Your Thoughts: Maria Getting Her Own Episode

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What do you think of Maria?

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Your Thoughts: Maria Getting Her Own Episode

Post by A Lotta Moms on Wed Sep 10, 2014 1:40 pm



Maria: http://arthur.wikia.com/wiki/Maria

Who is she?  What is she?  

After nearly two decades (thirty-five years if you count her 1979 book debut), I don't think many of us have a very clear answer.  Yet somehow, despite her lack of spoken dialogue and prominent roles, she's managed to become more popular among many fans - myself included - than a majority of the main characters.  How does this happen?  I have a few theories on that one, but for the time being let's kick off some discussion on just what we all think of Sugar Bunny.
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Re: Your Thoughts: Maria Getting Her Own Episode

Post by 磁計算機騎士 on Wed Sep 10, 2014 9:13 pm

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Re: Your Thoughts: Maria Getting Her Own Episode

Post by A Lotta Moms on Wed Sep 10, 2014 9:24 pm

Good stuff!  I notice Snowth's latest Maria piece is up there, too (excellent work that it is).  
Hopefully, they'll open up membership requests again...
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Re: Your Thoughts: Maria Getting Her Own Episode

Post by ElwoodGuy on Wed Sep 10, 2014 11:34 pm

My theory is that Maria was one of the few students in Mr. Ratburn's class that did NOT agree to the documentary crew filming her for a show centered around Arthur's life.
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Re: Your Thoughts: Maria Getting Her Own Episode

Post by 磁計算機騎士 on Thu Sep 11, 2014 5:29 am

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Re: Your Thoughts: Maria Getting Her Own Episode

Post by A Lotta Moms on Thu Sep 11, 2014 3:50 pm

Now that I finally have a few minutes to sit down and write something substantial, here are some thoughts I've had that might help explain Maria's surprising popularity:

1.  The Silent Protagonist Effect.  For the most part, we don't know a whole lot about Maria aside from a few generic clubs, sparse traits and events she's participated in.  Since she's a bit of a blank slate, that makes it easier for us to project ourselves onto her, or project our concept of an ideal young girl onto her.  This the same principle behind a lot of video game characters who have little-to-no spoken dialogue, and are meant as counterparts through which the player enters a fictional universe.

2.  The Helpless Victim Effect.  Being such a quiet girl, it's easy to view Maria as the sort of person who can't speak up for herself in a tight situation, and who may struggle with insecurities that make daily life difficult for her.  This makes it easy for us to sympathize with her, love her, and want to come to her aid to save her from the big, bad world.  Her modest, old school character design makes it all the more easy to view her as a non-threatening wallflower who would be much more kind and understanding with us than most of the other realistically-flawed characters.

3.  High Hopes and Lack of Options.  Over the course of the series, a lot of fans have become bored with the main characters.  Given all of the complaints swirling around about how some later seasons have lost their touch, it's not surprising that fans want something new and exciting.  Though Ladonna's remained fairly popular, not everybody's taken too kindly to her.  That pretty much leaves us with someone like Maria, who dates almost as far back back as beginning of the franchise, who was present during the show's best moments, and who carries with her all the nostalgia of the early seasons.  We look forward to her appearances, hoping that someday she might just be the Chosen One who will stand up and revive all the magic that the show once had.  

4.  The Entropy Shield.  Since she was never really "written," she never really lost her touch.  D.W. may have been gutted, Francine may be less aggressive, etc., but Maria?  She's still good, old quiet Maria.  You can't screw up a character who scarcely existed in the first place...until you try to give her her own signature episode, that is.  Neutral   That said, I'm sincerely looking forward to seeing how her character plays out.  It's really going to be a make-or-break moment for her.


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Re: Your Thoughts: Maria Getting Her Own Episode

Post by fernandox84 on Fri Oct 10, 2014 2:14 pm

she is very cute maria my favorite female character of arthur. :3 ^_^
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Re: Your Thoughts: Maria Getting Her Own Episode

Post by Kerry9Story on Sat Oct 11, 2014 8:36 am

she jus be sn0bbin.
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Re: Your Thoughts: Maria Getting Her Own Episode

Post by Snowth Poogle on Sat Oct 11, 2014 5:44 pm

I just honestly can't imagine what they could possibly do with a character who's been nothing more than a silent background extra for 18 years. I almost get a sense that this upcoming Maria episode will be nothing more than a fanservice episode... I don't fanservice in a sexual sense, but rather, I feel like this episode is only being made as something of a gift to the fans who are always talking/asking about her, but I just can't fathom what they'll do with her, or what her character will be like.

