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This article is about Season 1 of Arthur. You may be looking for Season 1 of Postcards from Buster.

Season 1 of Arthur premiered in the United States on October 7, 1996[1][2][3][4] on PBS with "Arthur's Eyes". It concluded on November 15, 1996, with "Arthur's New Year's Eve".

It was released on DVD on April 7, 2008, in Europe only.


Screenshot Title Number Episode Original Airdate
Picture 4 "Arthur's Eyes" 1 1a October 7, 1996
After waking up late one night, D.W. finds pictures of Arthur before he had glasses. He tells her the story of when he first started needing them and the teasing that followed.
1x01b "Francine's Bad Hair Day" 1 1b October 7, 1996
School Picture Day is just around the corner, and Muffy wants to make sure Francine has a photo to be proud of, unlike her picture from last year. However, Francine doesn't seem interested in the rush and is in fact more interested in a kickball game.
1x02a "Arthur and the Real Mr. Ratburn" 2 2a October 8, 1996
Arthur and his friends are horrified when they learn that their third grade teacher will be the infamous Mr. Ratburn. He is described by Prunella as a cruel vampire with hypnotic powers, who eats nails for breakfast without milk. Arthur and Buster, along with Francine, try to investigate.
Spellingcontest "Arthur's Spelling Trubble" 2 2b October 8, 1996
Arthur practices for the spelling bee and competes against Prunella and Brain, last year's winner and the smartest kid in his class, respectively. Even with the support of his family, he is nervous.
1x03a "D.W. All Wet" 3 3a October 9, 1996
On a hot summer day, D.W. and her preschool class go on a field trip to the aquarium. When a shark swims by, her classmates hide while she teases it, but when an octopus appears, she is the only one afraid. The Reads go to Bear Lake to escape from the summer heat and everyone is having a wonderful time, except for D.W., who won't swim because she thinks there are octopuses there.
1x03b "Buster's Dino Dilemma" 3 3b October 9, 1996
Mr. Ratburn's class make a long-awaited field trip to Rainbow Rock State Park. On his own, Buster discovers a fossilized dinosaur footprint and takes it home. Despite this being against museum rules, he doesn't want to relinquish his find.
1x04a "D.W.'s Imaginary Friend" 4 4a October 10, 1996
D.W. has a new imaginary friend named Nadine who follows her everywhere. When Arthur and Buster find out about a new amusement ride at Wonderworld, they don't want her to come along and embarrass them because she would bring Nadine.
1x04b "Arthur's Lost Library Book" 4 4b October 10, 1996
Everyone loves the Scare-Your-Pants-Off Club book series and the new addition is coming out. Arthur is the first to borrow it along with many other books at the same time, but when he collects the ones scattered around the house, he can't find it.
Perky "Arthur's Pet Business" 5 5a October 11, 1996
Arthur wants a dog very badly but his parents will not allow him to have one until he proves he is responsible enough. He starts his own pet business to prove it, which includes watching over Mrs. Wood's unfriendly dog, Perky.
1x05b "D.W. the Copycat" 5 5b October 11, 1996
Arthur doesn't like to play with D.W. because she likes "baby" stuff and not what he likes, so she starts acting and dressing like him and following him around, even into the bathroom.
Lockedin "Locked in the Library" 6 6a October 14, 1996
Francine, who has been friends with Arthur since preschool, is mad at him for telling everyone she looks like a marshmallow when she wears a sweater. Mr. Ratburn assigns them to work together on a project on heroes. With Francine still mad at Arthur, they go to the library together to research their project and get locked in for the weekend. As they try to find a way out, they realize their friendship.
Accusation "Arthur Accused!" 6 6b October 14, 1996
Arthur is in charge of the fundraiser for the Elwood City Fire Department. He leaves a bag of quarters from it for Mrs. MacGrady, who is distracted by a phone conversation. When she doesn't receive the quarters, Arthur is accused of stealing them, giving Buster his first case as a Private Eye.
1x07a "Arthur Goes to Camp" 7 7a October 15, 1996
Arthur and his friends go to Camp Meadowcroak, where everything is a competition between boys and girls. The final day arrives and they must work together to compete against Camp Horsewater in order to win the all-camp scavenger hunt.
1x07b "Buster Makes the Grade" 7 7b October 15, 1996
Buster's marks continue to fall and he will have to repeat third grade if he doesn't get a B on the next test. Arthur, Francine, and Muffy tutor him, but he still doesn't seem interested in studying.
1x08a "Arthur's New Puppy" 8 8a October 16, 1996
Arthur's new puppy, Pal (from "Arthur's Pet Business"), is exactly what he wanted, but he must train him to be a good dog or he will have to move out of the house.
1x08b "Arthur Bounces Back" 8 8b October 16, 1996
Arthur wants Moon Boots and tries different ways to get money to buy them. His mom wants him to clean the garage for $2. As he is doing so, Mrs. Tibble comes by, thinking there's a yard sale and buys a necklace, giving him enough money to buy the Moon Boots.
