Is Arthur from the kids' show really Black?
by Jaskiran Kaur | Thu, 03 Mar 2022 16:49:19 GMT
Arthur comes to end after 25 years; Image Source: BuzzFeed

Arthur will now finally come to an end after 25 years of run time. Marc Brown, the creator of the series, talked about why ending it at the 25th season is the right thing to do. Brown revealed that the ending of Arthur had been decided years ago, and it was made final that 25 seasons were the best for the show's finale. 

Arthur created history, becoming the longest-running animated children's show. The series helped share many amazing stories over the course of its screen time and helped many families and children during its time. 

The show began 25 years from now, and the animated series did not begin with all the latest animation technology that is present today. But today, as the landscape has become more modernized, the show creator wishes to reach more people and more children who would enjoy the story. 

Hence, instead of the series, they have expanded the franchise to podcasts and new games. The creator also wishes to explore public spots on PBS and try specials. He is excited to try out different things and see how things will unfold with time. 

Marc Brown has been helming the direction of Arthur for a long time and integrated many of the characters into the series from his personal life. In the last episode of the series, the creator makes an appearance in the animated show as himself. 

When asked if he wanted to incorporate himself into the story, the creator denied it, saying that he had never wanted to write scripts for the show that included himself as a character. He has always enjoyed letting Arthur claim the spotlight and drive the show. 

 He felt more at ease backstage as he worked his magic into shaping the series. He did appear on the show one time in an episode with Sue Ellen where his character signed books in a bookstore. 

Despite Brown creating the entire 25 years of the Arthur universe, the creator did not play a role when it came to writing the story of the animated series. While initially, he was scared to share his "inception" of Arthur with other people, he disclosed that sharing the character was for the best. 

Explaining how his role as the creator of the series worked with the show, he elaborated that while he did many things for Arthur, he did not try to write it because it was not his talent. Yet, he believes that his role as the creator of the show works in tandem with the skill of writing and making picture books. 

Making an animated show like Arthur only differs as they add in sound and movement to the characters. The rest is the same as Brown got to design the characters, their costumes, and the sets of their scenes. 

Hence, it was similar to creating a picture book. However, he had a bigger team to help him on, and it was also more fun. 

Apart from the above-mentioned tasks, there is a list of other things he helped with for the series. Being someone who likes going into details, Marc Brown was very adamant about making his characters look just like how he envisioned them. 

He aided the animators as he redrew things when they didn't feel right or helped the designers as they propped up the backgrounds and the sets for the scenes. He claims that it was his area of expertise and what he could do best. 

Giving the audience a peek into the inside workings of the show, he also revealed that despite not being keen on a writer, he did steer how the stories came along. He set a moment where the creators would sit together with the writers as the two sides discussed their ideas for the series. 

As the writers connected with some of the ideas proposed, they could write it into an episode. The process was usually carried out at the beginning of a season. 

The creator described that once he simply had an idea, which he called the "desk wars," and he pitched that idea to his team of writers, and one of the writers felt like he could work with it. 

Hence, they created an episode in the Season 8 of the show where Arthur's classroom faces desk wars. Similarly, the creator had another idea where all the socks of the characters in the series disappear in the washer and the dryer. 

The idea was taken over by the head writer of the series, Peter Hirsch, who created an episode in Season 7 where the family pets lead to a sock exchange. The dynamics of the show simply took after a collaborative team effort. 

He also thanked his friend Fred Rogers as he appreciated his contribution to the series and how he helped create a mindset for the children's animated show. Sharing that mostly as the show revolved around a consciousness of "telling kids the truth," they managed to find ways to do it in the most honest and genuine ways.

Most importantly, Marc Brown also entertained the notion of Arthur's race. He shared that he initially did not start with having a race intended for the character of Arthur. 

Yet, he stated that he could walk into a school in Harlem, where the children would consider Arthur to be a Black character and he would be okay with it. Arthur's race need not be discussed but when it refers to being Black, he does not mind and rather loves it. 

Marc Brown believed in representing gay families in Arthur; Credits: Pride

The creator ended by saying that he loves to create for children and considers them his boss, and would continue on with animation.