Last June, Montreal-based studio Oasis Animation announced that it had received funding to produce seasons 22-25 of the beloved PBS Kids series Arthur. There are indications this was the aardvark’s final renewal.
It all started in mid-November when actor Bruce Dinsmore, who’s voiced Binky and Arthur’s father since the very beginning, Tweeted out this message:
24 years is a good run for a gig, & this is the face I made at the very last session. Binky though seems nonplussed, he’s always been tougher than me. And I was just starting to get the hang of the whole Dad thing… Thanks “Arthur” it’s been a great ride. “And I say Hey……!”
Jessica Kardos, the current voice of Sue Allen, quoted his Tweet, adding
💔 we (the cast) are heartbroken 💔 #voiceover #EndOfAnEra #pbskids #Arthur #voiceacting #cartoons #actingcareer #animation
The comments were vague enough that fans began to speculate: was Bruce being replaced, or was the show ending? It appears to be the latter. Speaking to the DJ Bob Show, the original voice of Arthur Read (and current recurring cast member Slink) said he had recorded the “last episode [of Arthur] ever.”
No reasoning for the show’s demise was shared, though in another DJ Bob interview, Dinsmore suggests that Arthur may have run its natural course. After 25 years there might not have been much left to say.
Where do fans of the show go from here? The good news is that seasons 22-25 have yet to air, meaning there’s still lots more Arthur to look forward to. Who knows, maybe if those seasons do well, more will get greenlit. Towards the end of the interview, Dinsmore noted that this wasn’t the first time things have looked bad for the show’s future.
Adapted from a series of children’s books by Marc Brown, Arthur debuted on PBS on October 7, 1996. The series, a co-production between Boston’s WGBH and a number of Canadian animation firms, proved to be both a viewer and critical darling, inspiring countless merchandise as well as the Postcards from Buster spinoff series. Arthur has won four Daytime Emmys and its longevity is unrivaled in the American children’s animation space. Something this long lasting won’t be gone for long.
With the show seemingly coming to an end, what were some of your favourite moments? Share your comments down below.