Arthur celebrates the big 3-0

For 30 years, Marc Brown, creator of the best-selling Arthur Adventure book series, has captured the hearts of kids of all ages.

Brown also co-developed the PBS television series, Arthur, and has received a Peabody Award and five Emmys for his work.

In the midst of a multicity 30th anniversary tour, Brown took time to talk with Minnesota Parent and provide insights about the world’s favorite aardvark and his pals.

Minnesota Parent: After 30 years, you must have many favorite memories of Arthur. What type of response have you received from children who have read your books or watched the Arthur television series?

Brown: I am honored that children find my characters so real. Once I received a letter from a 2nd grader in Texas asking for Francine’s phone number. I stupidly put our own phone number in one of the books. We get a lot of calls for Arthur. My wife Laurie has the best response, “He’s at the library.”

Minnesota Parent: What have you enjoyed most about creating Arthur for the past 30 years?

Brown: I have been inspired by my good friend Fred Rogers [of “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood” fame] and the way he has used media. I always look for ways that books and television can be helpful to kids and families, as well as be entertaining.

Minnesota Parent: What does the future hold for Arthur?

Brown: Well, he will never age, and I guess that’s a good thing. He will always be 8 years old and never have to take the SATs or worry about college. For me, I like to try new things with Arthur, and I have just completed a new animation project with Lion’s Gate – a movie for video/DVD that will be released this summer. The project is done in CGI animation. It looks like Arthur and his world, but it is all very 3D. The project took two years and was like learning a new language. Everyone who has seen it loves it and is very excited. I loved trying this new form of animation and the project was good preparation for what I know will happen someday – an Arthur movie. I think, after 30 years, Arthur is ready for his close-up.

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