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Introduction[]

Arthur stands in front of the bathroom sink and puts toothpaste on his brush.

Arthur: Do you ever feel that you're always in a rush?

His mom calls.

Mrs. Read: Arthur, hurry up! You're gonna be late for school!

Arthur starts brushing.

Arthur sits in the classroom and works on a math test.

Arthur: Like you're constantly running out of time?

Mr. Ratburn: Two minutes left. Finish up.

The Lakewood team plays soccer against Mighty Mountain. Arthur has the ball.

Arthur: Everyone's always racing around. No one ever slows down. He is about to shoot when Mr. Ratburn, as referee, blows the whistle. The game's over??

Arthur plays a video game in the living room.

Arthur: Even when you're just relaxing, you still feel...

Buster comes in.

Buster: Arthur, you only have fifteen seconds.

Arthur: Why? I'm almost at the next level.

Buster: No, not for the game. The show has to start. See? A timer appears on the screen. Fifteen... fourteen...

Arthur: But, but I'm not done yet! I still have lots more to save. Wait! A black wall moves in from the left. Arthur pushes against it. Ach! You can't just start the countdown while I'm trying to say something important about the crazy pace of life! The black wall pushes Arthur out of the picture. That's not fair!

Buster: ...one!

Title Card: Stampede[]

The kids pack their schoolbags in class when loud feedback is heard from the P.A. system. Francine winces.

Mr. Haney (on PA): Hello? Testing. Is it on? More feedback. Oh. Ahem. Good afternoon, students. Tomorrow, we shall have a special assembly during first period.

Mr. Haney stands in his office with a microphone. Miss Tingley stands behind him.

Mr. Haney: Our very own George Lungdrain... Miss Tingley whispers to him. Oh, yes. Thank you, Miss Tingley. That's right. Lundgren. George Lundgren will be appearing on a radio quiz show called "15 Minutes of Fame". He will be playing for a grand prize of 500 dollars.

The kids listen in class.

Mr. Haney (on PA): Which, if he wins, will be donated to our school. That will be all. Oh, I always find those announcements so exhausting. Why can't we just send an email? Oh. Whoops.

The PA screeches again and goes silent.

Arthur: Congratulations, George. How did you get on the show?

George: I just sent my name in on a postcard and they picked me out of a hat.

Mr. Ratburn: Remember class, your art history reports are due tomorrow.

Buster: Do we still get merit points if everyone turns their report in on time?

Mr. Ratburn: Yes. If every single project is handed in on time, the class gets fifteen merit points.

Francine: And then, we'll break the 500 mark.

Binky: And that means...

Class: No Homework Day!

Arthur puts his Trailblazer bike in the bike stand next to Buster’s bike.

Buster: Goedemorgen. Hoe gaat het?

Arthur: What does that mean?

Buster: It's "Good morning, how are you?" in Dutch. I learned it while I was doing my report on the Dutch painter, Pieter Bruegel.

Arthur: (gasps)

Buster: Did you know that his nickname was... What's wrong?

Arthur: My report on Michelangelo! I left it at home!

Buster: Well, go back and get it.

Arthur: But I'll be late for school!

Buster: If you don't hand it in, we won't get "No Homework Day". Knowing Ratburn, he'll probably turn it into "Extra Homework Day".

Arthur imagines Mr. Ratburn pushing a wheelbarrow full of books into the classroom. He puts a book on Muffy’s desk.

Mr. Ratburn: Muffy, learn French by tomorrow.

Muffy: Ooooh...

Mr. Ratburn puts "How to Write a Novel” on Binky’s desk.

Mr. Ratburn: Binky, write a novel, and don't try to hand in a novella.

Binky: Aw.

Mr. Ratburn: If Arthur had only handed his report in on time, things would have been veeery different.

The whole class glares at Arthur.

Arthur: I... I was in a hurry. I said I was sorry.

He sinks behind his desk.

The fantasy ends.

Buster: You have time! Go!

Arthur rides off.

***

Mr. Read walks through the kitchen carrying a thermos bottle and a bag. He notices the report on the table.

Mr. Read: Uh oh. Jane, Arthur left his report here. He said if he didn't get his report in today, there would be big trouble!

Pal sits on the floor.

