Arthur is an odd looking aardvark, but don’t hold that against him.

My kids love the PBS program Arthur, and just between you and me, I love it too. When we hear that theme song by Ziggy Marley and see Arthur walkin’ down the street, the kids and I sing and dance around the living room as if we haven’t a care in the world. For 15 seasons Arthur — a character based on the books of Marc Brown — have been a staple in the homes of families with young children, providing babysitting and entertainment.

Arthur’s Travel Adventures offers up eight episodes from the series, which revolve around Arthur, his sister D.W. and friends Buster, Francine, Muffy, The Brain, and Binky, as they explore the good ol’ US of A.

* “D.W. Goes to Washington”
* “Arthur’s Mystery Envelope”
* “Arthur Goes to Camp”
* “Buster Makes the Grade”
* “Arthur’s Family Vacation”
* “Grandpa Dave’s Old Country Farm”
* “It’s a No-Brainer”
* “The Shore Thing”

In this collection, we get to see the kids — some of which are not easily identifiable — at summer camp, visiting the nation’s capital, and spending a day at the beach with Arthur’s dad; a big disappointment to a group of kids who thought they’d be having the time of their lives at an amusement park. But as with every Arthur episode, things always work out for the best.

If you’re kids have ever watched Arthur for any length of time, odds are they’ve seen many of the episodes in this set. There’s nothing spectacular here. If you like the show, you’ll enjoy these episodes. If you don’t care, there’s nothing to convince you to spend your hard earned money purchasing it. And unless you want a part of your soul to die slowly as your kids obsessively watch this disc over and over (as I know my kids will, God help me), I cannot in all good conscience recommend its purchase.

Presented in standard definition 1.33:1 full screen, Arthur’s Travel Adventures offers a clean crisp colorful picture your children will love. The Dolby 2.0 Stereo mix is fine, though nothing earth shattering. We can clearly hear the realistic way in which these cartoon 8-year-olds whine and complain an awful lot like their human counterparts.

Arthur’s Travel Adventures is a bare bones DVD, with no extras, only some printable coloring pages for the kiddos. I was hoping for a behind-the-scenes look at how each show is illustrated or the vocal actors as they record their parts. This could’ve added immensely to the value, and allow kids to see how one of their favorite cartoons is put together. Alas, only a small snippet of this is shown, almost as an afterthought following a few of the episodes.

I love me some Arthur, but the series deserves a more comprehensive release than this paltry collection.

The Verdict



Tech Specs
Arthur’s Travel Adventures (DVD) 2012, PBS, 104 minutes, NR (2011)
VIDEO: 1.33:1    AUDIO:  Dolby Digital 2.0 (English)
EXTRAS: Printable Coloring Sheets   ACCOMPLICES: IMDB


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