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Trivia / Arthur

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The animated series:

  • Ascended Fanon: For years, the fanbase observed things like Mr. Ratburn's hobbies and some behaviors on his part which were categorized as effeminate and decided that he was most likely gay; production ran with it and gave him a husband.
  • Banned Episode:
    • "Room to Ride/The Frensky Family Fiasco" and "The Great MacGrady" will no longer air on PBS due to the Lance Armstrong doping scandal. "Binky vs. Binky/Operation: D.W.", which uses a parody of Armstrong ("Vance Legstrong") has also been pulled from rotation. These episodes can still be streamed online.
      • The print version of "The Great MacGrady", used as a parents and teachers guide on the PBS website, has Armstrong and references to his cycling wins completely removed from the story, being replaced with Bitzi's ex-beau, Harry Mills, as the one who previously had cancer and Francine reaches out to instead of Armstrong.
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    • The S17 episode, "Ladonna Compson: Party Animal", has been banned in certain international cities, such as Moscow, Rome, and others, because the scene in which Bud ruins Ladonna's apple pie is somehow considered offensive in these parts of the world. Although it could also be that many moral guardians took offense to the word "Party Animal", which does have a negative connotation (see: whore, gold digger) in certain countries.
    • Due to its depiction of a same-sex marriage, the S22 episode "Mr. Ratburn And The Special Someone" was banned from airing on Alabama Public Television. The same goes for its sister episode, "The Feud". The episode was pre-empted with a rerun.
  • Blooper: In some shots, Sue Ellen's Egypt poster is misspelled the country as "Eygpt".
  • Children Voicing Children: Numerous boys on Arthur have been voiced by actual boys, including the title character. Oddly enough, D.W. has always been voiced by prepubescent young boys as well. Arthur, D.W., The Brain, George, the Tibble Twins and several other younger boy characters have been recast several times throughout the show's 21-year run. Some female kids were voiced by actual girls, and several of them stayed on voicing their characters as they grew up older.
  • Cowboy BeBop at His Computer:
    • Because Steven Crowder is the one most often associated with Alan "The Brain" Powers, most people assume he was right there from the beginning as the voice of such character. In actuality, it was originally Luke Reid who voiced him for seasons 1-4; Crowder only voiced him for seasons 5-6.
  • Creator Backlash:
    • WGBH (the Boston PBS station that produces the show) was never entirely pleased when the show became a major source of memes, with many being NSFW. Their basic response was that they appreciated the love for the show from millennials who grew up with the show, but expressed disdain for numerous memes that were considered to be of poor taste.
    • Marc Brown hates "Arthur's Big Hit" because of its Broken Aesop about violence (Arthur gets in trouble for hitting DW but gets No Sympathy from his parents when Binky hits him) and the episode did not punish D.W. for breaking Arthur's model plane.
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  • Creator Cameo: Marc Brown appears in animated form in the intro to "Fern's Flights of Fancy" and has made other cameo appearances since.
    Marc Brown: [at Fern's imaginary book signing] Could you make mine out to Marc Brown?
    [Fern looks surprised]
    Marc Brown: That's "Marc," with a "C."
  • Creator's Favorite: At a ComicCon panel, some of the writers admitted that George was their favorite character, on grounds that he's so interesting to write for, given how creative, imaginative, and inventive he is, despite being withdrawn, shy, and timid.
  • Cross-Dressing Voices:
    • All of D.W.'s voice artists have been young boys (in order: Michael Caloz, Oliver Grainger, Jason Szimmer, Robert Naylor, Jake Beale, Andrew Dayton, and Christian Distefano).
    • At least two of George's voice artists have been female (Samantha Reynolds and Eleanor Noble).
    • Bud is also voiced by a woman (Julie Lemieux).
    • The games produced by ImageBuilder would give one to Arthur himself (Pamela Adlon). Brain also gets one in these games (Mary Kay Bergman)
  • Defictionalization: The "Deep Dark Sea" computer game from Arthur The Wrecker (or Arthur's Computer Disaster in the books) would become a playable game in the Arthur's Computer Adventure game from the Living Books series.
  • Edited for Syndication: At least some PBS stations aired a shortened version of "Double Tibble Trouble/Arthur's Almost Live Not Real Music Festival" during PBS telethons, with the "A Word From Us Kids" segment and Mr. Ratburn's "Just a Little Homework" song edited out.
    • The "A Word From Us Kids" segment never airs in certain international markets; it's usually cut to allow time for commercials.
    • Also as of later some networks, notably The ABC and CBBC, seem to be splitting episodes in half, doubling episode count but halving the episode runtime. Needless to say, when this is done the "A Word From Us Kids" segment is removed.
    • "When Carl Met George" has an alternate title, "George and the Missing Puzzle Piece," likely because the former was misconstrued as homoerotic, or some station executives felt that it would be.
  • Executive Meddling: The Imagine Spots (see main page) are being used less and less now, as research has turned up they've confused kids.
  • Fandom Nod: On-screen text is read aloud and simplified captions are available during television broadcasts, as a large portion of the target audience either can't read yet or is learning to read.
  • Fan Nickname: Viewers of Ontario's TVO Kids "Crawlspace" block during the show's early run in The '90s fondly remember Arthur as "The Phenom" (short for "phenomenon", pronounced FEE-nom), a nickname bestowed upon it by co-host Joe Motiki due to its massive popularity.
  • In Memoriam:
    • "The Last Day" is dedicated to Nemo's voice actor, Greg Kramer.
    • "Brain Sees Stars" is dedicated to Walter Massey, who voiced Mr. Haney and Mr. Marco.
    • "Crushed" is dedicated to Pat Harris, "a friend and colleague".
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes:
    • The show has been screwed in certain countries, notably Malaysia. Thus, subsequent seasons became No Export for You. Only S07 (under the name "Sleepovers, Sports and More"), S10, and S11 received boxset releases in the United States, and S1-3 are only available on DVD in the UK (confusingly enough, the second season is split across two boxsets without any proper indication, which can lead one to believe they span the first four seasons, despite the fact that the Series 2 and 3 sets are both Season 2). Only selected episodes from earlier seasons are available on DVD.
    • This section on the official PBS website for Arthur aimed at teachers and parents lists what episodes are available on which VHS tapes & DVDs. For the earlier seasons only, obviously.
    • iTunes Music Store does not sell episodes to many Asian and African countries either, iPlayer blocks non-UK IP addresses, and iView blocks non-Australian IP addresses.
    • Hulu Plus only has S7-14, and iTunes only has S10-15. Netflix originally had all of S4-14 and the first 10 half-hour episodes each of S1-3, but S1-12 were removed in July 2013, with S15 added. It should also be noted that early seasons don't get nearly as much airtime on main PBS stations anymore, though the PBS Kids subchannel that a lot of markets have thankfully have begun to remedy this (they tend to show two episodes each weekday — the first being the same one you typically see on the main feed, and then a "classic" one). Fortunately Amazon Prime has all the seasons.
    • Season 13, 14, and 15 have widescreen versions that are very hard to find in the US; the PBS Kids website and other streaming services have them cropped in 4:3.
    • The original dubbed version of Season 6 with Arthur's Justin Bradley voice is hard to find on the Internet, but never actually lost. It's actually kept by other English-speaking television networks, including the BBC in the UK. It's also heard on some DVD releases. To this day, PBS airings of Season 6 in the US retain Bradley's voice on the Descriptive Video Service (DVS) audio track for the visually-impaired.
    • The second hour-long special, "Arthur, It's Only Rock n' Roll" only aired a small handful of times when it was originally released, got one single VHS and DVD release, and has never been seen since. Compounding it is the fact that the DVD version is very rare, thanks to it still being released in the format's formative years. An enforced example, due to the Unintentional Period Piece surrounding The Backstreet Boys' co-starring role that would be completely lost on children today.
    • In-universe example: S10's "Unfinished" has the book 93,000,000 Miles in a Balloon, but since it had been so long out of print, Arthur tries desperately to find another printing of it that has the last few pages, since his doesn't.
  • Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition: There is a spoof of the Lord of The Rings Special Edition Director Cut DVD boxset, that Buster watched in S12's "The Chronicles of Buster". The DVD had 1001 hours worth of special features, commentary, and uncut footage. He watched it for about a month.
  • Milestone Celebration: "Elwood City Turns 100!" (100 episodes), "Happy Anniversary!" (10 years), "Fifteen" (15 years).
    • The Episode Title Cards for Season 10 had a 10 roll on the lower right hand side. As well, there were subtle references to the anniversary with the number 10 appearing in certain locations in various episodes.
    • Season 20 is a Continuity Cavalcade to celebrate the show's 20th anniversary.
  • Name's the Same:
    • Buster Baxter should not be confused with that other rabbit named "Buster". It gets even more confused when a Public Service Announcement has Buster refer to himself as "Buster Bunny" instead of "Buster Baxter".
    • Likewise, D.W.'s friend (and on-off rival) Emily should not be confused with a character of the same name and species that appears in a book series written by Claire Masurel and Susan Calitri. The fact that one's white and the other's brown should've made it very clear.
    • Binky and The Brain get paired up surprisingly often in episodes, but that still doesn't mean you can confuse them for Pinky and the Brain.
    • Binky, the local tough guy, should not be confused for another Binky who is completely the opposite or a famous clown.
    • D.W. is short for Dora Winifred here, but for several years before her series premiered, it was short for Darkwing Duck. It's also fine that she goes by D.W. as if she went by Dora (and, according to "D.W. and the Beastly Birthday," she will in the future), there would be competition from another Dora.
    • Timmy and Tommy Tibble share their first names with another set of anthropomorphic animal twins.
    • Author Lillian Hoban also wrote children's books about a character named Arthur though this Arthur is a chimpanzee dressed in clothing. Usually this series is referred to as "Arthur the Chimpanzee" to avoid getting it confused with Marc Brown's creation. Of course, Arthur the Chimpanzee isn't as well known now as it only got 11 books and no Animated Adaptation.
  • No Export for You:
    • S5 onwards is this to many Malaysians that are unable to get Singaporean TV, after the show got screwed by NTV7 back in 2003. Though, if you had Disney Channel Asia at the time, Disney Channel Asia did air the first half of Season 5 before pulled off the air without reason.
      • In fact, many Asian countries didn't even get this show at all, with the exceptions of South Korea and Hong Kong.
    • In Latin America, the series stopped being dubbed and broadcast after season 5 for unknown reasons, but years later, the movie Arthur's Missing Pal was dubbed for the region using a completely different voice cast. This, alongside its lack of publicity since only the now-defunct cable channel ZAZ, the Latin American versions of Cartoon Network and Boomerang (for a short time) and the Mexican over-the-air educational channel Once TV have aired the series, makes it pretty much unknown in the region despite its popularity and longevity in the United States.
  • Non-Singing Voice: Arthur's singing voice was provided by Philip Penalosa in Arthur's New Friend and Arthur's Perfect Christmas (his speaking voice at the time being Michael Yarmush).
  • Old Shame:
  • Only So Many Canadian Actors: This show is the animated central nexus of this trope. Because of its' status as a Long Runner, many Canadian voice artists and actors have lent their voice to this series, while for others, it was their first role in a television production.
  • The Other Darrin: Arthur, D.W., the Brain, and the Tibble Twins all change their voice actors every few seasons due the previous ones going through puberty.
    • Arthur has had NINE voice actors throughout the show's run: Michael Yarmush (Seasons 1-5), Justin Bradley (Season 6), Mark Rendall (Season 6 redubbed, Seasons 7-8), Cameron Ansell (Seasons 9-12), Carr Thompson (Arthur's Missing Pal), Dallas Jokic (Seasons 13-15), Drew Adkins (Seasons 16-17), William Healy (Seasons 18-19), Jacob Ursomarzo (Seasons 20-21), and Roman Lutterotti (Season 22-present). The general consensus is that Arthur's voice gets higher every time his voice actor changes, although people don't really start complaining until Season 9.
    • Arthur's Missing Pal does this to everyone except Buster and Binky (whose actors go under pseudonyms instead) by recasting them with Los Angeles voice actors or actual children.
    • The ImageBuilder games, due to being recorded in the US, also did this.
  • The Other Marty: Justin Bradley voiced Arthur in Season 6. However, the producers complained he lost Michael Yarmush's vocal range and would make Arthur sound whiny when he was angry. When they hired Mark Rendall, they had him go back and dub over all of Bradley's dialogue. To be fair, most people think Mark Rendall sounded most like Michael Yarmush out of all the voice actors who came after him.
  • Out of Order: This happened occasionally in the early seasons, though it was generally nothing more major than an out-of-order Continuity Nod. For instance, in the first season, Arthur laments Francine for making fun of him having not yet lost a tooth in Season 1's "Locked in the Library!", even though "Arthur's Tooth" was never aired until nearly 18 episodes after. In another example, Season 2's "Arthur's Knee" has D.W. telling Arthur about the time she climbed the tree, referring to the events of "D.W. Blows the Whistle" — this didn't air until two episodes later.
  • Playing Against Type: All of the boys who have played D.W. have mostly done works where they play innocent, young child characters in contrast to D.W.'s Bratty Half-Pint nature.
  • Post-Script Season: Season 20 seems to be this. Even though D.W. and Arthur were each promoted to the next grade at the end of season 19, they're back in pre-k and the third grade, respectively.
  • Quote Source: The ending of "Bleep" provides the page quote for Innocent Swearing.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Buster going away with his father in Season 2 was due to his voice actor, Daniel Brochu, moving to Australia for a year with him being most likely to return, so instead of replacing the voice, the writers decided to temporarily write Buster out. Daniel even recorded for Buster's minor roles in Season 2 in Australia before returning for the beginning of Season 3 when Buster returns.
  • Recursive Adaptation:
    • A few of the episodes were adapted into books, and during the show's early run, there were even a few books that were written in conjunction with the episodes. Arthur's Computer Disaster is an adaptation of S1's "Arthur the Wrecker", while Arthur Writes a Story was published around the same time the episode was aired, and even credited as "Adapted from a teleplay by Joe Fallon."
    • A line of chapter books went into print based on episodes of the show as well; unlike the standard Arthur picture books, these almost always followed the TV episode it was based on to a tee with few, if any changes.
  • Recycled Script:
    • The season 5 episode "The World Record" has almost the same plot as the Hey Arnold! episode "World Records" (made three years earlier). In both episodes, the main characters try to break a world record until they settle down on making the world's largest pizza-related dish, with the only difference being that Arthur's attempt at a giant regular pizza is successful while Arnold's pizza puff fails. Both episodes also have a character unsuccessfully trying to break the record for walking backwards (in this case, Buster).
    • "Buster Makes the Grade" has the same basic premise as the classic Simpsons episode "Bart Gets an F". Both episodes involve a character's (Bart/Buster) lack of studying final catch up to them and must make a good grade on an upcoming test or be held back.
    • "Buster the Lounge Lizard" has a very similar premise to the Recess episode "Teacher's Lounge" as both episodes involve the main characters trying to get into the Teacher's Lounge and them having Imagine Spot's of what the lounge is like, both episodes even have a fantasy of the teachers making more difficult homework.
  • Same Language Dub: Older episodes that aired on the BBC were redubbed with British voice actors, but not the home videos. This led to a strange case of The Other Marty in that the airing episode would have different voices compared to the video releases. (The 9 Story-produced episodes have the original North American voices, though)
  • Science Marches On: S1's "Arthur's Chicken Pox" was made in 1996 when most children watching would probably catch it themselves. Nowadays, virtually all babies are given the vaccine (introduced in the US in 1995), so modern children will never go through the disease.
  • Screwed by the Lawyers: The main reason why certain seasons of Arthur are never shown or licensed simultaneously with others outside the United States is because of the series' divided international distribution rights. The non-US rights to the first 19 seasons originally were owned by each respective main co-producer: DHX Media, whom absorbed Cinar/Cookie Jar in 2012 (the first 15 seasons) and 9 Story (seasons 16-19). Seasons produced by Oasis Animation (Season 20 and up) are distributed by PBS's International arm (apparently due to the former's limited distribution capabilities). Currently, PBS also distributes internationally the first 15 seasons since May 2019 (when DHX's rights to those episodes have expired), while 9 Story continues to distribute their episodes outside the US for the time being.
  • Screwed by the Network:
    • One of the shows screwed over by NTV7 in Malaysia- those in South Malaysia are lucky that they'll be able to pick up Singaporean TV which still does carry Arthur. Those in Central Malaysia and further north, or the Borneo states, are just plain screwed.
    • Owing to the show being a Long Runner, it has become very, very rare to see episodes from the first eight seasons in reruns on PBS affiliates. Beginning in Summer 2014, many PBS stations began airing a double run of Arthur, the second run mostly composing of earlier episodes, Seasons 2-4 in-particular.
      • Seasons 1-4 were reran nationwide in spring 2020 as a No-Hoper Repeat to entertain kids stuck at home due to coronavirus pandemic-related closures.
    • Similar to their treatment of Barney & Friends a decade prior, New York City-based PBS affiliate WNET shoved the show into the 6:00AM hour, even as new episodes were being broadcast.
  • Series Hiatus: The show had a year-long delay between season 3 (1998) and season 4 (2000). The reason for the delay is often thought to be that Season 3 pushed the episode count to 65, and that Cinar was gauging the popularity of the series to see if it's worth following up with another season or if the show should be relegated to 65-Episode Cartoon status.
  • Short Run in Peru: A number of episodes are now being released in Canada, Australia or other non-US markets well before being seen on PBS Kids in the United States. It seems that the studio will produce two seasons in a year (six months per season), and PBS will withhold one season until fall (back to school season) in which it will air both seasons back to back, while in other countries the seasons are aired as soon as production for the season is completed.
  • Society Marches On: Arthur and the Crunch Cereal Contest is this in the United States. Laws introduced since the early 2000s prohibit forcing the consumer to buy a product to be eligible to participate in a contest.
  • Talking to Himself: David (the title character's father), Binky and Bailey are all voiced by Bruce Dinsmore.
  • Technology Marches On:
    • Unavoidable, seeing that the show is a long runner. Seasons aired during the '90s showed Muffy being the only kid who had a cell phone due to her wealth, but as cell phones became more common place, the cast all eventually got them. Muffy now has Wi-Fi, while Mr. Ratburn continues to struggle with basic computing... at least until he gets himself a "BoysenBerry" and finally figures it all out.
    • "Locked in the Library!" from the first season would have been over much quicker if Arthur and Francine called or texted their family members from their cell phones. Even if the library didn't have service, it would have Wi-Fi these days, or they could log into the computers.
    • In "Clarissa is Cracked," the Reads try to find a doll hospital to help repair Clarissa. The one in town is closed, and one that Jane finds on the Internet has a six-month wait. Thanks to Yelp and online doll hospitals, it would have been relatively easier to find someone to fix the doll.
    • Unusually, even in the most recent episodes made during The New '10s, the Reads are still shown to use a big boxy desktop computer with CRT monitor, something rarely seen in real life during this decade.
    • Perhaps the silliest case would be "The Longest Eleven Minutes." The main cast is spending the day glued to the Internet when it suddenly goes out, and they all panic not knowing what to do for the rest of the day, never mind that they've been Free-Range Children for the show's entire life span. Beyond that, in their pursuit of looking for things to do, they stumble upon a instant camera and an old encyclopedia, and act as if they have never seen either before; both of these things have made appearances and mentions on the show before (for instance, D.W. has a instant camera through the entirety of "Arthur's First Sleepover" and Buster mentions encyclopedias in "Buster's Growing Grudge"). This is partly justified with a subversion on the Fleeting Demographic Rule as this sort of premise is a lot more likely to be relatable to a child of The New '10s.
  • Unfinished Dub:
    • The Italian dub covers the first eight seasons.
    • The Latin American Spanish dub went up to Season 5. The European Spanish dub is longer, going up to Season 14.
  • Unintentional Period Piece:
    • As expected from a long running show a lot of things date episodes, usually technology or references. While the main characters' clothes are timeless, minor characters, such as Arthur's very '90s looking cousin named Ricky, sometimes date themselves.
    • "The Contest" is a pretty blatant example as of the four TV shows spoofed in the episode, only South Park is still airing, which itself is a Long Runner.
    • "D.W. Goes to Washington" has D.W. meeting the President of the United States, who is modeled after Bill Clinton, who was president when the episode was produced but is obviously not any longer.
    • In the episode "In My Africa", D.W. and her new friend from Senegal celebrate the cultures of all 54 African countries that existed at the time. This dates it to before the independence of South Sudan in 2011, which made 55 African countries..
  • The Wiki Rule: The Arthur Wiki on FANDOM, and its fork.

Arthur The 1981 film:

  • AFI's 100 Years... Series
  • The Cast Showoff: Dudley Moore, a highly accomplished jazz pianist, plays the piano at his engagement party in the first film and at a dive bar in the second — such scenes are common to his films, in fact. For bonus points, he performed the piano part of "Arthur's Theme" to accompany Christopher Cross on two television specials, starting with An Evening with Dudley Moore, an interview special that tied into the film's U.K. release (which was several months after the U.S. one).
  • In Memoriam: The sequel was dedicated to the late Steve Gordon, director and writer of the first film (see One-Book Author below).
  • Orphaned Reference: In the opening sequence, Arthur mentions that he plays tennis when Gloria asks him what he does for a living. The scripted scene in which he and his father discuss the former's romantic woes over a game was cut.
  • Playing Against Type: Shakespearean actor Sir John Gielgud as Hobson — and it won him the Best Supporting Actor Oscar.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • John Belushi turned down the role of Arthur to avoid being typecast. Also considered were Jeff Bridges, James Caan, Chevy Chase, Richard Dreyfuss, Steve Martin, Bill Murray, Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino, Michael Palinnote , Robert Redford, Sylvester Stallone, John Travolta and Robin Williams. This, of course, all speaks to the fact that Arthur was written as American, but ended up played by an Englishman Not Even Bothering with the Accent.
    • Kim Basinger, Mia Farrow, Farrah Fawcett, Carrie Fisher, Goldie Hawn, Diane Keaton, Jessica Lange, Bette Midler, Gilda Radner, Susan Sarandon, Meryl Streep and Debra Winger were considered for Linda.
    • The role of Hobson was originally meant for either Alec Guinness or David Niven.
    • After the film's success, Dudley Moore was approached to reprise the role of Arthur in a Broadway musical Screen-to-Stage Adaptation but turned it down, not feeling that a perpetually-drunken character was suited to singing. (Said musical was eventually staged regionally in 1991-92, but never made it to New York City.)
    • Gordon's original screenplay was subsequently published, and while much of it is virtually identical to the finished film (albeit with some scenes reordered and/or trimmed), there are several stretches that are significantly different:
      • Arthur and Linda leave the engagement party to have a drink at the Plaza Hotel, which ends up with them getting drunk and attempting a sexual tryst, with Arthur seriously considering just having Linda become his mistress (to her disappointment). In this version, it's Bitterman who finds them and breaks the news that Hobson is in the hospital.
      • Arthur goes to Linda's apartment rather than the diner where she works come his wedding day, and the reunion is rather more hostile and violent (she socks him in the stomach...twice). He also learns that Hobson was the one who invited her to the engagement party.
      • The final two scenes have two major differences: 1) it's Arthur and Linda who convince Martha that she should let them marry so there won't be any working-class Bachs, and 2) Martha and Ralph meet each other, much to the former's chagrin, by way of setting up a final gag in which he passes out upon learning his daughter's marrying into millions.

Arthur 2: On the Rocks

  • Box Office Bomb: The film earned $14.7 million in American ticket sales, compared to the original film's $95.5 million.
  • The Cast Showoff: Dudley Moore is seen playing the piano in this movie and would often entertain the crew by playing the piano between breaks in filming.
  • Old Shame: Dudley Moore disowned this film — and Peter Cook would annoy him by claiming that he liked it better than the first one!
    • Screenwriter Andy Breckman was allegedly disappointed by the sequel too, and went to his hometown theater just to hang around and apologize to the people who went to see it.
  • The Other Darrin: Jill Eikenberry, who played Susan in the first film, was replaced by Cynthia Sikes in the second.
  • Produced By Castmember: Dudley Moore received an "Executive Producer" credit. This is the only theatrical movie where Moore was credited in a producing capacity.
  • Sequel Gap: The movie was released seven years after the first, yet in the storyline, it is stated that it is five years since Hobson died, and six years since Arthur dumped Susan Johnson at the altar.


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