Pal: (whines)

Pal runs to Kate, who is sitting on a blanket in the living room and looking at a book.

Pal: Kate, quick! I need your help.

Kate crawls after Pal.

Mr. Read: I'll drop off Arthur's report at school on the way to my meeting. He takes the folder with Arthur’s report and a similar looking folder of his own. Mrs. Read hands him a box with old paper.

Mrs. Read: Could you take out the recycling on your way?

Mr. Read takes the box and leaves. Mrs. Read turns on the radio.

Flip Wattles (on radio): So stay tuned 'cause "15 Minutes of Fame" is coming up with yours truly, Flip Wattles, and a lucky kid from Lakewood Elementary School...

As Mr. Read leaves the house, a gust of wind blows some paper out of the box.

Mr. Read: (gasps)

He puts his own folder in his bag and puts some old newspapers back in the box. As he leaves, the wind blows a newspaper away, revealing that he accidentally put Arthur’s report in the box as well.

***

Mrs. Read washes dishes. Pal and Kate come into the kitchen.

Pal: Kate, there's some kind of thing called a “report" that Arthur desperately needs.

Kate: What's a report?

Pal: I have no idea, but Mr. Read said it twice, and then the words "big trouble"... which, er, I understood.

Kate: Oh, dear!

Pal: And whatever it is, I think it was on this table. Pal jumps on a chair and onto the table. Mr. Read kept looking down at it.

Kate: Well, is the report there?

Pal: I'm not sure. I see lots of papers. They can't be important. I think this green stuff is called "money". Also useless. (gasps) Look! Crumbs!

Kate: Pal! Focus!

Pal: Right. Hello? What's this?

Pal jumps down with a key. He drops it in front of Kate.

Kate: Hmm. I think that's a key.

Pal: Is it edible?

Kate: No, but keys open things. I have a big plastic one that opens a big plastic box. Not the most amusing toy.

Pal: Maybe Mr. Read put the report in something, and the key opens it.

Kate: The plot thickens!

***

George stands in front of his house holding Wally.

Wally: What scientist discovered radium in 1898?

George: Um... I forget. Just tell me.

Wally: How would I know if you don't know? I'm a dummy, remember?

Arthur comes by on his bike. George waves at him.

George: Arthur? Arthur? Arthur stops. I'm going to the quiz show soon, and I can't remember who discovered radium. What if they asked me that?

Arthur: I think it was Marie Curie.

George: Of course! I knew that! He bumps himself on the head with Wally. Could you just help me with a few more questions? I'm really, really nervous.

Arthur: Um... He checks his watch. Okay, but, just for one minute.

Kate and Pal walk into the living room. Kate takes they key from Pal and tries to put it in the DVD player. She shakes her head.

Pal puts the key into the mouth of a Mary Moo Cow doll in D.W.’s room.

Pal: Ugh, phew! Cow’s lips.

***

Kate and Pal return to the living room.

Kate: (sighs) Oh, Pal, I think it's hopeless. We'll never find out where this key fits.

Pal: We mustn't give up, Kate. (sniffs) I say! I think there's food in that desk.

Kate: And look! There's a keyhole, too! Now, how to get up there?

***

Arthur quizzes George using index cards.

Arthur: Okay, last one, then I really have to go. If I don't get my report on Michelangelo handed in, I'm toast.

Wally: You look more like a bagel to me.

George: Wally, let him ask the question.

Arthur: Who was the British king during the American Revolution?

Wally: Even I know this one. Here's a hint. It's your name.

George: King George III!

Arthur hands George the index cards.

Arthur: Good luck! You'll do great!

He rides off.

***

Arthur rides along the street.

Arthur: Almost there, almost there... A squirrel jumps in front of his bike. Ahh! He crashes into a fence. Ow. Phew. He notices that the front wheel is bent. Oh, no!

***

In the Reads’ living room, Pal drags a pillow to the desk and throws it on a pile of other pillows.

Pal: That's the last one. Are you sure you want to do this? Kate nods and climbs the pillows. Steady on, girl.

The pile of pillows sways to and fro.

Kate: (giggles) This is fun.

Outside, Arthur drops his damaged bike on the lawn and runs to the house.

