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Western Animation / Postcards from Buster

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In 2003, the PBS Kids series Arthur aired an episode called "Postcards from Buster", where Buster leaves to travel across the United States (as well as nearby parts of the world) with his airline-pilot father, who brings a band of musicians called Los Viajeros with him. Buster's travels were chronicled in this Spin-Off, which ran for 55 episodes.

In this show, Buster records his experiences around the world (mainly North America) for his video postcards. In every episode, he interacts with live-action children as he learns more about the locations he is visiting.

Postcards from Buster contains the following tropes:

  • Ambiguous Syntax: In "The Giant Pumpkins", after hearing from his dad that Scotty and his family are giant vegetable growers, Buster has an Imagine Spot with vegetable growers who are giants.
  • And Your Reward Is Edible: In "Star Search", Muffy hires Buster to be her cameraman for a reality show she's making, with his payment being an all-you-can-eat spaghetti dinner at a restaurant.
  • Big "NO!": Buster shouts one in "Sugartime!" when he discovers that a dog has eaten his Mother's Day gift.
  • The Bus Came Back: Mr. Morris, the school janitor who left Elwood City in the Arthur episode "April 9th", returns for a prominent role in "Roswell That Ends Well".
  • Canada Does Not Exist: Similar to the show from which it's spun off, the characters mostly make references to American culture. One of the characters mentions growing up in Washington. Another episode, while visiting Canada, had Buster be surprised by the concept of "poutine." Makes sense for an American (let's not get into New Jersey having disco fries)... not so much for a Canadian.
  • Chekhov's Gun: In "Good Ol' Thyme", Binky rechecks Buster's footage on square-dancing and realizes that the information needed for their school history project lies within the jam session Buster is attending.
  • The Cuckoolander Was Right: In "Star Search", Buster suggests to Muffy that her next show should be a 6-part history about Gullah culture, which Muffy dismisses as uninteresting. She is rather surprised when she learns from her dad that her reality show didn't receive favorable reviews because the current TV show trend is... 6-part histories.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Besides Buster and Arthur, much of the cast from the parent series would play a main role in some episodes. To clarify:
    • For Francine in "Swimming in the Desert", "A City View", and "Step By Step".
    • For Muffy in "Swimming in the Desert", "Winter Gold", "Star Search", "Buster's Sweet Song", and "Buster in Beijing".
    • For Binky in "Good Ol' Thyme".
    • For Fern in "The Music Mystery".
    • For Sue Ellen in "Buster Gets on Board" and "Step By Step".
    • For D.W. in "Family Reunion" (where she even gets to hold the camera).
  • Edutainment Show: Just like the show it's spun off from. Here, the educational materials are in the form of learning about the cultures of various U.S. states and foreign countries.
  • Furry Lens: Implied to be the case, much more so than in Arthur itself. Whenever Buster's recordings are seen, they're in live-action and show humans, suggesting this is how the characters "actually" see their world. Despite this, any time Buster is shown on camera, he's still depicted as his usual rabbit self in the live action footage, and any of the people he interacts with are not shown in the animated interludes.
  • Feud Episode: Between Buster and Arthur in "Best Friends" when they get into an argument over the possession of a Bionic Bunny comic book.
  • Hide Your Lesbians: "Sugartime!" was actually pulled from the air during its original run for focusing on a family with lesbian parents.
  • I Do Not Like Green Eggs and Ham: In "Winter Gold", Muffy expresses her disinterest in winter sports and bets to Buster to find one that suits her. She proceeds to turn down every sport he suggests to her, before settling on the one that he doesn't directly suggest which is tubing.
  • Insomnia Episode: "Sleepy in Seattle" has Buster being unable to sleep at night because of all his travelling.
  • Interspecies Romance: One episode has Muffy, a monkey, develop a crush on Deni, a human.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: While Binky does threaten Buster if he doesn't find any historical information in "Good Ol' Thyme", they are working on a school project and must get a good grade for it. Can you blame him for getting angry when Buster admits he's been making stuff up for their report?
  • Kids Love Dinosaurs: Buster gets to visit Dinosaur National Monument in "We Are Family", much to his excitement.
  • Leitmotif: Each episode has a song that plays throughout it about its primary topic, sung by a musical duo named Los Viajeros who follow Buster on his travels.
  • Lions and Tigers and Humans... Oh, My!: Due to the camera recordings being live-action with real-life humans in contrast to the animated main cast of anthropomorphic animals, the series gives off a vibe of this.
  • Medium Blending: Buster's camera recordings are live-action; everything else is animated.
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile:
    • Averted in "Bayou, By Me", where alligators are only frequently mentioned and one shows up as a cameo at the end.
    • Invoked in "Buster's Egyptian Adventure" where some kids show Buster a crocodile which they claim is very scary, but it turns out to be just a tiny, harmless baby.
  • Not My Lucky Day: Buster suffers one in "Buster's Lucky Year". At the beginning he doesn't get the last bag of chips in a vending machine (it got stuck as it was being vended), drops a pizza slice which he bought with the last of his money, and accidentally leaves a box of donuts (with seven donuts still remaining) on the taxi cab. This causes him to think he's been cursed with bad luck. And then in the next day his clock stopped, the hotel's elevator is broken so he has to go up and down twice because he forgot something, and a man accidentally spills soda on his dragon shirt.
  • Once per Episode: Each episode has a Leitmotif about its main subject which plays throughout.
  • Piranha Problem: Discussed in "Capital Egg Hunt" where Buster sees some piranha-like fish at the National Zoo and mentions that he hopes they are not actual piranhas. Said fish are actually pacu, the herbivorous relatives of piranhas.
  • Roger Rabbit Effect: Buster is occasionally shown over live-action footage or pictures.
  • Roswell That Ends Well: One episode visited, among other places, Roswell.
  • Spiders Are Scary: In "Among the Hmong", Buster gains a fear of spiders due to having a nightmare involving a giant tarantula (considered a bad omen when it appears in a dream). He gets over it later when he learns more about real spiders, particularly tarantulas being relatively docile and never growing gigantic.
  • Spin-Off: Of Arthur.


Video Example(s):


Postcards From Buster

A dog eats all of Buster's (edible) Mother's Day presents.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / FaintInShock

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