1x09a "Arthur Babysits" 9 9a October 17, 1996
Arthur thinks that babysitting is the easiest job in the world until D.W. volunteers him to her friends, the Tibble Twins. Prunella describes her sister's only time babysitting them as an experience that still gives her nightmares. Naturally, Arthur is nervous, but he eventually lays things down with them.
1x09b "Arthur's Cousin Catastrophe" 9 9b October 17, 1996
The Reads are hosting a family reunion at their house. Arthur spends his time avoiding his cousin, Mo, because of experiences from past family reunions.
1x10a "Arthur's Birthday" 10 10a October 18, 1996
Arthur and Muffy have their birthday parties on the same day and neither can change the date. This splits the boys and girls. Arthur and Francine come up with a plan to remedy the situation.
1x10b "Francine Frensky, Superstar" 10 10b October 18, 1996
Francine has often had bad roles in school plays where she gets injured. She finally gets a safer role as the lead, when Mr. Ratburn decides they will dramatize the story of Thomas Edison. While she is trying to make the best of a good opportunity for her to shine, she alienates her friends as she studies for the role and bosses them around.
Vlcsnap-2014-07-12-16h23m08s10 "Arthur's Baby" 11 11a October 21, 1996
Arthur tells the story of when his mom was pregnant with his baby sister, Kate. He was nervous, wondering what it would be like to have a new baby in the house. When Kate was brought home from the hospital, he was worried that she hated him, as she always cried when he was around. It wasn't until he was forced to watch her that he realized how wrong he was.
1x11b "D.W.'s Baby" 11 11b October 21, 1996
Arthur tells D.W how she acted when Kate was born, starting after she was brought home from the hospital in "Arthur's Baby". D.W. was excited but frustrated when she didn't get to help with Kate. Kate's crib was moved into D.W.'s room but D.W. soon found drawbacks to sharing a room with her. D.W. soon became jealous over the attention Kate is getting and tried lots of things to get rid of her.
1x12a "Arthur Writes a Story" 12 12a October 22, 1996
Arthur needs to write a story for homework, so he decides to write about how he got Pal ("Arthur's Pet Business".) He is afraid that no one will like it after D.W. informs him that it's boring. He begins fictionalizing the events and revising the story using advice from different people, as he tries to write a good one.
1x12b "Arthur's Lost Dog" 12 12b October 22, 1996
It's Downtown Day in Elwood City and the Reads are attending the event. They pass Pickles the Clown giving out balloons. Kate begins to cry and no one knows why, except for Pal, who knows she wants a balloon. He runs off after Pickles to get one, but Arthur thinks he's running away from him.
1x13a "So Long, Spanky" 13 13a October 23, 1996
D.W.'s pet bird, Spanky, passes away, and everyone in the Read family (even Arthur) mourns the loss of him. D.W leaves a can of flowers on his grave after his funeral but finds a toad in there. Arthur takes her to the pet store to buy a new pet to replace Spanky, but they don't find one. The toad reappears several more times, following D.W., but she hates it since it won't leave her alone. When the toad doesn't reappear, she realizes that she misses it.
1x13b "Buster's New Friend" 13 13b October 23, 1996
Arthur and Buster are doing a project together, but Buster doesn't seem to have the time for it, Arthur, or anyone else. All he does is talk about his new friend, Mike. Arthur decides to return everything related to Buster. At Buster's house, they become friends again and Arthur finds out Mike isn't just another kid to replace him.
1x14a "Arthur the Wrecker" 14 14a October 24, 1996
Arthur is addicted to a new computer game, "Deep, Dark Sea", playing it even when he shouldn't. When he gets to a new area he's excited about, he calls up Buster. When it appears that they have broken the computer, they look for Brain to help them fix it, but he can't find the problem.
1x14b "Arthur and the True Francine" 14 14b October 24, 1996
Muffy and Francine were best friends since second grade, when Muffy was a new student. They decided to study together for an upcoming math test, but Muffy continually procrastinated, claiming that she knew her addition and subtraction. When the test day came, she cheated off of Francine's test and claimed that she would never do so, getting Francine into trouble. Muffy then decided that lying isn't what a true friend would do.
1x15a "Arthur's Family Vacation" 15 15a October 25, 1996
Arthur wants to go back to Camp Meadowcroak (from "Arthur Goes to Camp") with Buster for the summer and tries to get out of the family vacation to the beach. He changes his mind with the mention of lobster and after several impediments, they finally make it there. They lose their reservation for the Family Fun Suite, and stay in a leaky rundown hotel room as it rains for days. Things eventually start to get better.
1x15b "Grandpa Dave's Old Country Farm" 15 15b October 25, 1996
Arthur and D.W. go to visit Grandpa Dave, who lives on an old rundown farm. It has been in the family for 150 years and Dave doesn't want help running it. Arthur and D.W. are concerned by the state of things there and try to help their grandpa fix it up with the help of his friend, Ed Billings.
