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"Arthur Makes a Movie"
Season/Series: 2
Number in season: 4A
Original Airdate: United States October 23, 1997[1]
Canada November 27, 1997[2]
Germany January 29, 2002[3]
Written by: Peter K. Hirsch
Storyboard by: Robert Yap
"Buster and the Daredevils"
"Go to Your Room, D.W."
Read transcript

"Arthur Makes a Movie" is the first half of the fourth episode in the second season of Arthur.


When Arthur and his friends are too young to watch a James Hound movie, due to it being rated PG-13, the gang gets together to make a movie that stars Arthur and puts Muffy in the director's chair.


Arthur goes to the movies with his family and is watching a promo for the latest James Hound movie. Unfortunately, Arthur and his friends are too young to watch a James Hound movie as the movie is rated PG-13, and they're only 8 years old (as Arthur's father tells Arthur that he only has five more years to be 13 years old). Arthur is instead forced to watch a movie of D.W.'s choosing: Kitty Come Home.

Arthur Makes a Movie

Arthur and his friends discuss the James Hound movie. Upset that they can't see the real one, Francine says they just have to wait until they are older, but then Buster says that James Hound will also get older and by the time they will be old enough to see the movie, "he'll be ancient".

Brain says that they will get a new actor to play James Hound, and Buster says that he won't be as good as the one right now. Then they decide to make their own James Hound movie with Muffy's new video camera.

They first decide to make the scene where Hound rides his motorbike and squirts dust at two villains so that he can escape. Arthur plays the role of James Hound and Buster and Brain play the villains chasing him.

However, Arthur cannot find a black bow tie to wear like James Hound, and is forced to wear a red polka-dot tie lent to him by Francine, and must use baby powder in place of a real smoke screen.

Francine uses two board erasers full of chalk dust to shout out the takes. When Arthur squirts the baby powder dust at Buster and Brain, he accidentally squirts himself due to an unexpected wind gust and crashes the bike.

Buster asks to do the scene where James Hound fights the evil genius in his space station shaped like a giant crab, during which he stops the villain from turning all sea life on Earth against the humans on the land.

The gang finds that to be too difficult to film, but instead they make a toy jet and have Muffy film it flying. Unfortunately, Pal grabs a hold of it during filming and uses it as a chew toy. Brain decides to do the scene where Hound's genius sidekick, I.Q., saves the world from nuclear disaster.

Brain plays I.Q. and Arthur plays James Hound again, and they use the library's computer as the controls of the missile, but when Brain clicks the number 1 on the computer, it makes the lights go out in the library. They manage to get them running again, though.

Francine decides to do the scene where Hound saves the pretty lady from a shark in which Francine plays the pretty lady and Arthur once again plays James Hound. They use Muffy's pool as the water and D.W.'s toy shark Sharky as the shark.

D.W. uses diver shoes for a clapperboard. Arthur as James Hound saves Francine, and they exchange some cheesy romantic remarks, much to Arthur's embarrassment. Unfortunately, Muffy hasn't figured out her camera and accidentally ejects their one good scene into the pool.

The gang shows the tape to their older friend Prunella, but get into a heated argument when they realize how amateurish they did and accuse each other of not doing their part to make it better.

However, Prunella surprisingly enjoys the movie, even if it wasn't much like the James Hound movie, which she herself did get to see. The gang is happy with the final cut, as they did have fun making it.






  • At the end of the 2000 rerun intro on PBS Kids before this episode, Arthur’s crashing sound changes to pots and pans.
  • Arthur states that James Hound's bow tie is black, even though in the real trailer, it is red.
  • Running Gag: Francine insisting Arthur they film him rescuing her.

Cultural references

  • James Hound is a parody of the James Bond film series.
    • When Brain comments to Buster about a new James Hound actor should the current one be older, with Buster stating that the actor won't be as good as the current one, this is a reference to the multiple actors who played James Bond due to aging, notably from Sean Connery to George Lazenby to Roger Moore to Timothy Dalton to Pierce Brosnan (who was the current James Bond around the time when this episode had originally aired), then currently Daniel Craig, until his final appearance in No Time to Die, which was released in 2021.
    • Additionally, the James Hound movie is rated PG-13, which is the parental rating from the MPAA given to all James Bond movies since 1989's Licence to Kill.
    • Brain imagines himself as James Hound's "genius sidekick" named "I.Q.", a reference to James Bond's genius partner simply named "Q".
  • Kitty, Come Home is most likely a reference to Lassie Come Home, along with Snoopy, Come Home (itself a reference to Lassie Come Home).

Episode connections

Production notes

  • On some post-9/11 home media releases, the I.Q. imagine spot is edited, so we don't see the missile stop right before hitting the White House; instead, it freeze-frames on Brain as I.Q. pushing down the "1" button, as we hear either Arthur or Brain saying "We did it!" (likely sampled from another episode), and then it goes to the parade scene.[4] As of 2021, the scene remains unedited on PBS airings.


  • Arthur and his friends act as if they cannot go to a PG-13 movie at all, but the rating only means that anyone under 13 cannot get in unless accompanied by an adult. Although this fact is stated at the end of the James Hound trailer, David tells Arthur immediately afterwards that he has to wait "five more years" to see it, unless he only meant being able to see it by himself. Also, Prunella, who is 9, mentions at the end of the episode that she saw the movie.
  • Right before Muffy says "Hello, little ants," Bailey is replaced with Carl Pacheva.
  • Arthur says "James Hound's bow tie is black" to Francine, but James Hound actually has a red bow tie in the movie, so the one Francine provided was more accurate, albeit with polka dots.
  • During Buster's imagination scene as Captain Crustacean, he is first seen with a crab claw replacing his right hand. However, in the next scene with James Hound (Arthur) infiltrating his base to confront him, Captain Crustacean appears to have his right hand intact.

Home Video