"Muffy's Art Attack"



Season/Series: 8
Number in season: 8A
Original Airdate: United States December 24, 2003[1]
Canada March 10, 2004[2]
Written by: Stephanie Simpson
Storyboard by: Jeremy O'Neill
"Desperately Seeking Stanley"
"Tales from the Crib"
Read transcript

"Muffy's Art Attack" is the first half of the eighth episode in the eighth season of Arthur.


Muffy learns about art appreciation and the value of creating for self-expression, not competition.


The episode begins with Muffy playing with Mod Polly and Paradise Polly, two of her Polly Locket dolls, in Mod Polly's dollhouse. Paradise Polly complains that she has to sleep in a trailer as opposed to a cool house, and that she would love to have a beach. Muffy interrupts her play to begin planning a Paradise Polly beach, when Mr. Crosswire enters the room and informs Muffy that she must attend an art opening with him. Muffy reluctantly leaves, promising to finish the beach when she comes back.

At the opening, Mr. Crosswire attempts to explain Arthur Ganson's kinetic sculptures to Muffy, who never sees the machines carrying out tasks as she has her back turned at the wrong moments. Muffy escapes to the refreshment stand, picking up a blue napkin as inspiration for her beach and running across Prunella. Prunella is impressed by the sculptures, whereas distracted Muffy doesn't understand the art and complains about how boring the exhibition is.

Prunella takes Muffy to a sculpture called Machine With Oil in the hopes that she will appreciate the art. While Prunella examines the machine, Muffy stares into the blue napkin, picturing a furious Paradise Polly demanding a beach house. The machine flings oil at Muffy's outfit while she is focused on the napkin, which makes her upset.

Muffy and Prunella find Mr. Crosswire talking with Arthur Ganson. Mr. Crosswire reveals that he has purchased a sculpture called Machine with Wishbone. Mr. Ratburn stops by to comment on Mr. Crosswire's choice, and Prunella is impressed that Muffy will have the sculpture in her home. Muffy disagrees, saying she "could make something more beautiful than that with her eyes closed." Prunella scoffs at this idea, which infuriates Muffy to the point of taking action.

Later at the Sugar Bowl, Muffy hands out invitations to an art show to be hosted at her house. Francine and Brain are surprised and exclaim that they had no idea Muffy was working on such a thing; Muffy replies that the invitations were the hard part and that she will make the kinetic sculptures over the weekend.

Muffy and Bailey collect supplies for making the sculptures by going shopping at various locations and visiting the dump. After gathering materials, they lay them out on a table in the Crosswire garage. Both of them have different ideas about where to start and how to organize their equipment. Muffy takes some tape, miniature wheels, and an empty Sarah Soda can to create her first piece, "Rolling Can". Bailey suggests adding on to the design, and the two construct a ramp for the can to roll down which sets off a chain reaction, but also causes the can to spray soda all over Muffy.

Muffy leaves Bailey behind to change her clothes, and finds the blue napkin which inspired some of her beach ideas in the pocket of her new outfit. She returns to the garage and asks Bailey if she could take a little break and he could make the sculptures.

Muffy works on her beach house in her room, starting from the napkin as an ocean and continuing from there. Meanwhile, Bailey is hard at work designing and constructing his own sculptures.

The next morning, Mr. Crosswire announces that he has invited Arthur Ganson to Muffy's art show. She is shocked, forgetting that the art show is the next day, and worries about having enough sculptures. After racing down to the garage with Bailey, she finds that he has completed several of his own sculptures which are all quite well done.

At the art show, Muffy places Bailey's pieces on display and claims they are her own. However, Francine becomes suspicious after a few of Muffy's slips, such as saying that a boy named Chester who bullied her in the fourth grade was the inspiration for one machine, when this was really Bailey's experience.

Prunella apologizes to Muffy, saying that she was wrong and that Muffy really could create art, but then Francine approaches the group and declares that the whole art show is another instance of copying, just like during "the cookie contest" and told them Bailey made all the art. She then presents Rolling Can to the group, saying that it was the only structure she had a part in creating. Upon starting the chain reaction, the soda can tips over and sends a spray of soda over Muffy's shirt. Soon everyone takes off after realizing Francine was right about what Muffy had done. 

After the art show, Muffy tells Bailey that the show was a failure which Bailey agrees. Muffy thinks it wasn't a failure for Bailey, since everyone liked his art. Bailey says it was only the kids that liked his art, and thinks that none of the adults truly understood his work. Ganson then approaches one of Bailey's machines and remarks that it is "powerful". Bailey is elated that someone understands the meaning put into his sculptures, and the two discuss the symbolism.

Ganson then walks up to Muffy's beach house and says that it is a "pretty piece". Muffy replies that it is not part of the show, and is just a plaything she made for her dolls. Ganson believes that it is more of a "doll environment" and would like to include it in an exhibit about dolls. When Muffy exclaims that the beach isn't art, Ganson replies that she "obviously put her heart and soul into it"; therefore, it is art. She still chooses not to allow it in the exhibit, as it still needs work. The episode finishes with Mod Polly exclaiming that she would love to have an environment as well, and Paradise Polly reassuring her that Muffy may build one for her as well someday.






  • Muffy's friends noticed she had told a lie when she mentioned a boy who teased her when she was in the fourth grade. Grammatically, her statement could also be interpreted as the boy being in the fourth grade.

Cultural references

  • Arthur Ganson is a real person who voiced himself.
  • The sculptures shown in the episode are also real. Prominently featured are: “Small Tower with Six Gears”, “Cory’s Yellow Chair”, “Machine with Chair”, “Machine with Oil” and “Machine with Wishbone”.
  • Mr. Ratburn mentions Samuel Beckett.

Episode connections



Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.