, and I love watching it.  Buster’s love of food is finally introduced, which apparently chases everyone else off since only Arthur and Fern sit anywhere near him.  Like most of the early episodes it is resolved too quickly, but it does have some funny parts with D.W.

              Arthur’s Lost Library Book

Hand
I really love this shot

This episode is much better than I remember.  I planned on only briefly mentioning it, but it is actually very important for characterization and story complexity that will become prevalent later.

Everyone in Arthur loves the library, and it is shown in the beginning.  I also love the library.  It has great movies and books.  It is also great for college studying.

Back to the episode.  A parody of “Goosebumps” called “Scare Your Pants Off” has anew book.   It was years until I heard of the real series.  I thought Arthur made it up.  That will be a common part of reviewing Arthur.  The New book is The Mysterious Hand.  Everyone runs for it.  Even George who has Dyslexia runs for it.  Arthur borrowed a horde of other books (I am still wondering why he wanted a French-English dictionary).  Sure enough the titular book falls off and a non-mysterious hand(Binky’s hand) grabs it.  Arthur looks for it and D.W. does hand shadow puppets.  Foreshadowing that she is the narrator.  Arthur calls in Private Eye Buster Baxter…  I think this was made after “Arthur Accused.”  He then decides Buster is a suspect and goes to the one person who would never want to read any book.  Arthur’s plan is to go to each suspect and do a process of elimination. At least he is not leaving anyone out.  Binky just wants a badge.

 

Untitled.png
Take my Geometry book instead.

Arthur is not impressed with Binky.  Arthur narrows it down to Francine, Sue Ellen, and Buster (reveals their last names).  Arthur is forced to narrow them all out later.  Binky suspects George (foreshadowing him as the main bully victim.  For the first time Buster suggests an idea like aliens or mole people is then shown to be right.  The Arthur universe is full of strange creatures.  Arthur decides he indeed lost it, and it gives him nightmares.  He realizes he will have to pay for it and goes to do it.  Paige Turner (I wonder how often she got teased in third grade) then reveals Binky just returned it.  Arthur is happy Binky found even after Binky admits he had it all this time.  Arthur never told him the title and Binky assumed it was stolen since Arthur would never lose a library book.  He told no one he was reading since people laugh at him.  Arthur denies that he would…

 

“You just did.”  Binky warns him to not tell anyone he reads.

Binky is the third best character and he is portrayed how he will the rest of the series.  Someone who acts like a bully with many very strange interests.  He is book dumb despite liking to read.  He tries to keep it  a secret despite everyone knowing it.  He is actually very similar to Arthur, as he constantly worries about being called a baby.

I cannot tell if this one is better than “Arthur’s Spelling Trubble” or not.  It is no accident that of 8 episodes Fallon has written four and has all the top three spots.

Season one so far is not spectacular, as it is a hit or miss.