Christmas Specials Wiki
Christmas Specials Wiki

Happy holidays, everyone!

— Arthur talking to the viewers

Arthur's Perfect Christmas is an hour-length Christmas special spin-off from the PBS animated series Arthur, based on the Arthur book series by Marc Brown. It debuted on VHS and DVD on September 12, 2000, before airing in prime time on Thanksgiving Day of that year (following the show's fifth season).



The special opens with scenes of citizens of Elwood City busy preparing for Christmas, as Arthur is singing the opening number, "Perfect Christmas". He tells the viewers his list of the things he wants in the upcoming Christmas: A large amount of snow, an amazing turkey dinner, a spectacular Christmas tree (specifically without tinsel), and that everyone will love the presents he gets for them. However, things don't work out quite as Arthur wanted them to.

Throughout the special, several other storylines happen:

  • D.W. wants a new toy called "Tina the Talking Tabby", for Christmas, but "Santa Claus" (or in other words, Arthur and D.W.'s mother, Jane) can't find it at any store as soon as he gets her letter. On Christmas morning, she gets a duck called Quackers and throws a big temper tantrum. However, she changes her mind and eventually takes a liking to it.
  • Uncle Fred is going on a trip to Florida. However, his car breaks down in Elwood City, so he and his dog, Rory, decide to stay at the Reads' house for Christmas. His car is eventually fixed on Christmas Day.
  • Arthur buys a glass bird for Jane to replace the one that got broken in an earlier episode. Unfortunately, on Christmas morning, it ends up breaking before he can present it, so Uncle Fred helps him by giving Jane his present under Arthur's name.
  • The timing of Francine's family's celebration of Hanukkah conflicts with that of Muffy's "holiday extravaganza" party, causing her to miss it. When Muffy states that Hanukkah isn't as important as Christmas, Francine feels offended because she is Jewish, and stops speaking to and calling Muffy. Eventually, they make up after Francine shows Muffy how important Hanukkah can be; all because her family is Jewish.
  • Ever since Buster's parents got divorced, Christmas has been a difficult time for him and his mother, Bitzi. She wakes him up early on the days before Christmas and makes him pancakes, thinking that it's Christmas Day. Then he has to explain to her that it isn't so yet. While he, Arthur, and their friends are at Muffy's party, they suggest he create his holiday and call it Baxter Day. He is unsure, but he agrees to give it a try.
  • Every Christmas, Binky volunteers at a homeless shelter with his father, and this year, he's trying to bake something special to bring. However, he's forgetting some things in every recipe, like not removing the shells from the pecans when he makes pecan pie, not unpeeling the bananas when he makes banana bread, and not adding sugar when he makes brownies. As soon as Muffy's party is over, Arthur walks into the living room.
  • Meanwhile, the Brain's family is celebrating Kwanzaa.
  • George's family is revealed to be Swedish and celebrate St. Lucia Day.

In the end, things don't work out quite as everybody may have hoped they would, but things seem to be for the better as Arthur wishes the viewers Happy Holidays, while D.W. keeps annoying him with her new Quackers toy.



The special made its debut on VHS and DVD on September 12, 2000, notably marking the franchise's first appearance on the latter format. It was released on DVD again by PBS Distribution under the PBS Kids label in 2012. This release included two "A Word from Marc Brown" segments and printable coloring pages and activities on DVD-ROM.


Arthur% 27s Perfect Christmas Cover

The cover to the storybook adaptation.

  • The special was the last episode in which Michael Yarmush voiced Arthur until the finale, "All Grown Up" and the last one in which Ricky Mabe voiced Timmy Tibble.
  • After D.W. walks in on Arthur and laughs, stock audio by Michael Caloz is used.
  • The Brain and his family are shown preparing to celebrate Kwanzaa. As the Brain himself tells Muffy in the ice cream shop he works at, it does not start until December 26, the day after Christmas Day. In fact, it is for a whole week, ending on January 1st the next year.
  • Religiously, Jewish people do not go by a Gregorian calendar like those who celebrate Christmas or Kwanzaa do, so dates of Hanukkah vary.
  • There is a stocking with the name "Chip" hanging in Muffy's house, notably making this special the first time her older brother, Chip, is acknowledged in the series.

Cultural references


There are some slight differences between the home video release and the televised version:

  • At the beginning before the title card, the animation on the smoke coming out of the Reads' chimney goes at a slow pace. However, in the home video release, it goes fast.
  • After Uncle Fred's video, Arthur and D.W. laughed immediately right after. In the home video release, they didn't laugh until a few seconds after.
  • In the televised version, during the "Baxter Day" song, a vintage "tires screeching" sound effect is added when Bitzi and Buster's rocket skids to a halt in front of the Mill Creek Mall. At the end of the song, the word "baby" is cut from Buster's lyrics in newer versions of the special.
  • During "What's the Use of Presents?" a fade effect is missing in the home video release. Also, Muffy's singing in both versions is slightly different.

Two versions were aired on PBS: an uncut version aired during prime time on the original Thanksgiving Day airing and an edited version aired during a pledge drive.


  • When Mr. Ratburn eats one of Binky's brownies, we see a brown rabbit in the background on the other side of him in his normal wear, but seconds later we see him in a red vest while talking to the Brain, but when he asks Binky if he put sugar in the brownies, the rabbit is white and wearing a green shirt.
  • When Francine groans, her mouth doesn't move.
  • In Arthur's fantasy in which Jane opens the gift, she pulls the top off, but when he opens it to see if it is okay, he pulls the ribbon off to do so.
  • When Arthur was imagining his family in the stable, Grandpa Dave offered his roasted camel to him. Camel is not considered kosher in Judaism, so they wouldn't have eaten it (although Arthur probably doesn't understand that).


