When I was much younger and used to babysit on a regular basis, one of the kids shows I would sometimes watch with my charges was Arthur: The Animated Series. Now if you’re not familiar with this show, it is actually based on a series of children’s books by Marc Brown about a lovable third grader named Arthur who loves to read. Did I mention Arthur was an aadvark? Well he is.
Anyway, the cast of characters throughout the show is full of anthropomorphized animals. Arthur is an aadvark, his friend Buster is a bunny and his friend Francine is a monkey and they all have crazy adventures. It is actually a really cute kids show, but it got me wondering . . .
Okay, so like I said, all the characters on the show are animals. One of these characters is Binky, Arthur’s bully/sometimes friend who is a bulldog.
Another is Fern, Arthur’s shy amateaur sleuth friend who is also a dog (her breed is never specified but she looks vaguely cocker spaniel-ish).
And then, in addition to Arthur’s dog friends from school, he has an actual pet dog named Pal who I believe is supposed to be some sort of Golden Lab type dog.
So what is the deal with some types of dogs being “people” and some types of dogs being dogs? Did something weird happen which caused only certain breeds of dogs in the Arthur universe to evolve? Is there something wrong with Pal that he is just a pet dog? Or did he do something wrong and his punishment is to forever be a housepet? Is there some bizarre level of endentured animal servitude that I am missing here?
Yes, I know, I am asking a lot of logic from a children’s show, but it makes you wonder how the cartoon hierarchy is established. Like Goofy* and Pluto – why is one Mickey Mouse’s best friend and the other his pet if they are both dogs?
Any theories on this topic are greatly appreciated. 😉
*Early in our relationship, Boy and I got into a big argument because he actually believed that Goofy was a cow. I managed to prove him wrong, but during the process, I also discovered that in several Disney adventures, Goofy is seen romancing Clarabelle Cow which . . . brings up some serious questions about how Walt Disney thought animal breeding worked.