We think this TV show stands out for:
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that D.W. and the Beastly Birthday is an Arthur special where Arthur and his little sister learn about the importance of selflessness in relationships with friends and siblings. D.W. starts the story with some ghastly behavior, complaining about the aspects of her birthday party that don't suit her and yelling orders at her friends during games, but these help emphasize the eventual change of heart she has as the tale evolves. Arthur also learns to better appreciate someone he's taken for granted when he sees the issue from a different point of view. This appealing story has elements of imagination, mystery, and even time travel.
What's the story?
In D.W. AND THE BEASTLY BIRTHDAY, it's D.W.'s (voiced by Christian Distefano) fifth birthday, and she couldn't be more excited. She's been dropping hints for weeks about a certain new toy, she's planned her party and her guest list, and she's told her parents exactly how she wants her cake. But what does she get? A rainy day, one party disappointment after another, and no coveted gift. So when her imaginary friend Nadine (Hayley Reynolds) gives her a ticket to a magical island that grants every wish, D.W. is sure this is the answer. Meanwhile, Arthur (Jacob Ursomarzo) heads to the planetarium with his friends instead of attending his little sister's party, but a glimpse into the future makes him rethink his haste to avoid spending time with her.
Is it any good?
This enjoyable TV special puts its characters in relatable predicaments that teach kids important lessons about looking past themselves and considering other people's feelings. D.W. is hardly a rarity as the self-centered 5-year-old who considers her special day ruined when a friend's outfit outshines her own, and her coping mechanism -- hiding from everyone to test their dedication to finding her -- will ring true with many kids. The story puts her road to awareness in a realistic context, letting her enjoy the power of always getting her way for a while before she acknowledges that these kinds of relationships aren't avenues to happiness.
Arthur's change of heart is less formulaic but still very effective in communicating its own positive message about the importance of valuing sibling relationships. D.W. and the Beastly Birthday's lessons stand out in this story that's engaging enough for parents to watch with their kids. You don't need to be an Arthur fan already to enjoy what this special has to offer, but it will help you better understand the characters' relationships from the start.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about coping with disappointment. Kids: Can you relate to D.W.'s feelings in D.W. and the Beastly Birthday about her party and gifts? Is it OK to show it when you're disappointed about something? What about when doing so might hurt someone else's feelings?
D.W. and Arthur learned their lessons by way of some magical journeys. How do you stay open to learning in everyday life? When you're faced with something you've done wrong, do you accept it as an opportunity to change for the better?
Find more TV shows that help kids build character.
Themes & Topics
Browse titles with similar subject matter.
For kids who love preschool fun
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.