Inside, Kate manages to put the key into the desk’s keyhole.

Pal: Good show, old girl! Huzzah! He knocks over the pillow pile. Kate hangs onto the desk by the key. She turns the key and several small papers fall out of the desk. Oh, dear. Don't worry, Kate, I'll save you!

Arthur searches the Kitchen table.

Arthur: Where is it? I could have sworn I left it here.

Kate drops onto the scattered pillows on the floor.

Pal: Kate! Kate!

Kate: Whoa!

Pal: Are you all right?

Kate: (giggles) Let's do it again!

Pal sees a print of Mona Lisa with a moustache that fell out of the desk.

Pal: What's this? Do you think it could be... the report?

Nemo puts his paws on the print.

Nemo: Thank you, furball and smelly biped. So nice to have others do the grunt work for you. Now if you'll excuse me, I need this.

He takes the print in his mouth and jumps out of the window.

Pal: Fine! Foiled by Nemo again, that horrible fish-breath fiend. He finds a small bag of pretzels on the floor. Oh, I was right, there was food in there.

He tries to open it.

Kate: How will we ever help Arthur now?

Nadine appears.

Nadine: It's not just Arthur you have to help!

***

George with Wally and George’s mother sit in a bus next to another lady.

Wally: Don't you think we should be practicing?

George: I'm too nervous.

Wally addresses the other lady.

Wally: He doesn't like to toot his own horn but he's going to be on a quiz show. Oh, I'm so proud.

The lady presses the stop button and hurries away.

***

Mr. Read walks through the school and sees Buster at his locker.

Mr. Read: Oh, Buster, have you seen Arthur? I have to give him this report, he left it at home.

Buster: You have the report?

Mr. Read: Yes. Where's Arthur?

Buster: He's just... I'll make sure he gets it.

Mr. Read: Oh, thanks, Buster.

He gives Buster the report and leaves.

Meanwhile in the Reads’ living room.

Kate: Nadine? D.W.'s imaginary friend?

Nadine: It's not just me. This is Treenie, Vicita's imaginary friend.

Treenie: Hola.

Nadine: And Uncle Wormy, he's from the Tibbles.

Uncle Wormy: Urgh.

Nadine: Kate, Pal, we need your help. We believe Nemo is part of a secret organization of cats called the Red Claw.

While she is talking, we see Nemo crawling under a fence with the Mona Lisa print.

Nadine (narrator): The Red Claw has a plot to eliminate imaginary friends forever. That way, kids will spend more time playing with cats.

Nemo enters a room full of high-tech equipment. On the walls are a black claw on a red field, and crossed out pictures of Pal, Amigo, and a mouse. Three cats are working on computers as Nemo comes in.

Nemo: Members of the Red Claw, we have everything we need. Soon the hearts and minds of children will be ours! (evil laugh)

Cats: (meow)

The fantasy ends.

Nadine: They are looking for a secret formula, which we believe may be written on the back of that card you found, Pal. She takes out a pocket watch with a face. If we don't get it back in fifteen minutes, all imaginary friends may disappear forever.

Kate: (gasps) We will do our best, Nadine. You have our...

Mrs. Read picks her up.

Mrs. Read: There you are, Kate. Ready for your nap, little girl?

She takes Kate away.

Arthur searches under the kitchen table.

Flip Wattles (on radio): Flip Wattles is ready to start your morning up with a b-b-bang! Sound effect. Oops. That's the wrong button, they must have moved it here. Sound effect. Aargh!

***

Buster walks along a school corridor when his cell phone rings.

Arthur (on phone): Buster, I can't find my report.

The screen splits. Arthur is still in the kitchen.

Buster: I have it. Your dad just dropped it off.

He hides the phone as Mr. Haney walks by.

Arthur: Hello? Buster? Hello?

Buster: We're going to the auditorium now. If you get back here in fifteen minutes, you should make it back before class starts.

***

Pal runs out of the house carrying a walkie talkie. Kate at the window has the other one.

Kate: Okay, Pal, you know what to do: find Nemo.

***

George and his mother enter the “15 Minutes of Fame” studio. Flip Wattles greets them.

Flip Wattles: George Lungdrain!

George: Lundgren.

