If you grew up in the ’90s or early ’00s, you probably have fond memories of the PBS animated series, Arthur. You may also have kids or grandkids who watch the show today—after The Simpsons, it’s the longest-running animated TV show in the U.S.
Based on a popular series of children’s books created by author and illustrator Marc Brown, the show follows the daily adventures of a nine-year-old anthropomorphic animal, Arthur Read, and his many animal friends at Lakewood Elementary. But if you’re unsure what type of animal each character is, you’re not alone—it’s not always obvious at first glance. To help you get it straight, here’s a rundown of some of the most popular animals on ArthurA brief description of their personalities.
Binky Barnes is a bulldog. This makes sense considering his bully exterior and tendency towards acting like one (especially in the early seasons). When he’s first introduced, he’s one of Arthur’s nemeses, however, the two eventually become friends over the course of the series. Despite Binky’s often intimidating and abrasive nature, he has a soft side underneath it all—though he tends to keep that part of himself hidden from most of his peers. When he’s around Arthur and other close friends he trusts, he lets his guard down and allows them to see his gentler side.
His surname is Nigel Ratburn, which Arthur and his gang know as Mr. Ratburn. He‘s a teacher at Arthur’His school, Lakewood Elementary is well-known for being very strict. He’s considered by many students to be the toughest teacher in the entire school because he assigns large amounts of homework to the kids in his class. Despite this fact, he’s a helpful and friendly teacher who cares deeply about his students. He cares about their success and will always do what is best for them.
Prunella Deegan, tall and slim, has curly brown hair. She has a reputation for being somewhat of a snob, in part because she loves to flaunt the fact that she’s older than Arthur and the rest of the gang. Prunella is a dedicated student who loves to read and is already worrying about where she will attend college, despite the fact that she’s still in elementary school. She is fascinated by the paranormal, and enjoys making predictions about the future. However, they are not always accurate. Prunella is close to Marina Datillo, Muffy Crosswire, and has a teenage sister Rubella.
Timmy and Tommy Tibble
Timmy, Tommy, or collectively the Tibbles, are twin bear cubs. They are preschoolers in the same class as Dora Winifred (known as D.W.), Arthur’s younger sister. Always by each other’s side, the Tibble twins are mischievous, like to cause trouble, and often lie or manipulate their preschool classmates to get what they want. They dress almost identically but Tommy wears a red scarf while Tommy wears a blue scarf.
Sue Ellen Armstrong
Joining Mr. Ratburn’s class in the third grade after moving to Elwood City with her family, Sue Ellen Armstrong is a cat. Her father (also a cat) is a diplomat, so she’s a well-traveled kitten who’s lived in a number of different places around the world, including Egypt and Nicaragua. Sue Ellen has a lot of friends, is well-liked at school and is a part of the Lakewood Elementary soccer team. Although she doesn’t have any siblings, she keeps in touch and communicates with Tenzin Wangdu (a panda who lives in Tibet).
Fern Walters is an unknown breed of dog. When we first meet her, she’s extremely quiet and shy, though she beings to open over the course of the series and eventually becomes a little less introverted. Despite her wallflower nature, she’s not afraid to stand up for what she thinks is right and sometimes gets into fights with other students as a result of her stubbornness. Fern is a talented singer who plays the flute with the school band. She loves horror stories and mysteries and she sings well. Fern enjoys drawing and uses pictures as a way to express herself.
George Lundgren, a moose from Sweden, has large antlers that can sometimes get in the way. From season one, he was a background character until he began to interact more with other children at Lakewood Elementary. He became a main character in season nine. George, like Fern, is shy and quiet. He spends most of his time alone with Wally, his ventriloquist. Some of his peers have given him many nicknames for his large antlers, including “Hammer,” “Big Horns,”And “Headgear.”
Alan Powers A.K.A. Brain
It is also known as “The Brain”And in the later seasons only “Brain,”Alan Powers is a bear. He’s also Arthur’s best friend. As his nickname suggests, he’s very intelligent and almost always earns As and A-pluses on his assignments. He’s polite and well-mannered. He enjoys playing with his peers, is on multiple school sports teams including baseball, soccer, and track. He’s also a member of the Computer Club and plays piano and cello in the school band.
Francine Frensky can be described as a monkey. She is energetic and talented in all sports, including soccer, baseball and kickball. Francine was a bit rude and had a bad temper in the first seasons. While she becomes more approachable and friendly throughout the series, her strong-willed personality and outgoing nature remain intact. Marc Brown, who was the original creator, illustrator and author, modeled her character after his sister. Arthur book series on which the show is based.
Alice Crosswire, who goes by Francine, is like Francine. “Muffy”() is a monkey. As one of the wealthiest kids in Elmwood City, she’s spoiled and often thinks money can fix any problem. She lives in an enormous mansion and has all she could need, including endless supplies of toys and her very own clubhouse. While Muffy can be condescending and snobbish towards her peers at times, she has a great heart and many friends to show it. Her best friend is fellow monkey Francine, and she’s also tight with Arthur and D.W. She’s also very close with her family’s butler, Bailey.
Another one of Arthur’s besties, Buster Baxter is a rabbit. He is laid-back and easygoing but sometimes he has trouble completing chores or doing homework on time. He is a huge foodie and will eat anything, even items that are expired or have fallen to the ground. He is a firm believer that aliens exist and has claimed to have seen them. Buster was the subject in the PBS spinoff series.Buster PostcardsFrom 2004 to 2008, the televised series was called.
D.W. Read, an aardvark. She’s also Arthur’s younger sister (and the older sister of their other sibling, Kate). As a preschooler, she’s not the nicest or most even-tempered character on the show. She often gets on Arthur’s nerves, though it’s clear her big brother still loves her despite it all. She likes to cause trouble for her family and friends. It’s obvious that D.W. is younger than Arthur and his friends, as she often doesn’t know the meaning of complex words and has the erroneous belief that teachers live in schools and babies come from a baby store.
Lastly, there’s Arthur the aardvark. As the main character of the series, he’s kind-hearted and has lots of friends, including best buds Buster and Brain. He plays piano in the school band (though he often puts off practicing), is the forward and goalkeeper for the Lakewood Elementary Soccer Team, and plays on the school’s track and baseball teams. His trademark pair of large, thick glasses instantly identifies him. As mentioned previously, he’s often irritated by his younger sister D.W. who is constantly causing him problems. Despite that fact, he does his best to be a good big brother by trying to ignore her bratty preschool behavior and help her when she’s in need (or when his parents ask him to do it).