Arthur and Buster fear that their new teacher, Mr. Ratburn, is some kind of evil maniac who collects children's heads - until they discover the truth about him, of course.
"Arthur's Spelling Trubble"
Arthur does some heavy-duty studying, in order to compete in the school's upcoming spelling bee.moreless
Francine Alice Frensky
Mr. Nigel Emil Ratburn
Voice of Arthur Timothy Read (1996-2001)
David Read / Binky Barnes
Principal Herbert Haney
In "Arthur and the Real Mr. Ratburn," Sue Ellen's hair keeps changing colors. In the vampire clip, her hair is black. In a scene in Mr. Ratburn's room, it's dark brown. Sue-Ellen will not be introduced until later this first season.
In "Spelling Trubble" when Mr. Ratburn is erasing the board not all of it is erased (some of the underline under "Bee" isn't erased) yet it still disappears in the chalk dust.
Regarding the goof about Buster's reading: the show apparently has no timeline. The kids are always shown as being in third grade, so the events of this episode could have taken place well after the events of the episode in which Buster said he had never read a whole book.
If I'm not mistaken, Buster says in "Arthur and the Real Mr. Ratburn" that he read a book where kids became detectives, but in "Buster Hits the Books," which doesn't occur until the next season, Buster says that he's never read a whole book.
(Arthur continues studying for the spelling bee)
Arthur: Glooba. G-L-O-O-B-A. Glooba. (Kate gives confused look)
Francine: A vampire doesn't need heads.
Arthur: This is no ordinary vampire.
Buster: He's beyond a vampire.
Arthur: What's beyond a vampire?
Buster: A Ratburn.
Talking Stereo: Jack, you're not organized. You'd forget your head if it wasn't attached.
Jack: Uh-uh. Would not.
Talking Stereo: Grab your head and hide! Here comes the giant!
D.W.: I'm not a slave to my vocabulary.
Arthur: I'm nervous. N-E-R-V-O-U-S. Nervous.
Arthur & Buster: BOY'S HEADS!
(Arthur is brushing his teeth)
DW: Spell toothpaste.
Arthur: Toothpaste; T-O-O-T-H-P-A-S-T-E. Toothpaste. Am I right?
DW: How should I know?
Mr. Haney: Spell "fear".
Brain: (so nervous) Fear. F-E-R-E.
Mr. Ratburn: Spell "aardvark".
Arthur: (singing the song he made) A a r d v-a-r-k! (some kids laugh)
Ratburn: Thank you for the entertainment, Arthur.
(Mrs. Read is trying to lure D.W. from spying on Arthur studying...)
Mrs. Read: D.W., how about some ice cream?
D.W.: Are you bribing me?
Mrs. Read: (giggles) Yes.
Buster: Arthur, do you want to come play baseball?
Arthur: I'm Studying, Buster. S-O-R-R-Y.
Arthur: (correcting him) Sorry!
On VHS releases of this episode, "Arthur and the Real Mr. Ratburn" was retitled as "Arthur's Teacher Trouble" during the episode's title card, obviously to reference the original book the episode is based on.
Arthur's first spelling work happens to be aardvark...and he is one!
These two stories are taken from the book "Arthur's Teacher Trouble". Prunella is introduced here, but her relationship to Arthur's gang is never explained, other than the fact that she had Ratburn as a teacher the previous year (making her, presumably, a fourth-grader). She seems to have no friends outside of Arthur and his third-grade class. A couple of parts in "Arthur and the Real Mr. Ratburn" also come from the book "The True Francine," whereas in the beginning of the book version, the gang starts third grade, and they are shocked to learn that they got Mr. Ratburn
In "Spelling Trubble", just before Arthur walks in and plays the Aardvark Rap song, his dad is humming the theme from Ravel's "Bolero".
Arthur's nervous thinking when he is in the class spelling bee seems to be a partial reference to when Charlie Brown was in the class spelling bee in the 1969 movie A Boy Named Charlie Brown, as well as some of the comic strips with Charlie Brown spelling; however, while Charlie Brown is trying to remember the "I before E" spelling rule and thinking about his spelling strategies, Arthur is thinking of how to try and get out of the spelling bee.
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