Flip Wattles: Right. Great to meet you. They shake hands. Sorry my hands are sticky - spilled some coffee. So, you ready to play “15 Minutes Of Fame”?

He leads George away.

George: Oh, well...

Flip Wattles: Great. Just follow me into the soundproof room. I'm afraid your little dolly will have to stay outside though, it's against the rules.

George: But...

Flip Wattles: Come on, George! Your fifteen minutes of fame are about to begin.

The screen splits. One half shows George sitting down in the soundproof room, the other half shows Arthur running out of the house. A timer appears starting at 15:00:00. A third section appears showing Pal running.

Part 2[]

Pal drops the walkie talkie in front of the Molinas’ house and sniffs.

Pal: (sniffs) There's definitely cat around here somewhere.

Kate and the imaginary friends watch from the window.

Kate: He's picked up a scent. Good work, Pal!

***

Mr. Haney addresses the students who are gathered in the auditorium. A paper plane flies by.

Mr. Haney: Good morning, boys and girls. The microphone screeches. Miss Tingley walks on stage and adjusts it. Well, the quiz show's just about to start. Let's give a big cheer for our very own George Lundgren!

He presses a button and a picture of Binky appears on the screen behind him.

Kids: (laugh)

Mr. Haney: Whoops.

A picture of George appears.

Kids: (cheer)

***

George sits in the soundproof room.

Flip Wattles: You can just sit right there in that big, comfy chair.

Wattles walks into the next room where George can see him through a glass window. He throws Wally on a chair. George looks uncomfortable.

Flip Wattles: So, Josh, you excited to play “15 Minutes of Fame”?

George: It's George.

Flip Wattles: That is correct, hey, you're on a roll! Okay, the first question is for one hundred dollars to be donated to your school, should you answer correctly. Ready? George nods. What kind of wood is traditionally used to make a baseball bat?

George looks shocked.

Meanwhile, the Lakewood students are listening in the auditorium.

Francine: That's the first question? Aren't they supposed to start off with an easy one, like "what has four legs and goes meow?"

Buster: A cow with a sore throat?

Francine rolls her eyes.

Francine: What's that?

Buster: Arthur's art history report. He went home to get it but his dad just dropped it off.

Francine: Oh, I wonder what historical art he did his report on. She looks inside the folder. "Hors d'oeuvres list for Takahashi/McMillan wedding"?

Buster: I didn't know you could write about food. I would have done my report on burgers, not Bruegel.

Francine: Buster, this isn't Arthur's report.

Meanwhile in the studio.

Flip Wattles: Well, George?

George: Um... um...

He looks at Wally.

Flashback: George unpacks a Christmas present and finds Wally.

George: A giraffe doll?

Mr. Lundgren: It's a ventriloquist's dummy. See? He puts his hand in Wally’s back. (as Wally:) And I'm top of the line, too, made from an ash tree, just like baseball bats. So, do you like me? Did I strike out or am I a home run?

George: (laughs)

He puts his own hand in Wally’s back and smiles.

The flashback ends.

George: Baseball bats are traditionally made from ash.

Flip Wattles: Is that your confirmed answer?

George: Yes, that is my confirmed answer.

In the auditorium, Mr. Haney is biting his thumbnail.

Flip Wattles: George Lundgren...that is correct!

Kids: (cheer)

***

Pal finds a hole in the ground.

Pal: It could be the entrance to the secret lair of the Red Claw.

In Pal’s imagination, Nemo jumps into the hole with the Mona Lisa print. He moves a lever in a tunnel and a door opens. He comes to another door with a claw symbol and presses a button on an intercom.

Nemo: Agent Calico, this is Tom Cat. I have the secret ingredients.

The door opens.

The fantasy ends. Pal starts digging.

***

Arthur runs along the street.

Arthur: (pants) His cell phone rings. Buster? I'm on my way now.

The screen splits. Buster is in a school corridor.

Buster: Good. No, wait! Bad! I don't have the report. It's a list of hors d'oeuvres for the Takahashi/McMillan wedding. Those meatballs sound amazing.

Arthur: So, that means my report is still at home?!

Buster: I guess so. Gotta go. I don't want to miss George's next questions. It's so exciting.

Arthur checks his watch.

Arthur: Ugh!

