"D.W. and the Beastly Birthday"



Original Airdate: Flag of the United States May 29, 2017
Flag of the United Kingdom December 25, 2018 (part 1)[1]
December 26, 2018 (part 2)[2]
Written by: Peter K. Hirsch
Storyboard by: Gerry Capelle
Bernie Denk
Olivier Migneron
Dev Ramsaran
Cilbur Rocha
"Special: Arthur - It's Only Rock 'n' Roll"
"Special: Arthur and the Haunted Tree House"
"D.W. and the Beastly Birthday" is a one-hour special that premiered on May 29, 2017 on PBS.[3][4]


"In this all-new Arthur movie event, D.W.'s fifth birthday doesn’t go the way she had always imagined it would and she chose to escape to the magical island of Ukubonga. Meanwhile, Arthur has skipped her birthday party to go on a school trip to the planetarium – but instead of transporting him into outer space, it transports him four years in the future!"









  • This is the first one-hour special since "Arthur - It's Only Rock 'n' Roll".
  • The plot surrounding D.W. is a parody of Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are, which inspired Marc Brown to become a writer and illustrator.[5][6]
  • Vicita seems to be uninvited to the party.
  • Future D.W. is wearing a shirt with her name (Dora) in Japanese Katakana (ドラ).
  • The name Ruthra is based on the backward spelling of Arthur.
  • IMDb lists this episode as "D.W. And the Beastly Birthday Party".
  • It is one of two hour-long specials produced as part of the Oasis Animation production deal (alongside Seasons 20 and 21); the second being "Arthur and the Haunted Treehouse".
  • The title was confirmed in press releases for the launch of the PBS Kids 24/7 Channel. The press release also confirmed it will premiere on the channel as part of the “PBS KIDS Family Night” block (launched on April 21). The synopsis was announced (along with "Arthur and the Haunted Treehouse") in an infokit for the block.
  • A commercial for the special and the surrounding tentpole event (a week of new episodes in the days following the premiere) was posted to the PBS Kids YouTube channel on April 29th, 2017.
  • The title card for this episode is the only title card not to feature a center circle in the middle. It involves D.W. walking by and throwing her crown at a pinata to break it open, causing candy to fall out.
  • The llamas on Arthur's birthday card to D.W. are confused for aardvarks. This could be referencing the common real-world confusion over what animal Arthur's family is.

Episode connections

  • D.W.'s fifth birthday is also celebrated in the episode "D.W.'s Perfect Wish". However, this episode is a re-imaging compared to the earlier one.
  • While at the planetarium, Mr. Ratburn receives a phone call from Mr. Haney in Tanzania. It is revealed why he is in Africa in "The Hallway Minotaur".
  • D.W. mentions how her encounter with the octopus on Ukubonga is like a nightmare she has had. This is in reference to the Season 1 episode "D.W. All Wet". She is known to be afraid of octopuses in other episodes.
  • Nine-year-old D.W. mentions her snowball, which is part of the running gag from "D.W.'s Snow Mystery" and "The Blizzard".
  • Ruthra's imaginary friend was his teddy bear. It is a reference to how Stanley, Arthur's teddy bear, was his imaginary friend in "The Friend Who Wasn't There".
  • D.W. gets Confuse the Goose as a birthday present, but she previously had it in "Arthur's Almost Boring Day".
  • Arthur time travels to the future with D.W. older, similar to her time travelling and meeting her older self in "D.W.'s Time Trouble".


  • When Muk asks, "What's your name?", D.W. is briefly seen in her usual pink and white outfit, rather than her birthday dress.
  • At the end when D.W. and Arthur do the Big Beasty Boogaloo, there are two Bobblebays and no Bobbleboo.

Home video release

It was released on DVD on August 14, 2018.[7]



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