What will the Arthur kids look like as adults?

Arthur (1996 TV series)

After 25 years, the characters of the long-running PBS Kids animated show Arthur are finally growing up.

According to the network, which is planning for the end of the cartoon with a major marathon, Arthur's series finale will flash-forward to see what the titular aardvark and his pals are like as adults.

It presumably won't be as jarring as, say, the final scene in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2. Animation can make the aging process more seamless.

It's all part of the show's 25th anniversary, which will include a marathon of more than 250 episodes of the show, as well as movie specials that will air on PBS Kids and livestream on the network's YouTube channel from Feb. 16-21.

Arthur the aardvark in PBS KIDS' 'Arthur'
| Credit: PBS Kids

It'll culminate with four new episodes to air on PBS stations and stream for free on Feb. 21. A press release states the episodes will see Arthur and his friends solving a mystery, seeing a silent movie, finding out what it's like to be a reporter, learning how to help a grieving friend, going on a family vacation, and getting a hint of their futures from a mysterious fortune-telling game.

"For more than 25 years, Arthur and his friends have kept viewers learning and growing through their true-to-life experiences," Sara DeWitt, PBS Kids' senior vice president and general manager, said in a statement. "We can't wait to debut these episodes and introduce new Arthur content that will give fans more ways to engage with their favorite aardvark."

Based on the Arthur books by Marc Brown, the series won Peabody and Emmy Awards since it first aired in 1996, and became known for its touching stories that teach kindness, empathy, and inclusion. The show made headlines in 2019 after revealing that Mr. Ratburn, the kids' longtime school teacher, is gay. The 22nd season then depicted a same-sex wedding, a rare moment for a kids program.

While the four episodes will mark the end of Arthur after 25 seasons, PBS Kids is planning to release a whole lot of Arthur-related content in 2022 and beyond, including a podcast, video shorts, and digital games.

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Arthur (1996 TV series)
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