1x16a "Arthur and the Crunch Cereal Contest" 16 16a October 28, 1996
Arthur finds an entry form for a jingle writing contest for Crunch Cereal and he's determined to win the year's supply of it. He starts a band with some of his friends, Mrs. McGrady, and Grandma Thora, but he has nothing for them to play. Without a tune, he hears D.W. singing a song about Nadine and plagiarizes it. He feels guilty as he is about to mail it.
1x16b "D.W. Flips" 16 16b October 28, 1996
D.W. wants to take gymnastics after seeing a gymnast on TV, but her mom gives several examples of her never finishing what she wants to do. She gets her way and goes to her first class. Emily is there and D.W. doesn't like her because she seems to do everything perfectly. D.W. is determined to be better than her and ends up making a new friend.
1x17a "Meek for a Week" 17 17a October 29, 1996
Muffy bets Francine that she can't be nice to everyone for a whole week, and she also can't tell anyone about why she's being nice. Arthur and his friends are worried when Francine starts acting nice for no apparent reason and are worried she may "pop" if she continues bottling up her anger. They try fruitlessly to diffuse her.
1x17b "Arthur, World's Greatest Gleeper" 17 17b October 29, 1996
Arthur and Buster sit at the only available table with the Tough Customers. Buster claims that Arthur is the world's greatest "gleeper" to stop the teasing, only to find out later that "gleep" means "steal." He lets the lie grow into a schoolwide rumor.
1x18a "Arthur's Chicken Pox" 18 18a October 30, 1996
Arthur gets the chicken pox. While he hopes he recovers in time for a family trip to the circus, D.W. is jealous of the attention and extra freedom he gets while Grandma Thora is taking care of him. In an attempt to regain the lost attention, she fakes having chicken pox. In the end, she catches them from Arthur and ends up missing the trip to the circus, but she doesn't mind, due to her finally having them, and the attention she will now get.
1x18b "Sick as a Dog" 18 18b October 30, 1996
Arthur feeds Pal things other than dog food, like pancakes and old gummy worms. He gets sick as a result. Arthur thinks D.W. had something to do with it. Then he finds out from the vet that it's the food Pal has eaten that made him ill.
1x19a "D.W. Rides Again" 19 19a October 31, 1996
D.W. gets her first bike and needs to learn how to use it. Arthur teachers her the basics and she learns to ride by herself without training wheels in time for the Bike-A-Thon.
1x19b "Arthur Makes the Team" 19 19b October 31, 1996
Arthur and his friends are trying out for the baseball team and everyone wants to be the pitcher. Arthur makes it, but he's the worst player. He and Francine, who can't pitch, work together to improve their skills.
1x20a "Arthur's Almost Boring Day" 20 20a November 1, 1996
Arthur and his friends are assigned to write about what they do over Saturday, but it rains and ruins plans. Arthur and D.W. are sent over to Grandma Thora's house. Without anything better to do, they help her clean out her attic and find some interesting things, including old home movies.
1x20b "The Half-Baked Sale" 20 20b November 1, 1996
Grandma Thora can't cook. When she decides to bake cookies for the bake sale, Arthur tries to think up ways to stop her bad cooking from ruining the sale. He decides to buy all of her cookies before anyone else can. When Mr. Morris, the janitor, finds the cookies in his closet, Arthur has to tell the truth.
1x21a "Sue Ellen Moves In" 21 21a November 4, 1996
Rumors are circulating about the new family that has moved to Elwood City and Buster thinks that they may be aliens, even after he has met Sue Ellen. When his mom invites the family over for dinner, he finds out that Sue Ellen isn't an alien, but just a kid who has lived in various places around the world.
1x21b "The Perfect Brother" 21 21b November 4, 1996
Brain is spending the weekend with the Reads because his parents are going to an ice cream convention. Arthur thinks this will be like having a brother around, but Brain is neat, finishes his homework early, and reads to D.W., making Arthur look bad. However, Arthur discovers that Brain is not so neat when he invites him over to his own house, and he reveals he had to be polite at Arthur's as he was the houseguest.
1x22a "D.W.'s Snow Mystery" 22 22a November 5, 1996
D.W. kept a snowball in the freezer from the best day of her life, but it disappears. Buster, as a detective, investigates, listening to biased accounts of those present the day it did so. They argue and accuse each other but everyone, except D.W., lets the incident go as the first snowfall of the year appears.
1x22b "Team Trouble" 22 22b November 5, 1996
Arthur, Buster, and Francine are assigned to do a group project on Ancient Rome. They discuss how they're going to do it, each coming up with their own idea and eventually decide to draw a comic book. Each has their own idea of what to draw and after a failure to communicate, have a mismatched one. They argue over this and finally realize that they need to work together to finish it.
1x23a "Bully for Binky" 23 23a November 6, 1996
