|"And Now Let's Talk to Some Kids"|
|Number in season:||4B|
|Original Airdate:|| November 19, 1998|
September 9, 1999
|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 50 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
- On the TV show, Let's Talk to Some Kids that Arthur, Buster, and D.W. were watching, there is an aardvark girl with a hairstyle similar to Francine's and with barrettes, but shorter.
- During the intro, Pal can be heard talking like Mr. Ratburn, but wasn't officially given the ability to speak until in The Secret Life of Dogs and Babies.
- There are two parodies of the Arthur intro in this episode: One is when Buster is imagining himself on TV, and the other is when Francine is imagining the Brain having his own TV show. The latter parody also includes a parody of "Arthur's New Puppy" titled "Brain's New Puppy".
- This episode implies that Arthur and Francine marry in the future and have not seen Buster in a long time.
- The name of the episode is a play on the phrase, "And now, a word from us kids," referential of the segment featuring actual children shown as interstitial content between stories on most Arthur episodes, save those which featured "Postcards from You."
- Buster hoping to get his own show is foreshadowing Postcards From Buster (although almost all the kids imagined having their own show).
- This episode, along with 4A, (Background Blues) both feature scenes that take place in the future, except "And Now Let's Talk to Some Kids" features a future scene at the end, while Background Blues shows it at the beginning.
- This is George's first speaking role.
- 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 the Arthur show itself.
- Also, Francine imagines Brain in the place of Arthur doing nothing except thinking about getting a new puppy, but not actually doing it. She then says it is almost as sad as when Francine didn't get a puppy last year. Arthur then takes notice of this curious sentence. She is talking about the Arthur's New Puppy episode the entire time.
- Another noticeable character that did not appear by herself on the segment of The Magic Toolbox is Maria, because of her stutter.
- The Brain actually appeared on footage of The Magic Toolbox, behind Arthur when Arthur was talking about orbit.
- Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers are not available for this episode's parody with Brain in the place of Arthur.
- 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 fourteen years before this episode went on the air, Francine was seen sitting on Santa Claus's lap, but never revealed which holiday she celebrates with her family.
- When the kids watch the completed 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. (But this could have been editing done after recording the tape)
- Continuity: In the first half of the episode (Background Blues) shows that VHS had been converted to Datagrams. But at the end of "And Now Let's Talk To Some Kids" it shows Arthur and Francine with a VHS cassette. However, the VCR is located in the armrest of the floating Barkazoid.