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 6+
Based on 65 reviews

Kids say

age 5+
Based on 125 reviews

We think this TV show stands out for:

A lot or a little?

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).

Wondering if Arthur is OK for your kids?

Set preferences and get age-appropriate recommendations with Common Sense Media Plus. Join now

Continue reading Show less

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
Adult Written byJEDI micah June 2, 2012


This is the best show for little kids, even way better than Dora the Explorer! I grew up watching this show before I had cable, and I loved it! I haven't s... 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

Character Strengths

Find more TV shows that help kids build character.

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

For kids who love learning

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate