Postcards from Buster (TV Series 2004– )

TVSeries


Postcards from Buster (TV Series 2004– )

Buster Baxter of "Arthur" fame travels around the world with his family.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
Canada
USA
IMDb  6.0 /10
Creators
Creator Jyllian Gunther
Creator Peter Gaffney
Creator Stephanie Simpson
Information
Release Date2004-10-11
Runtime
GenreAnimation, Comedy, Family
Content RatingTV-Y (TV-Y)
Awards7 nominations.
CompanyMarc Brown Studios, WGBH, Cookie Jar Entertainment
CountryCanada, USA
LanguageEnglish
Buster Baxter 51 episodes, 2004-2012
Vanessa Abruzzo
Vanessa Abruzzo
Mora 40 episodes, 2004-2005
Elyzabeth Diaga
Elyzabeth Diaga
Mora 40 episodes, 2004-2005

Postcards from Buster

Postcards from Buster is an American-Canadian children's television series containing both live action and animation that originally aired on PBS. It is a spin-off of the Arthur TV series. The show stars Arthur's best friend, 8-year-old anthropomorphic rabbit Buster Baxter. Based by a backdoor pilot episode of Arthur entitled "Postcards from Buster", the television series was created by Cookie Jar Group (now known as DHX Media), WGBH Boston and Marc Brown Studios.

The pilot was aired on December 22, 2003 as an episode of Arthur. The official series aired from October 11, 2004 to February 24, 2012, on PBS Kids and PBS Kids Go!. Buster's interests include eating anything, reading comic books, and playing video games. Buster's personality is that of a fairly intelligent and curious child. He also believes that extraterrestrials are real. Buster's parents are divorced; in this series, Buster is seen with his father, Bo Baxter.

Arthur Read and many other characters from the PBS Kids animated television series Arthur make cameo appearances in this series, and most episodes have an Arthur character playing a minor role. The series went on hiatus between November 2008 and February 2012.


Overview

Postcards from Buster centered on Buster traveling to different places around North America and worldwide, usually in the United States but also in the Caribbean, Canada and other places, with his father, who is a pilot for a band of musicians. In each episode, Buster meets children in the location, who show him views of their real-life families and global culture.

The sequences with Buster are animated, while the portions featuring the children are live-action (viewed from the viewpoint of Buster's video camcorder). After each location, Buster sends to Arthur a "video postcard" video tape summarizing what he's done and who he's met in each location.

The children and their families that appeared on the series are meant to be multicultural and diverse, and range from a Mormon family in Utah to a Mestizo family in Texas.


Episodes

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
140October 11, 2004April 1, 2005
210November 27, 2006February 19, 2007
33November 7, 2008November 21, 2008
42February 18, 2012February 20, 2012

Voice actors and their characters

  • Daniel Brochu – Buster Baxter
  • Ellen David – Bitzi Baxter
  • Marcel Jeannin – Bo Baxter
  • Elyzabeth Diaga (season 1) and Stephanie Martin (seasons 2–3) – Mora of Los Viajeros
  • Norman Groulx (season 1) and Glenn Coulson (seasons 2–3) – Carlos of Los Viajeros
  • Cameron Ansell (seasons 1–2) and Dallas Jokic (season 3) – Arthur Read
  • Jason Szwimmer (seasons 1–2) and Robert Naylor (season 3) – D.W. Read
  • Melissa Altro – Muffy Crosswire
  • Jodie Resther – Francine Frensky
  • Mukundan Jr – Triple J (season 3)
  • Robert Naylor (Seasons 1-2) And Jake Beale (Season 3) - James

Home media releases

A series of Postcards from Buster DVDs and VHS releases of a certain topic have been released by PBS Distribution through Paramount Home Entertainment. This includes Buster's Outdoor Journeys (featuring episodes Sugartime, Meet Me at the Fair, The Giant Pumpkins and Bayou by Me), Buster's Got the Beat (featuring episodes Beats by the Bay, Buster and Beatrice, The Music Mystery and Buster's Sweet Song), Buster's Buddies (featuring episodes Buster's League of Champions, Best Friends, A Sense of Direction and Sleepy in Seattle) and Buster's World of Sports (featuring episodes Winter Gold, Swimming in the Desert, Rock and Roll and Rodeo Cowgirl). VHS releases, however, only include the first two episodes from the DVDs.

On October 12, 2010, Mill Creek Entertainment released the complete first season on DVD in Region 1. For some unknown reason, the cover art for the DVD states that this is 'The complete series', when in fact it is not as there are 16 more episodes.


Criticism and controversy

In January 2005, Margaret Spellings, United States Secretary of Education, revealed that the show had explored same-sex marriage. Episode #33, "Sugartime!", which features Buster visiting Hinesburg, Vermont, to learn about the production of maple sugar, includes Buster meeting several children who have lesbian parents. Vermont was one of the first states to legalize civil unions for same-sex couples. In the episode, the word lesbian or homosexual is never said, and the episode — like all Postcards episodes — has no sexual content.

Buster meets the children and comments, "Boy, that's a lot of moms!"; one girl mentions her "mom and stepmom," adding that she loves her stepmother very much, and no other comments are made about the couple. PBS vice president of media relations Lea Sloan said at the time, "The fact that there is a family structure that is objectionable to the Department of Education is not at all the focus of the show, nor is it addressed in the show."

Spellings demanded that PBS return all federal funding that had been used in the production of the episode, claiming that "many parents would not want their young children exposed to the lifestyles portrayed in this episode." PBS decided not to air this episode, but some member stations across the country chose to air the episode, including WNET in New York, KCET in Los Angeles, and KERA in Dallas–Fort Worth, which are flagship stations; and the show's co-producer, WGBH in Boston (which distributed the episode directly to public television stations after PBS's decision). It was, however, included in both the VHS and DVD version of the collection "Buster's Outdoor Journeys" which was distributed by Paramount Home Entertainment.

Some of these stations opted to air this episode in prime-time, with some following the episode with a local discussion on the controversy. Shortly after the controversy, PBS's CEO announced she would step down when her contract expired in 2006. Cusi Cram, a writer for Arthur, later wrote a play titled Dusty and the Big Bad World, based on this controversy.