I just watched one of the new episodes called "Freaky Tuesday" where Buster and Mr. Ratburn switch bodies. And wow, this is the most I've enjoyed an episode of Arthur in years. The plot actually had me interested and it really wasn't bad at all. I guess they can still make a good episode every now and then.
In "Freaky Tuesday," Mr. Ratburn mentions they have a new eighth-grade teacher. So all of a sudden Lakewood Elementary is a K-8 school? In previous seasons fifth grade was the highest there, like a typical K-5 elementary school. Though they can change things; my first elementary school where I had kindergarten was originally built as a K-6 school, but then in 2006 it became a K-8 school.
But yeah, I enjoyed "Freaky Tuesday." And because they used that "voices are mental" trope, I thought it was funny hearing Ratburn-In-Buster trying to imitate Buster's voice when speaking to Ms. Tingley or the rest of the class.
Yesterday I made a pretty surprising discovery regarding one of the show's background music tracks! The disco theme that was heard in such episodes as "Flaw and Order," "Strangers on a Train," "Buster the Lounge Lizard," "Through the Looking Glasses," "Sue Ellen and the Last Page" and of course "Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone" is actually a stock music track that came from the Intervox Production Music library!
The track in question is "Mojito Sounds Better" by Micky Wolf from Germany. The album here is copyrighted 2010, but I'm pretty sure this track was originally on an earlier album, maybe even recorded back in the 1970s when disco was relevant?
Of course, using library stock music on "Arthur" is nothing new; the early seasons used some Sound Ideas stock music tracks (mostly from the Series 4000 "Hollywood" sound effects library), as this was before Ray Fabi's library of compositions for the show really grew.
Yeah, I know, I didn't use any screencaps from those episodes I mentioned, because I always thought that music track was what Arthur's parents were probably dancing to in that old photo of them disco-dancing from "Arthur's Eyes".
I remember Drtooth once mentioned how bad the character designs had gotten at their jobs when it came to designing caricatures of the celebrity guests and such, but man, this caricature of Congressman John Lewis is perhaps the most insanely frightening one yet:
That's the problem with grafting human facial features onto anthro faces, rather than trying to keep them consistent with the cartoonish Arthur style. I think the last ones to look genuinely appealing were the Car Talk guys back in season 7.
One thing that Greg Bailey has said is that the guests get to request what sort of animal they want to be depicted as, but more often than not, they request bunnies. When they had the Bang on a Can All-Stars on the show, frontrunner Julia Wolfe also requested to be a bunny, but they told her no, she was going to be . . . a wolf, for obvious reasons.
I saw Art Garfunkel in concert several years ago, and he even had a Q&A session during the concert - I should've asked him if he actually requested to be a moose, lol.
I don’t know how to react to this. On the one hand, this was one of my favorite PBS shows as a kid. It seems that this time next year, SST will be the only one left.
On the other, it’ll be nice for the show to finally be put out of its misery.