I’m a bit late posting this, but if you’re a fan of the PBS animated children’s series Arthur, you can catch up on-line.

After a 25-year, 250-episode run, four final episodes featuring the young aardvark and his pals from Third Grade aired this past Monday on PBS. In a unique twist, the final half-hour casts the characters forward – not anywhere near as dramatically as the final episode of Six Feet Under – to show how they turned out as adults. (US readers can watch the full final episode here at PBS.org.)

“For this last episode I think there’s a hunger among our audience to know what happens to them,” executive producer Carol Greenwald explained to Television Critics Association reporters last month on a zoom call. “When you read a really good book, it is very satisfying to get that epilogue afterwards, where you get, here’s what happens in the future. So I think that’s something we wanted to give our audiences.” 

Arthur books (written and illustrated by Marc Brown) and TV episodes were big hits with my kids back when the series started. We were ahead of the curve, making homemade Arthur cards and cakes for Katie and Dan’s birthday parties. I think we even made a pin-the-ears-on-the-aardvark wall game.

Arthur took the cake as far as daughter Katie was concerned

That same PBS zoom call in January featuring a few of the voice actors for the series, including Montrealer Daniel Brochu, who voiced Arthur’s rabbit pal Buster Baxter Brochu was just 25 when he was hired to do the voice of Buster.

“I started to see similarities between Buster and myself over the years,” he said. “Like he’s from a single‑parent family, I’m from a single‑parent family. He loves sci‑fi and anything kind of science‑fiction wise. I am a huge sci‑fi buff. He has asthma; I have asthma. So it was blurring the lines there a little bit between reality and cartoon.”


Among the highlights from working on the series was recording episodes with guest voice stars such as Alex Trebek, Joan Rivers and Fred Rogers.

Rogers traveled to Montreal to record his episode with Brochu. The voice actor was surprised to see Mister Rogers when he arrived that day at the studio. “He was changing his cardigan and putting on his work shoes. I’m like, ‘This is crazy.’” 

Brochu did the recording and grabbed a photo later with the television legend.

“He was the nicest, most beautiful man, exactly like his TV counterpart, and I was blown away.”

I asked Brochu how he got started as a voice actor. It all happened around the same time he graduated from a Montréal theatre school he said. He was living in the Plateau area when he ran into a casting agent from CINAR, Andy Green.

The agent just happened to be looking for someone who did “young” voices. He told Brochu he was looking to cast a series about a bunch of animals who are kids.

“I remember going into his house that afternoon, and he had one of those tape decks,” Brochu recalled. “We sat at his kitchen table and he rummaged through to find me pieces of the script. He kept on saying, ‘Higher, the voice has to be higher.  You need to sound younger and younger.’ Green got Brochu up to a falsetto level and sent the tape off to PBS. “And the rest is history,” he said. “I didn’t even get a callback.  I was cast right away…I never imagined it would last so long and be such a force in my life.”

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