TV review by
Betsy Wallace, Common Sense Media
Arthur TV Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
A thoughtful cartoon for kids to grow up on.

Parents say

age 5+
Based on 60 reviews

Kids say

age 5+
Based on 138 reviews

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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The series promotes positive relationships with friends and family, in addition to the importance of books and learning. Overall, the tone is fun and lighthearted, but the show also explores some complex social lessons, from the death of a pet to serious diseases like cancer.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The characters don't always model perfect behavior because they're all still growing up and learning (for example, kids can act selfish or bossy at times). Girls and boys are represented equally and often break gender stereotypes.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that despite the fun, lighthearted nature of Arthur, its social lessons (which cover a wide range of situations) are more complex and original than you'll find in most cartoons. Children of any age can watch alone, but those 5 and over will understand the stories best. The show explores the challenges of sibling relationships through Arthur and his sister DW. It's worth noting that sometimes their arguments can be a little too true-to-life (i.e., loud and whiny).

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byRockybalboa211 February 24, 2012

Some of you are a little too strict...

Wow.. some of you parents have really horrible logic in analyzing cartoons. This show is a classic, and as someone who grew up with this show, it taught me many... Continue reading
Parent of a 9, 13, and 17-year-old Written byPie Mama July 31, 2010

It's not just for little kids!!!

I'm 32 and I still love it! My kids still love it, they all watched it when they were little, and we all still love this show! It's not just for young... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bySnoopylove87 August 12, 2014

Arthur- Covering Relatable Topics since 1996

I remember this show from my childhood and I LOVED it!
The kids really think like kids and the lessons learned and the topics they cover really seem to hit home... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old May 14, 2011


I am eleven and this is my favorite show. It has a lot of mature episodes. It once had a reference to South Park which was really funny. XD

What's the story?

The 8-year-old title character of the animated series ARTHUR is a sweet, curious kid with more than his share of self-consciousness. He shares insecurities, adventures, and the spotlight with a varied cast of friends and family members. Although technically Arthur is an aardvark and his friends are other kinds of animals, they act just like real people. Based on the book series by Marc Brown, Arthur premiered in 1996 and is a recipient of the George Foster Peabody Award and multiple Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Children's Animated Program.

Is it any good?

Just as Arthur is a smart boy with lots of playful energy, the show is both educational and lighthearted, weaving themes in so well that they seem to result from -- rather than instigate -- the story. Viewers of Arthur will find demonstrations of solving problems creatively, appreciating differences, and other lessons on display. Situations resolve creatively rather than predictably. In one episode, for example, Arthur's smart friend, Brain, refuses to go to a birthday party at a water park, and the kids get mad and accuse him of being stuck up. Arthur is torn between sticking by his friend and sticking with the group. Rather than choosing sides, he investigates and figures out that Brain has a fear of water. Brain doesn't get over his fear of water -- instead, the episode helps viewers see that it's okay to be afraid of something and admit to your fears.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about sibling struggles in Arthur. How can brothers and sisters work out their differences? Do Arthur and DW have a good relationship? How is it like your kids' relationship with their siblings? How is it different?

  • What are some of the lessons that Arthur learns in the show? Does he handle them in a realistic way?

  • How do the characters in Arthur demonstrate gratitude and integrity? Why are these important character strengths?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love learning

Character Strengths

Find more TV shows that help kids build character.

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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