Voice actor/actress Character(s)
Michael Yarmush (speaking)
Philip Penalosa (singing)
Arthur Read
Oliver Grainger D.W. Read
Bruce Dinsmore Binky Barnes
David Read
Daniel Brochu Buster Baxter
Jodie Resther Francine Frensky
Melissa Altro Muffy Crosswire
Steven Crowder The Brain
Arthur Holden Mr. Ratburn
Sonja Ball Jane Read
Joanna Noyes Grandma Thora
Jonathon Koensgen Tommy Tibble
Ricky Mabe Timmy Tibble
Mark Camacho Oliver Frensky
Security Guard
Mitchell Rothpan George Lundgren
Ellen David Bitzi
Old Woman
A. J. Henderson Grandpa Dave
Ed Crosswire
Harry Standjofski Uncle Fred

See also

External links

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed
content from Wikipedia (view authors).
WildBrain Spark "Christmas Tree" • "Twinkle's Wish" • A Holly Johnny Christmas • "Christmas" (Yo Gabba Gabba!) • "A Very Awesome Christmas" • Yo Gabba Gabba!: A Very Awesome Live Holiday Show! • "SheZon's Greetings" • Dorg and the Christmas Fairy • "Johnny's Holiday Light Fight" • "Christmas at Malory Towers"
Studio B Productions Snowden: Raggedy Ann & Andy's Adventure • "Joy to Yvon" • "Snow Biz" • The Legend of Frosty the SnowmanTis the Season for RevengeSecret Santa • "Jungle Bells" / "Goat of Christmas Presents" • "Sleighs of Hazard" • "Jingle Cans" • The Side Show Christmas • "Kid vs. Kat vs. Christmas" • "Fangs for the Memories" • "Hearth's Warming Eve" • "I Heard the Barks on Christmas Day" • "Christmas Evil" • "Hearthbreakers" • "Charles Dickens" • "A Hearth's Warming Tail" • "Robert Edwin Peary" • "The Hearth's Warming Club" • My Little Pony: Best Gift EverMy Little Pony: Equestria Girls: Holidays Unwrapped
CINAR / Cookie Jar Entertainment "The Dogs' Christmas" • Madeline's Christmas • "The Real Story of O Christmas Tree" • A Gift of Munsch • "The Night Before Christmas" • "The Perfect Christmas" • "The Best Christmas Present Ever" • "Abe and Babe's Christmas Lesson" • "Sally Cat's Christmas Dream" • "The Big Apple Christmas Caper" • "Santa Needs Help" • "All I Want for Christmouse" • "Christmas Star" • "Snowmobile to Panic" • Arthur's Perfect Christmas • "Caillou's Christmas" • Caillou's Holiday MovieGotta Catch Santa ClausThe Velveteen Rabbit • "A Holly Johnny Christmas" • "That's Swellaphant!" • "Caillou’s Perfect Christmas"
DiC Entertainment "Christmas Memories" • "North Pole Cat" • "Xmas Marks the Spot" • "There's No Such Thing as Stego-Claws" • "The Year Scroogenip Swiped Christmas" • "Koopa Klaus" • "Santa Claus is Coming to Flatbush" • "Merry Christmas, Mr. Carroll" • "Christmas in July" • "The Night Before Cave Christmas" • A Christmas Adventure • "Merry Christmas, Super Dave!" • Inspector Gadget Saves ChristmasA Hollywood Hounds Christmas • "Do Not Reboot 'Til Christmas" • "Kilo Is Coming to Town" • "It's a Gorganus Life" • "Madeline at the North Pole" • "Just Like Old Times" • Twas the Night Before BumpyJingle Bell RockSonic Christmas BlastThe Adventures of SnowdenA Christmas Carol • "Holiday on Ice" • "A Gadget Boy Christmas Around the World" • "The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle" • "Witchmas Carole" • "The Christmas Phantom" • "Across the Delaware" • "Berry Merry Christmas" • "Santa Claw" • "The Claw Who Stole Christmas"
Ragdoll Productions "Magical Lights" • "Christmas Tree" • "Making Christmas Cards" • "Crackers" • "Christmas Carols" • "The Perfect Tree"
Decode Entertainment "Santa Sword is Coming to Town" • "Secret Santa" • "Last Day of Christmas" • "A Very Sadie Christmas" • "His Master's Choice" • "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" • "The Nutcracker" • "The Happy Holidays Issue" • "How to Make a Christmas Miracle" • "Lobster Claus is Coming to Town"
Halifax Films "Bob's Broken Sleigh" • "A Wish World Christmas"
Iconix Brand Group A Charlie Brown Christmas • "The Play" • It's Christmastime Again, Charlie BrownCharlie Brown's Christmas Tales • "Berry Merry Christmas" • I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown • "Dear Santa Claus" • "Happy First Frost" • "Christmas is Coming" • "Christmas is on Its Way" • "It's Your 50th Christmas, Charlie Brown" • "Berry Merry Melody" • "Lemon's Name in Lights" • "Happiness is the Gift of Giving" • "Mission Unfrostable" • "Happiness Is Holiday Traditions"
FilmFair "Paddington's Christmas" • "Paddington and the Christmas Shopping" • "Christmas in Fabuland" • "Huxley Pig's Cinderella"
Nerd Corps Entertainment "A Christmas Wish" • "Monster Machine Christmas" • Lego Friends: Holiday Special • "Happy Sniffmas" • "A Blazing Amazing Christmas"