Today we’re discussing the Arthur series finale which is a big deal in the world of children’s animation. Hear some interesting facts about Arthur’s voice you may not have known as well as the voice casting of D.W.’s voice and how Muffy Crosswire’s voice stayed the same for 25 years.
Mentioned on the show:
How ‘Arthur’ grew up: Inside the beloved TV show’s emotional finale – a great article that touches on some spoilers that were not discussed on this show as well as an inspiration for showcasing this story.
Finding D.W. Podcast hosted by Jason Szwimer
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Hi there and welcome to Vox Talk, your weekly review from the world of voice over. I’m your host, Stephanie Ciccarelli from Voices. In today’s show, we’re focusing on a landmark event in children’s animation, that being the completion of one of the most beloved children’s series, Arthur. In this episode of Vox Talk, we’re going to take a look at the lovable aardvark and his friends through the lens of voice over.
Arthur Series Ends after 25 Years
Television’s longest running children’s animated program has just come to an end after 25 years, 253 episodes, and seven specials about the life of Arthur Read, his family, and friends in Elwood City. Arthur is based on a series of books by Marc Brown.
Though the series was always meant to be enjoyed by children, the writing team at Arthur made it a priority to speak to the children in a respectful way.
Since this news is a milestone, I wanted to create a special episode of Vox Talk where we could explore various aspects of Arthur that made it unique from a voice acting point of view.
For instance, did you know that there were at least nine actors who voiced Arthur in various capacities over the last 25 years?
Like many children’s voice acting roles, there is often the need to recast as the voice actor gets older and their voice changes. The role of Arthur was no exception. Many fans have wondered what Arthur and his friends would get up to when they grew up.
In the series finale, and I’ll try not to give too many spoilers here, the writers thought it would be interesting to give their viewers a parting gift of showing the characters all grown up. You get to see a glimpse into their lives through their chosen careers, true to the characters’ personalities and passions through the series.
That said, there are no child voice actors that I can think of, minus D.W., appearing as their grown up selves. The first voice actor to take on the role of Arthur, Michael Yarmush, returns to the studio as Arthur Read. I’ll let you watch the show to see what his chosen career path is!
Also, did you know that the role Arthur’s little sister, D.W. (Dora Winifred) has always been voiced by male child voice actors? Ethan Pugiotto is the last voice actor to voice the role of D.W. in the Arthur series.
While it’s common for grown women to voice male child roles (as we’ve seen with Nancy Cartwright voicing Bart on The Simpsons), rarely do you see male voice actors perform female child voice roles. The reason for this is explored in an interesting episode Finding D.W., a podcast series hosted by Jason Szwimer. Jason, who was the second actor to voice D.W., shares his experience and tracks down the other seven actors who also voiced D.W. during the course of the series. Having tuned into all episodes of the show, you get to hear from a variety of Arthur’s creative team, the cast and also from author Marc Brown.
Many of the voice actors stayed on the show from start to finish, with many of them already being adults when they were cast. One exception to this is voice actress Melissa Altro who voiced Muffy Crosswire. She was a tween when she started voicing Muffy and because she was able to locate where her Muffy voice lived, she continued for the run of the series in her role.
Knowing where a character lives is definitely something that all voice actors can do when creating characters that they can voice on demand.
And that’s the way we saw the world through the lens of voice over this week. Thank you for listening and for being part of our community here at Voices!