Binky has a reputation for being a bully. He bullies Sue Ellen, who is still a new student ("Sue Ellen Moves In"), and she demands that he apologize to her. When he doesn't, she challenges him to a fight to settle it. He gets nervous when he finds out she knows Tae Kwon Do. He decides to beat her at music but loses, so he apologizes to her so they will not have to fight.
1x23b "Misfortune Teller" 23 23b November 6, 1996
For her half-birthday, Prunella's big sister, Rubella, gives her a cootie catcher. Rubella claims that it can tell the future and the answers it gives do come true. Arthur and his friends begin obsessively following the Cootie Catcher's advice. When it goes missing and turns up ruined by the washing machine, they realize that they don't need it to run their lives.
1x24a "Arthur's Tooth" 24 24a November 7, 1996
Arthur has a loose tooth, but he is the only one in his class that hasn't lost any of his baby teeth yet. He unsuccessfully tries various ways to get it out so that Francine will stop calling him a baby. She, later, unintentionally knocks it out.
1x24b "D.W. Gets Lost" 24 24b November 7, 1996
D.W. wants earrings because her friend, Emily, has some. She asks her mom and dad, but they claim her ears will turn green. After her persistence, Mrs. Read takes her shopping for earrings only if she approves of them. While at the All In One Mart, D.W. wanders off when her mom is distracted. Lost, she runs into Emily, whose ears have turned green. Emily proceeds to direct D.W. back to her mom.
1x25a "D.W. Thinks Big" 25 25a November 8, 1996
At Aunt Lucy's wedding, Arthur is the ring bearer and their dramatic diva cousin, Cora, is the flower girl, but D.W. is too little to do anything. However, when the wedding ring gets lost in the pipe organ, D.W.'s size helps gets it back.
1x25b "Arthur Cleans Up" 25 25b November 8, 1996
Arthur and Buster are playing Frisbee in the park when it lands in a polluted fountain. Arthur's dad overhears him and Buster talking about the park and Arthur involuntarily becomes the leader of a cleanup crew of kids. His friends aren't pleased and don't help him. But with the help of Francine's dad and a few volunteers, they manage to clean up the park.
1x26a "My Dad, the Garbage Man" 26 26a November 11, 1996
Mr. Ratburn's class is going on field trips to several of the students' parents' workplaces to learn about careers. Francine is embarrassed by her dad's job as a garbage man, but her classmates don't seem bothered by this.
1x26b "Poor Muffy" 26 26b November 11, 1996
Muffy is allergic to the new carpets in her house, so she decides to stay with Francine while it is being removed. She brings some of the things from her room with her including TVs, wardrobes, and sculptures. During Muffy's stay, Francine can't deal with her spoiled attitude and Muffy can't handle the less-than-wealthy condition in which Francine's family lives.
1x27a "D.W.'s Blankie" 27 27a November 12, 1996
D.W. can't find her blankie and enlists the help of Arthur to search for it, retracing her steps over Elwood City.
Arthur S1 E27 2 Arthurs Subtiute Teacher Trouble 506080 "Arthur's Substitute Teacher Trouble" 27 27b November 12, 1996
Mr. Ratburn loses his voice and his sister, Miss Ratburn, substitutes for him. Initially, the class is excited by the easiness of the lessons, doing things such as reciting the one times table and that yellow and blue make green. They are soon bored and are excited when Mr. Ratburn returns the next day.
1x28a "I'm a Poet" 28 28a November 13, 1996
Fern is the only person who volunteers to enter the Poetry Competition, which will be judged by Jack Prelutsky. When the others start making fun of her, she reveals a new side to her quiet character, and challenges them all to write poems for the competition. If they don't succeed, they will be roped into a year's membership of the School Poetry Club.
1x28b "The Scare-Your-Pants-Off Club" 28 28b November 13, 1996
Arthur and his friends start a petition when they learn that the Scare-Your-Pants-Off books have been removed from the library. They find out that it's Muffy's parents who want them banned.
1x29a "My Club Rules" 29 29a November 14, 1996
Arthur and his friends create a club to stop D.W. from bothering them. When they can't agree on its rules, it splits. This leads to more disagreements and more clubs created. They eventually come back together, under D.W.
1x29b "Stolen Bike" 29 29b November 14, 1996
Francine has outgrown her bike, so her dad finds his old one for her. However, she is embarrassed by it and hides it. When it is accidentally taken away by a garbage truck, she pretends it was stolen.
1x30a "Arthur's First Sleepover" 30 30a November 15, 1996
Arthur has a sleepover with Buster and Brain, even when all they talk of is UFOs. D.W. wants to join them so that she can take a picture of one. They don't agree, so she plays a prank on them with fake UFOs in retaliation and vice versa.
1x30b "Arthur's New Year's Eve" 30 30b November 15, 1996
Arthur has never stayed up until midnight on New Year's Eve. His friends all have their theories on what occurs when the new year comes. He tries to stay up until New Year's Eve to find out what really happens at midnight.


