|"And Now Let's Talk to Some Kids"|
|Number in season:||4B|
|Original Airdate:|| November 19, 1998|
September 9, 1999
February 26, 2002
|Written by:||Joe Fallon|
|Storyboard by:||Stéphanie Gignac|
"The Chips are Down"
The Magic Toolbox comes to Mr. Ratburn's class to put some of the kids on TV.
In the intro, Arthur asks the viewers if they have ever noticed how people's personalities fit them perfectly (such as Mr. Ratburn having a hard working personality and Buster having a comedic personality). He then imagines what would it be like if everyone switched personalities (such as Mr. Ratburn having Buster's personality and Binky having Muffy's personality). Arthur backtracks on this theory when he imagines Pal having Mr. Ratburn's personality.
After the title card, Arthur, Buster and D.W. are at the Reads' house, watching The Magic Toolbox. In The Magic Toolbox, there is a segment that features kids explaining what gravity is and how it works.
The next day at school, Mr. Haney comes into Mr. Ratburn's classroom and announces that The Magic Toolbox will be coming to Lakewood Elementary and do a show involving Mr. Ratburn's class.
The kids are all excited and wonder what it will be like to be on TV---except the Brain, who's more focused on a Science Fair project. The next day, while everyone else is practicing for The Magic Toolbox, Brain is still focused on his project. This leads Francine to believe that the Brain is secretly nervous about appearing on TV. She and the others hatch a plan to see that Brain gets some airtime.
Despite their attempts, Brain is still focused on his Science Fair project and not appearing on TV. The following day, The Magic Toolbox crew shows up to Mr. Ratburn's class. Once he announces to the class that they are going to be asked about the solar system, the class rushes over to Brain's desk and they ask him about the solar system. Each student takes what they have learned from Brain to answer the questions.
A while later, the kids watch their performance on TV, with Arthur saying that they were better than he thought. They're still worried about Brain not being on TV, however.
About 70 years into the future, Brain is shown as a scientist who has invented teleportation, which he tests out on a cat. Older versions of Arthur and Francine watch the event on TV before watching themselves once more on The Magic Toolbox and sing the theme song off-key.
- D.W. Read
- Muffy Crosswire
- Binky Barnes
- Sue Ellen Armstrong
- Mrs. Fink
- Francis Haney
- George Lundgren
- Jenna Morgan
- Fern Walters
- Maria Pappas
- Unknown Female Aardvark (Number 3)
- Teenager's Mom
- 3rd Grade Male Cat
- 3rd Grade Female Aardvark (Number 2)
- 3rd Grade Male Dog (Number 3)
- Beulah McInnerny
- There are two parodies of the Arthur intro in this episode: One is when Buster is imagining himself on TV (at the end of the title sequence), and the other is when Francine is imagining the Brain having his own TV show (at the beginning). The latter parody also includes a parody of "Arthur's New Puppy" titled "Brain's New Puppy".
- This episode implies that Arthur and Francine eventually get married.
- The name of the episode and the eponymous segment of The Magic Toolbox is a play on the phrase, "And now, a word from us kids," referential of the segment featuring real children shown as interstitial content between stories on most Arthur episodes in the United States, save those which featured "Postcards from You".
- The style of the Magic Toolbox segment is also identical to the real-life Arthur segment, with the kids featured on camera positioned off-center and often speaking with stilted speech, and the camera angle "rocking" back and forth.
- The fourth wall is broken several times in this episode. When D.W. imagines Buster on TV (in the place of Arthur) he falls forward instead of backward, out of the television, in a smaller form, and lands in front of her. This excites D.W., but she changes her mind about Buster offering her a co-star role by saying "No, thanks. You would try to make me look like a brat or something," hinting at her awareness of her role in Arthur itself.
- Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers didn't sing in the parody of the theme song.
- The title of The Magic Toolbox is a parody of The Magic School Bus.
- Fern recites “There is no joy in Mudville” from the poem Casey at the Bat by Ernest Thayer.
- The world map quiz Mr. Ratburn assigns his class early on in the episode has the Soviet Union on it. The Soviet Union broke up in 1991 (it's where Russia and several surrounding countries are now located), and thus should not have been on such a quiz Mr. Ratburn was giving the class in the late 1990s.
- Francine mentions that she didn't get a puppy last Christmas, despite the fact that she and her family are Jewish. In the book Arthur's Christmas that was first published 14 years before this episode went on the air, Francine was seen sitting on Santa Claus's lap, but never revealed which holiday (Chanukah) she celebrates with her family.
- When the kids watch the full episode of the show in school, Francine's interview comes last. When the elderly Arthur and Francine watch the tape again in the future, Francine appears before Muffy and Buster.
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