You might want to sit down for this one. Like the many disappointed 10-year-old boys who found out that their hero Bart Simpson was voiced by none other than a girl (cooties continue to be a major concern), fans of the Emmy-winning animated series Arthur might be surprised to hear that D.W., Arthur’s sister, is voiced by a boy—several boys, in fact. Over the last 25 years, more than five male voice actors gave sound to D.W.’s animated mouth, and former D.W. Jason Szwimer would like to speak to them.
Finding D.W. is a new podcast that premiered last week on June 29. It follows Szwimer, who between 2002 and 2006 provided the voice for Arthur’s little sister, as he interviews the six other members of the D.W. voice club. This includes interviews with Michael Caloz (seasons one-three), Oliver Grainger (seasons four-six), Robert Naylor (seasons 11-15), Jake Beale (seasons 16-17), Andrew Dayton (seasons 18-19), Christian Distefano (seasons 20-21) and Ethan Pugiotto (Season 22-present).
“I thought it would be fun to talk to the other guys who played D.W.,” said Szwimer, who noodled over the idea during the pandemic. “I couldn’t get the idea out of my head, so I decided I just needed to go for it.”
understandably, many fans probably assumed that a female voice actor would play D.W., but according to Toronto voice and casting director Debra Toffan, the show always uses male actors. “The boy’s voice with a bit of raspy-huskiness worked really well,” she tells The Toronto Star. “We certainly tried female [actors], but there was too much sweetness. [D.W.’s] tough and a bit bratty. She’s not afraid of anything and will tell you what she thinks.”
D.W. actors tend to age out of the role quickly as the show prefers to use child actors that are only a little older than the character (and aren’t aardvarks). “[Actors] are usually around 10 (when they start) and once they hit 13 their voices have changed,” said Toffan.
New episodes of Finding D.W. drop every Tuesday.