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Re: Your Thoughts: Maria Getting Her Own Episode

Post by A Lotta Moms on Sat Oct 11, 2014 6:14 pm

It's really difficult to project ahead, since we know so little about her.  One thought I have is an episode that focuses on how completely plain and unremarkable she is (hence, the reason why we never noticed her all this time), but finishes with the theme that it's okay to be normal so long as you be yourself.  I recall a few episodes that dealt with quiet or underachieving characters struggling with self-confidence, such as Fern and Buster, but they always seemed to finish by underscoring some sort of unique talent that had that made up for it, whether it's creativity or humor.  Maria may be a plain girl and average/below average student who doesn't really stand out at anything, but if she's herself and tries her best, then maybe that's a-okay.
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Re: Your Thoughts: Maria Getting Her Own Episode

Post by 磁計算機騎士 on Sat Oct 11, 2014 7:04 pm

That brings up the topic of voice actor/actress. Accents are possible, like for Ladonna. Secondly, will they use a main voice cast member, or bring in someone new?

What if they give her the season 19 guest star voice? Shocked
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Re: Your Thoughts: Maria Getting Her Own Episode

Post by A Lotta Moms on Sat Oct 11, 2014 7:14 pm

It's interesting, while most fans picture a naturally soft and gentle voice for Maria, the only real voice we have of her from the famous "We Don't Believe It!" clip is curiously deep.  



Listening carefully, you can sort of filter out the male voice used for Alex and Fern/Holly's softer voice, leaving us with a strong and mature-sounding female voice that can only be Maria.
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Re: Your Thoughts: Maria Getting Her Own Episode

Post by Snowth Poogle on Tue Oct 14, 2014 4:46 pm

I still will be scared shitless if it turns out Maria's episode deals with her being quiet and reserved because she was once molested... that's just about the one of the only subjects they haven't touched on yet, and we kind of ran with it over at ECC for a while... where Greg Bailey also sees what's going on... the announcement of Maria's episode came kind of afterwards, we may have unwittingly sparked some kind of idea.

Other than that, I still predict this is more or less an episode made specifically for fans, since Maria's pretty much the show's official Ensemble Darkhorse.

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Re: Your Thoughts: Maria Getting Her Own Episode

Post by A Lotta Moms on Tue Oct 14, 2014 4:55 pm

Ah, yes.  I've had that scenario in the back of my mind ever since I learned of her upcoming signature episode.  It really was the perfect finale for Old ECC during its dying days.  If they don't credit us or at least give us in-episode cameos, I'll be most disappointed.  clown

The creative team is probably well aware of this place and checks it out as guests every so often, too.  It would be the greatest thing ever if a future episode has some sort of subtle reference to us.

Jane: "Arthur, make sure you stay away from the Slums.  There are a lot of shady characters hanging out down there..."
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Re: Your Thoughts: Maria Getting Her Own Episode

Post by Snowth Poogle on Tue Oct 14, 2014 4:58 pm

Oh lord... ><

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Reasons why Maria never talked

Post by 磁計算機騎士 on Thu Oct 23, 2014 12:20 am

Now that we've had two confirmations of an episode about Maria and why she never spoke, let's begin speculation to see who gets the closest to the official reason (which I myself still do not know, BTW).

Here are my ideas:

  1. Shyness
  2. Doesn't know much English (speaks another language)
  3. Embarrassed of her accent
  4. Time traveller from the future: doesn't want to change history
  5. Witness protection program
  6. Alien/Robot/Cyborg in disguise
  7. Imaginary/Ghost and only the audience can see her
  8. Sign language (deaf?)
  9. Only talks to her friends (not necessarily the same as shyness)
  10. Mourning a death
  11. Religious vow of silence
  12. Speech impediment
  13. Simply never learned how
  14. An accident/injury damaged her vocal chords
  15. Tongue was removed for a crime against the government (à la The Hunger Games)
  16. Binky threatened her
  17. Playing the quiet game
  18. A prophecy foretold her bringing forth the end of the world


My favorite from my list is #18, but I think the one they chose is either #2 or #12.


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Re: Your Thoughts: Maria Getting Her Own Episode

Post by Kerry9Story on Thu Oct 23, 2014 1:04 am

shes mean mabbe?
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Re: Your Thoughts: Maria Getting Her Own Episode

Post by Snowth Poogle on Thu Oct 23, 2014 11:39 am

Everything has a cause and effect, and while a lot of these speculations could work for one episode, they would contradict with the show's continuity (which has already been obliterated by this point it's been running for so long). For example, I could easily see the scenario being #2 and #8; the former could apply, Maria is typically a Spanish name and she could very well be Hispanic and not know a lot of English, but if that's the case, given how tough Ratburn's class is, she probably would be in a different class where she's be at a more comfortable level (this actually came up in an episode of SANFORD AND SON); the latter likewise, if she were deaf, then she either really knows how to read lips and can understand Ratburn's lessons, or somebody would have to sign for her - which nobody ever has.

