It happened to “Rugrats,” and now it’s happening to Arthur and his friends. The second-longest running cartoon in American history will be wrapping things up soon, but they’ll be going out in style. In a fond farewell to audiences that have grown up with them, the last four episodes of “Arthur” will feature the characters as adults.
It’s a fitting way to say goodbye, considering that the show debuted in 1996. Those who watched it when it first debuted would indeed be adults right now, possibly with their own children watching the show.
We reported in July of 2021 about PBS Kids’ intention to end the adventures of the titular aardvark and his friends. But the revelation about adult versions of the characters being used to conclude the series is a new, and potentially fun little twist. What’s more, “Arthur” is going out in style. From February 16th through 21st, PBS will be re-airing every episode of the show from start to finish, culminating in the release of the four final adult Arthur episodes. Sadly, Arthur’s fist will not be clenched in all of them.
Some of you may remember that “Rugrats” tried something similar with a 10th anniversary special released in 2001 called “All Growed Up!” The two-part episode depicted Tommy and his friends as preteens with the older kids Angelica and Susie as teenagers. But Tommy’s younger brother Dil continued to be a waste of time and space. The special ended up essentially becoming a backdoor pilot as it proved popular enough to result in a very similarly named series “All Grown Up!” that ran from 2003 to 2008.
Could the same happen for Arthur and the rest of the residents of Elwood City? Well, anything is possible. As we noted in our previous article about the show’s cancellation, series creator Kathy Waugh stated she and the team wanted to continue, but PBS opted not to. According to Waugh, she felt that Arthur was “evergreen” in the sense that it could continue to run and remain fresh. Maybe these last four episodes could be proof of that for Waugh and everyone who worked on the show?
It’s never easy to say goodbye, but “Arthur” has had a historic run. If it has to end, then at least PBS seems to be giving it the respect it deserves with a nearly week long marathon to say farewell. Arthur, here’s hoping your days as an adult will bring us one more bit of happiness, laughter, joy, and meme worthy fist clenching to say good-bye with.
The final 4 episodes of “Arthur” will air on PBS starting February 21st, 2022.