The first eleven seasons of Arthur were animated by a South Korean animation studio, AKOM Productions. Pre-production frames (drawings on paper) were sent from CINAR in Canada to South Korea and were polished, colored and fully animated with watercolor backgrounds. The finalized animation was sent back to CINAR in tapes to be edited with vocals and music. The fully completed episode was sent to WGBH and home media distributors such as Random House in floppy disks to be released to the public via television airings on PBS stations and VHS/DVD releases respectively.

The first season of Arthur started production in May 1995 with the episode "D.W.'s Imaginary Friend", being the first episode produced. The animation was achieved using the traditional and widely used at the time, cel technique in which animated characters and objects are hand drawn using ink on one side and colored using paint on the other, frame by frame. A professional camera would them be used to capture all the cels in a sequence similar to stop motion. The cels are deposited over watercolor backgrounds when being shot with a camera. To save time, sometimes heads or characters that are moving are drawn on a seperate cels that are placed over the cel that contains the body or characters that are not required to move at the moment.

Specific movements and lip-syncing are timed in order for them to happen at the exact time according to the script however, with this season being a learning curve for all its production members, character reactions or movements can be accidentally delayed on top of other errors. Likely due to little reference material, rushed production timeline, and the inexperience of the crew members with producing an Arthur episode with it's style not yet fully being realized, season one has the most coloring errors and examples of characters being drawn off model. The unique Arthur outline style was hard to master with animators having to hold the writing utensil a specific way in order to achieve it. It would later become an demand for Arthur characters to be animated realistically when it came to movement, many animation sequences would be rejected because they were "too cartoony."[5] As a result of episodes being sent back for revision, Arthur episodes are premiered slightly out of order in accordance to production order.