He runs back.

***

Meanwhile at the studio.

Flip Wattles: Ready for your next question? George nods. For two hundred dollars, what does the Latin word "exeunt" mean? Remember, you also have one magic phone call that you can use to call a friend for help. Do you want to use that call now?

George: Um...

Flashback: George performs at the Lakewood talent show. He drinks a glass of water while Wally sings.

Wally: (gurgling voice:) “My bonnie lies over the ocean / So bring back my bonnie to me.”

The crowd applauds.

George: (coughs)

Wally: Oh, that sounded terrible. Next time, I'm drinking the water and you're singing!

Mr. Ratburn comes on stage.

Mr. Ratburn: Excellent, George and Wally. Now, it's time for the next performer. If you two would please exeunt.

Wally: Gesundheit.

Mr. Ratburn: Er, no, Wally, "exeunt" is Latin for "leave the stage".

Wally: Sorry, I only know pig Latin. Ess-lay omework-hay, ease-play. [Less homework, please.]

Mr. Ratburn: George!

Wally: I'm exeunting, I'm exeunting!

George leaves the stage.

The flashback ends. George smiles.

George: "Exeunt" means to exit the stage.

Flip Wattles: George Lundgren, you've just won 200 dollars!

***

Arthur runs into the Read house. Pal is digging in the Molinas’ yard when Nemo comes with the Mona Lisa print. He watches Pal. Meanwhile, Kate and the imaginary friends watch them both from the window.

Pal: I smell cat very strongly, he's very close by.

Nemo: Closer than you think, kibble head.

Pal turns around.

Pal: (gasps) A pox upon you, fuzz face!

Pal chases Nemo who jumps over a bird bath and across the fence. Pal follows and runs into a trash can. Nemo runs down the street and up a tree. Pal tries unsuccessfully to climb after him.

Nemo: Come on, puppy, the air is so refreshing up here.

Pal: By all that is canine, I swear you and the Red Claw will never succeed!

Nemo: The what??

Pal: The Red Claw, that secret organization you're a part of?

Nemo: I've never heard of the Red Claw! Sounds like a seafood restaurant.

Pal: Well... Then why did you steal Arthur's report?

Nemo: What, you mean this thing? It amuses me, she has whiskers.

***

The kids listen in the school auditorium as George answers the 300 dollar question.

George (on loudspeakers): Lutefisk is a delicacy from Sweden and Norway made of dried white fish.

Flip Wattles (on loudspeakers): That is correct.

Kids: Yay!

Flip Wattles (on loudspeakers): You are now up to 300 dollars.

Mr. Ratburn looks around, then addresses Buster.

Mr. Ratburn: Have you seen Arthur? He's late.

Buster: Um... Yes, I did see him. I saw him this morning, that's my confirmed answer.

Mr. Ratburn goes back to his seat.

Francine: Did you just lie to Mr. Ratburn?

Buster: No, I really did see him this morning, but if Arthur doesn't show up soon, something tells me I'm gonna be in big trouble.

***

Arthur searches the kitchen cupboards while the radio is on.

Flip Wattles (on radio): Before we go on, let's find out a little bit more about you, George. According to my notes here, you have a younger brother named Wally.

George (on radio): Not exactly. Wally is a dummy.

Flip Wattles (on radio): Hey, now, that's not very nice.

Arthur searches his room.

Arthur: Where are you, Michelangelo?

***

Outside, Pal is still talking to Nemo.

Pal: Oh, please! A woman with a moustache? That's not art.

Nemo: What would you know about art? You eat out of the trash.

Pal: I beg you, give me that picture.

Nemo: Come and get it, biscuit breath. Oh, wait, you can't climb.

Pal: Actually, Nemo, the word on the street is that you've gotten very clumsy.

Nemo: What?! Who told you that?!

Pal: A little bird said you couldn't climb a tree unless you used both paws.

Nemo: Nonsense, watch this. He takes the print in one paw and holds on to the tree trunk with the other three. Ta-da!

Pal: Now climb with the other paw!

While transferring the print from one paw to another, Nemo drops it.

Nemo: Oh, you tricked me!

Pal: Nothing to it. Your head has gotten too big for your claws.

He catches the print as it falls.