The more I think about it, I think it could very well be an extreme case of shyness, and perhaps maybe she's just not as socially mature as the others... matter of fact, I have a lady friend who is rather outgoing and personable, but she once told me she wasn't always like that, apparently she was more of a shrinking violet in high school, and apparently she didn't talk in middle school at all.

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Re: Your Thoughts: Maria Getting Her Own Episode

Post by A Lotta Moms on Thu Oct 23, 2014 2:55 pm

Given the recent revelation that we quite possibly did help in pushing her out into the spotlight...

I'm thinking that either #1 (Shyness) of #9 (Friends Only) are the most likely candidates, although it's funny - the closest thing we technically do have to canon is #5 (Witness Protection).  Though it was a joke, it's still the only input we have from any official source on the matter, which makes it all the more amusing. Smile  

If I had to choose my favorite reasons, however, I'd have to go with #7 (Imaginary/Ghost) or, of course, this: http://elwoodcitycentral.createaforum.com/fan-creations/muffy-gets-real/
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Re: Your Thoughts: Maria Getting Her Own Episode

Post by BionicBunny on Thu Oct 23, 2014 3:22 pm

I think her dad died in Afghanistan and she has subsequently lost the will to speak out of shock.

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Re: Your Thoughts: Maria Getting Her Own Episode

Post by Snowth Poogle on Thu Oct 23, 2014 4:05 pm

So... her dad died in Afghanistan... back in 1996? Razz

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Re: Your Thoughts: Maria Getting Her Own Episode

Post by BionicBunny on Thu Oct 23, 2014 7:59 pm

Doncha know Snowth,as the series progresses, technology updates with the real world,and even though Arthur and Company are eternal third graders (since this takes place after horrific deaths in 2057 due to the American-Korean Nuclear War),I don't see why they couldn't include Operation Enduring Freedom.

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Re: Your Thoughts: Maria Getting Her Own Episode

Post by A Lotta Moms on Mon Nov 17, 2014 2:57 am

I suppose this is sufficient reason to revive the Maria topic.  Some of us are probably well aware of her schizophrenic nose, which has been depicted as bunny, aardvark, and dog/bear on various occasions.  Here's one of the most unusual variants I just stumbled across over at the Wikia:



Peculiar as it may seem for her, she actually looks really, really cute with more of a snout.
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Re: Your Thoughts: Maria Getting Her Own Episode

Post by Snowth Poogle on Mon Nov 17, 2014 11:10 pm

The doggy noses work well with some of the bunnehs; that little extra splash of pink in the middle of their otherwise mostly muted faces makes 'em all the more adorable.



Back tracking a little, as far as a voice goes, I'm not putting too much stock in that, "We don't believe it," clip, if only because a number of the characters' voices were deeper and more wooden when the show first started: Binky sounded like a slightly higher-pitched David, Francine's voice noticeably more resonate and robust, and Buster almost sounds like a different character when he says, "Yeah, sometimes Francine gives me a headache, too," in "Arthur's Eyes." At the risk of making her seem too much like Fern, I kind of imagine Maria possibly have a withdrawn and mousy kind of voice... if not that, somebody pointed out the possibility that she could have an accent that she's embarrassed of... I could see that if she's possibly a Hispanic character with a name like Maria and all.

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Re: Your Thoughts: Maria Getting Her Own Episode

Post by 磁計算機騎士 on Tue Nov 18, 2014 9:48 pm

Snowth Poogle wrote:At the risk of making her seem too much like Fern, I kind of imagine Maria possibly have a withdrawn and mousy kind of voice...



In the Living Books CD games (she was only in one, Arthur's Teacher Trouble), Maria sounds a little bit like Jenna, but is definitely more high-pitched than any voice I've heard on the show.

They should track down every person listed in the 'other voices' credits of this game and figure out who it was. Idea
Here's the list: Jonelle Adkisson, Don Albrecht, Tom Alpern, John Baker, Michael Barrett, Donna Bonifield, Michael Dashow, Susan DiSanto, Joey Edelman, Bridget Erdmann, Bo Everson, Tony Fardella, Jennifer Hewitt, Tim Keanini, Elsa Kendall, David Lucas, Temah Nelson, Todd Power, Mark Schlichting, Jane Scolleri, Tracy Tandy, Mandy Thomas, and Barbara Lawrence Webster.


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