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"Buster Baxter & the Letter from the Sea"
Season/Series: 14
Number in season: 6b
Original Airdate: United States April 22, 2011[1]
Canada September 19, 2011[3]
United Kingdom November 22, 2010[2]
Germany December 12, 2012[4]
Written by: Mathayu Warren Lane
Peter K. Hirsch
Storyboard by: Ivan Tankushev
"Follow the Bouncing Ball"
"Around the World in 11 Minutes"
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"Buster Baxter & the Letter from the Sea" is the second half of the sixth episode in the fourteenth season of Arthur.


While on vacation with the Read family, Buster discovers a message in a bottle on the shore.


In 1960, a man named E.J. Churney gets separated from his ship, the S.S. Icebuster, in Antarctica. He writes a note asking for help, puts it in a bottle, and throws it into the sea. In the present day, it is found by Buster, who is staying at the beach with the Reads.

Buster Baxter & the Letter from the Sea

Only "Buster," "please," and "help" are still readable and the bottle reads either "Bottled in Atlantis" or "Atlanta." Buster thinks that Atlantis is asking him for help, while Arthur is skeptical.

Buster and the Reads visit a souvenir shop run by Captain Jack, a retired sailor. Buster buys a book on myths. Arthur is worried that the bottle might take over the vacation. Meanwhile, D.W. sees a poster with a turtle. Captain Jack tells her that baby turtles will hatch on the beach in five days.

At night, Buster reads about Atlantis. He dreams that merman King Mackerel II is trying to contact him. The king writes him another message in a bottle.

The next day, Buster finds a stick with a mark that looks like an F. He believes that it means he failed. Then he finds another bottle and has an idea. He writes a letter asking King Mackerel to be more specific. He fills several more bottles with questions and throws them all into the sea.

While the Read family is having dinner, Captain Jack comes by. He is angry because Buster's bottles all washed ashore and littered the beach. Luckily, Captain Jack misreads the name as "Mustard."

That night, Buster has another dream in which King Mackerel personally comes ashore to tell him to clean up the beach. Buster gets up before dawn to pick up trash. Arthur comes and helps him so they will at least do something together. Captain Jack sees them and is pleased.

Later that day, Buster takes the original message in a bottle to Captain Jack. Jack recognizes it as his own. He was marooned in Antarctica many years ago, but eventually rescued. He tells Buster the full message and lets him keep the bottle as a thank you for cleaning up the beach.

That night, Buster and the Reads watch the baby turtles hatch. Buster tells them to send him a postcard when they get to Atlantis.






  • This episode was originally going to have a scene where the underwater kingdom was approached by a huge tidal wave. It was cut back due to the fear that it would give kids anxiety, or because of the tsunami in mainland southeast Asia in 2004.[5]
  • This is the first episode in which George narrates the title card.
  • This is the final time the "Arthur Underwater" title card is used in the U.S.
  • All fantasies in this episode use a different transition effect than usual. It consists of rising bubbles (similar to the scene transitions used on SpongeBob SquarePants) and a ripple effect similar to the one used in The Contest.

Episode connections[]

Cultural references[]

  • Grape Cola, bottled in Atlanta, refers to Coca-Cola (which is headquartered in Atlanta).
  • Buster's question "Do octopuses really have gardens?" refers to the Beatles song Octopus's Garden.
  • Captain Ernest Jack Churney's name is a possible reference to Oscar Wilde's play The Importance of Being Earnest. The main character John/"Jack" assumes the name Ernest. In the end it is revealed that his full name is Ernest John.


  • When Buster wakes up from a dream, he is wearing his blue vacation apparel.
  • In the opening, it says that the episode took place in 2012, but later, the captain says that the letter was 51 years old, three months and seven days old, and it was written in 1960, which means the episode actually took place in 2011 (June 16, to be precise).
  • When D.W. is saying goodbye to the turtles, her mouth doesn't move when we first see her sitting with her family and Buster.


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