Kate and the imaginary friends watch.

Nadine: He's done it! He has the secret recipe.

Kate: Good job, Pal.

Uncle Wormy: Ugh, ugh.

Nadine: He says Pal can't hear you, he's lost the monitor.

Arthur comes out of the house. Pal drops the print in front of him.

Pal: (barks)

Arthur picks up the print, which is covered in spit.

Arthur: Eurgh.

Pal: (whines) Arthur drops the print into the recycling box. (gasps)

Kate+Friends: (gasp)

Arthur looks back into the box and finds his report.

Arthur: My Michelangelo report!

He does a happy dance.

Kate: I think Arthur found it.

Arthur runs off with the report. A garbage truck stops and a garbageman empties the box into the truck.

Nadine: And the secret recipe has been destroyed.

Kate+Friends: (Yay!)

Pal: Mission accomplished. Not quite sure how, but there you have it!

***

George answers the 400 dollar question in the studio.

George: The tallest animal in the world is a giraffe.

Flip Wattles: That's right, too. Okay, you've got 400 dollars. Now, here is your final question, George Lundgren. Are you ready? George nods. What is Michelangelo's full name?

George looks horrified. Wally’s jaw drops.

George: Erm... Umm...

Flashback: Arthur quizzes George on his way to school.

Arthur: Last one, then I really have to go. If I don't get my report on Michelangelo handed in, I'm toast.

The flashback ends. George smiles.

George: I'd like to use my magic phone call.

The kids listen in the auditorium.

George (on loudspeakers): I'd like to call my friend Arthur Read, he's listening in our school assembly at Lakewood Elementary.

Kids: (cheer) Arthur! Arthur!...

Buster: I'm doomed!

A split screen shows Arthur running, Flip Wattles in the studio, and a timer which is at 01:21:07.

Flip Wattles: All right, we're calling the school.

He phones.

Mr. Haney (on Phone): Hello, this is Principal Haney of Lakewood Elementary.

Loud feedback is heard from the other end.

Flip Wattles: Please turn down your radio, Principal Haney. We're looking for a student named Arthur Read to help out George.

The split screen now shows Mr. Haney and Flip Wattles.

Mr. Haney: Yes, Arthur's here. One second.

He presses a button on the phone and his half of the split screen shows static.

Flip Wattles: Well, seems like Principal Haney can run an elementary school, but he's not so good with a telephone.

George frowns.

The split screen ends, but the timer remains.

Francine: Where is he?

Buster shrugs.

Arthur reaches the school entrance.

Flip Wattles (on loudspeakers): Okay, we're trying again.

Mr. Haney’s phone rings.

Mr. Haney: Hello?

Flip Wattles (on loudspeakers): It's me again.

Mr. Haney: Mom?

Flip Wattles (on loudspeakers): The quiz show?!

Mr. Haney: Oh, yes, of course. We're finding Arthur Read now. He covers the phone with his hand. Arthur Read?! Has anybody seen Arthur?!

Buster looks at the door and stands up.

Buster: He's not here. Arthur bursts in at 00:28:05. He's over there!

Mr. Haney: Phone call for you, Arthur.

Arthur: For me? Who... who is it?

Mr. Haney: George.

He hands Arthur the phone.

Arthur: Hello?

George: Arthur... (gulps) ...what is Michelangelo's full name?

Arthur: Oh, Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni.

George: Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni.

Flip Wattles: I'm sorry, George, but that is... correct! You and your school have just won 500 dollars!

Kids: (cheer)

Flip Wattles: Congratulations, George Lundgren, you've just had your 15 minutes of fame!

Arthur gives Mr. Haney’s phone back. Buster runs up to him.

Buster: I knew you'd make it and I covered for you. Mr. Ratburn didn't suspect a thing. I almost had to lie but then...

Arthur points at Mr. Ratburn, who is standing right behind Buster.

Mr. Ratburn: Excellent research, Arthur. I really look forward to reading your report, as well as the other report you'll both be writing explaining exactly what happened and why you were late this morning.

He leaves with Arthur’s report.

Arthur and Buster: (sigh)

Buster: Well, at least we saved "No Homework Day".

Arthur: Yup, even if it means "Extra Homework Day" for us.

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