With "Arthur" being WGBH's first animated series and PBS' second ever fully animated show behind The Magic School Bus (which was not fully produced by them), the budget needed to produce the 30 episodes season of Arthur was underestimated with production cost going over the budget. Money had to be made back through merchandise.


Characters Introduced


The first season prominently uses music from an unknown banjo composer who, according to crew member Peter Huggan in an online interview, "...made a living off royaltees for Arthur."[6] The banjo music is reminiscent of a farm which accompanies the theme of every character being an animal in the show but would be used less in later seasons. Examples of royalty free stock music cues were also most common in season 1. Canadian composer Raymond C. Fabi (also reffered to as Ray Fabi) would become the main composer of the show and would get his start in the first season composing demos of cues that could be altered in usage depending on the scene. The cues by Fabi are more piano-heavy.

The flashback cue and how it would be used in the show would be realized by the end of the season. The first version sounded more generic and would be phased out and replaced by its higher pitch counterpart by the end of the season. Only the higher pitch cue would be used for the remainder of the show starting season 2.


  • With 30 episodes, this season holds the record for having the most episodes in a single season. This is three times as many episodes as most seasons have.
  • This season contains several flashback episodes to Arthur's second grade, as well as a few episodes that take place in the summer vacation prior to third grade. After this season, flashbacks would rarely be shown.
  • In the United States, PBS premiered the show on Monday, October 7, 1996, with a new episode airing each weekday until the season finale on Friday, November 15, 1996. Some sources (i.e. TV Guide) cite the premiere in September 1996 with one new episode per week. The origin of this information is uncertain, but these dates are likely incorrect due to known PBS scheduling patterns and multiple other sources.
  • Each episode cost around $400,000 to make,[7] or $24 million for the entire season.
  • Before Season 2 premiered, this season reran through mid 1997.
  • Beginning on June 29, 1998, all episodes were encoded to work with ActiMates Arthur and D.W.
  • In 2003, the funding color background would differ along with a PBS Kids logo. It would be as follows: If the background was yellow or green, it would have the PBS Kids Dash Transformation logo follow, but if the background was purple, it would have the PBS Kids Dot Transformation logo follow. That pattern also continued during Season 2, Season 3, and Season 4. But after 2004, these fundings, the seasons 5-6 reruns fundings, and the original Season 7 and Season 8 fundings would be followed by the PBS Kids Go! logo. Starting around 2014, all season 1 reruns on PBS have been repackaged with HD funding graphics and PBS Kids logos.