After 25 seasons, the beloved PBS Kids cartoon Arthur came to an end.
The show, which premiered in 1996, aired its final episode Feb. 20. In the finale – aptly titled “All Grown Up” – the show skips 20 years into the future and reveals what Arthur and his pals are up to as adults.
Francine Frensky heads a sneaker company, Buster Baxter is a teacher, D.W. Read is a traffic cop and Arthur Read – who now has hair and a beard – is a graphic novelist. The show’s events are revealed to be the plot of Arthur’s graphic novel memoir.
Marc Brown, author of the Arthur picture books and co-executive producer of the show, remarked on the show’s longevity, since some fans are parents who grew up with the show as kids.
“It’s something that I really treasure,” Brown told Variety.
Third-year St. Thomas University student Pat Craig was eight when Arthur first aired and now gets to watch his oldest children enjoy it at the same age. He is happy that through the show’s long run, it can continue to be enjoyed by new generations of kids.
Craig watched Arthur because his parents wanted him to watch educational TV. He enjoyed the way the show tackled issues that are important to introduce to children like bullying, relationships and family dynamics.
“It was one of those shows that was just nice and wholesome and seemed like it dipped its toes into some important social subjects,” he said.
Second-year STU student Brandon Salick remembers coming home from school every day and watching Arthur. The show helped him connect with other kids who watched it — they would go to school after watching the latest episode and talk about it.
The show’s reggae-style theme song, sung by Ziggy Marley, was relatable to Salick because he’s from the Caribbean. He also related to Arthur’s relationship with his sister, D.W.
“There was the episode when Arthur punched D.W. and I had a younger sister,” he said. “Everybody has their little sibling rivalries and stuff … I kind of understood what an incident like that would be like.”
Salick was surprised to see Arthur become a graphic novelist.
“I didn’t think about what any of their jobs would have been when they got older,” he said.
Despite his love for the childhood show, Salick thought the show’s ending being Arthur‘s memoir was a “cop out.”
“They could have done something way better than that,” he said.
Salik was still disappointed to see Arthur end because he said it was one of the last good kids’ shows on TV.
“It’s one of those shows that, it’s been going on for so long, you never think it would end,” he said. “But all good things have to come to an end sometime.”