The Magic School Bus Rides Again
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|The Magic School Bus Rides Again|
|Based on||The Magic School Bus|
by Joanna Cole
|Theme music composer||Peter Lurye|
|Opening theme||"Ride on the Magic School Bus", performed by Lin-Manuel Miranda|
|Country of origin|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||29 (26 + 3 specials)|
|Running time||25 minutes|
|Original release||September 29, 2017 –|
December 26, 2020
|Preceded by||The Magic School Bus|
The Magic School Bus Rides Again is an animated children's web series, based on the book series of the same name by Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen. It also serves as a continuation of the 1994-97 PBS Kids series The Magic School Bus, with Lily Tomlin reprising her role as Ms. Frizzle. The series premiered on Netflix on September 29, 2017. The second season premiered on April 13, 2018.
Three 45-minute specials, "Kids in Space", "The Frizz Connection", and "In the Zone", premiered on Netflix in 2020. They were dedicated to Joanna Cole, the author of the original books, who died that year.
In the sequel to Scholastic's The Magic School Bus, the flagship Dr. Valerie Frizzle (now Professor Frizzle) gets her Ph.D and retires from teaching at Walkerville Elementary School. She then hires her younger sister, Miss Fiona Frizzle, to teach the class, and passes the keys of the Magic School Bus over to her. The kids journey on exciting new field-trips, discovering new locations, creatures, time periods and more to learn about the wonders of science, educating viewers along the way, on the eponymous Bus.
- Kate McKinnon as Miss Fiona Felicity Frizzle
- Lily Tomlin as Professor Valerie Felicity Frizzle, Ph.D.
- Miles Koseleci-Vieira (Seasons 1-2) and Roman Lutterotti (specials) as Arnold Matthew Perlstein
- Lynsey Pham as Wanda Li
- Mikaela Blake as Keesha Franklin
- Gabby Clarke as Dorothy Ann Hudson
- Leke Maceda-Rustecki as Carlos Ramon
- Matthew Mintz (Seasons 1-2) and Matthew Mucci (specials) as Ralphie Alessandro Giuseppe Tennelli
- Birva Pandya as Jyoti Kaur (new student after Phoebe Terese went back to her old school)
- Kaden Stephen as Tim Wright
- Will Arnett as Galapagos Gil ("Frizzle of the Future")
- Mae Jemison as Keesha's favorite celebrity astronaut, Kathy K. Kuiper ("Space Mission: Selfie")
- Sandra Oh as Dr. Sarah Bellum ("Ralphie Strikes a Nerve")
- Jay Baruchel as Dr. Tillage ("Ghost Farm")
- Nathan Fillion as Dorothy Ann's famous scientist uncle, Dr. Axle "ValveStuck" ("Waste Not, Want Not")
- Catherine O'Hara as Tina Tennelli and Teresina Tennelli, Ralphie's trapeze-artist aunts ("Ralphie and the Flying Tennellis")
- Martin Short as Tony Tennelli, also in Ralphie's family who works in the circus ("Ralphie and the Flying Tennellis")
- Chris Hadfield as himself ("Kids in Space")
- Lights as Maven, Ms. Frizzle's pop-star cousin ("In the Zone")
- Lilly Bartlam
- Amos Crawley as Dorothy Ann's father ("The Tales Glaciers Tell"), and elderly Arnold ("In the Zone")
- Annelise Forbes as Arnold's cousin, Janet Perlstein
- Lisa Jai as Wanda's mother and as a caller in the Professor Frizzle segments ("The Magnetic Mambo")
- Julie Lemieux
- Ana Sani
- Stuart Stone as the Gizmos That Go staff ("Three in One"), the Cosmic Corner Show announcer ("Space Mission: Selfie"), and a caller in the Professor Frizzle Segment ("Ghost Farm")
- Jamie Watson
- Marcus Craig
- Martin Roach as Mr. Ruhle
- Kevin Vidal
- Lin Manuel Miranda as Robot Rueben the Dog, Arnold's Singing Voice, Chef#2, Member#1,
|First released||Last released|
|1||13||September 29, 2017|
|2||13||April 13, 2018|
|Specials||3||August 7, 2020||December 26, 2020|
Season 1 (2017)
|Title||Topic||Directed by||Written by||Original release date|
|1||1||"Frizzle of the Future"||Ecosystem||Richard Weston||John May & Suzanne Bolch||September 29, 2017|
|It's a new year in Walkerville Elementary, but to the kids' surprise, Ms. Frizzle (now Professor Frizzle) has gotten a PhD and retired (foreshadowed in the original series episode, "Works Out"). However, Arnold is nervous that the new teacher, Professor Frizzle's sister, will alter the class "ecosystem". Meanwhile, the new student, Jyoti, wonders how she will fit in to this "ecosystem".|
|2||2||"Pigs in the Wind"||Engineering Aeroelastic Buildings||Richard Weston||Mike McPhaden||September 29, 2017|
|Keesha is directing her classmates in a play about a sequel to "The Three Little Pigs". However, she becomes nervous about the level of realism after learning that Arnold's cousin, Janet, plans to review the play on her blog. Upon hearing this, Ms. Frizzle takes the class to a forest where the wind-resistant properties of trees can be seen firsthand.|
|3||3||"In the Swim"||Fish Adaptations||Richard Weston||John May & Suzanne Bolch||September 29, 2017|
|While most of Ms. Frizzle's class is thrilled to go on a field trip to Hawaii, Wanda longs for a trip that can help conservation efforts. Searching underwater, she finds a lone fish and becomes concerned about its ability to survive. Ms. Frizzle responds by giving everyone a close-up look at how fish evade predators deeper in the ocean.|
|4||4||"The Battle for Rock Mountain"||Rock Cycle (Rock layers/Fossils & Erosion)||Richard Weston||John May & Suzanne Bolch||September 29, 2017|
|Tim is drawing a comic to be preserved in Walkerville's time capsule. Asking the others for inspiration, Arnold provides a character named Captain Rock Man, while Ralphie suggests that he could get into a battle with Weatherman, his persona in the original series episode, "Kicks Up a Storm". The other students are gradually worked into the comic as they learn more about the various transformations rocks can undergo.|
|5||5||"The Magnetic Mambo"||Magnetism||Richard Weston||Jennifer Daley||September 29, 2017|
|During a talent show rehearsal, the dance numbers are not up to Ralphie's standard. Ms. Frizzle likens this to the random arrangement of atoms in Ralphie's whistle and shrinks the students so that they can go inside. After they visit a deposit of magnetite, they go inside again and see a more orderly arrangement since the whistle is paramagnetic.|
|6||6||"Carlos Gets the Sneezes"||Allergies||Richard Weston||George Arthur Bloom||September 29, 2017|
|In a throwback to the original series episode, "Inside Ralphie", Carlos brings a rat as the class pet, but then he starts sneezing uncontrollably. As Miss Fiona and the class investigate inside Carlos's immune system, they find that Carlos is being exposed to something that is giving him allergies. At first, they believe it's the rat, but later they discover it was pollen that got stuck in the rat's fur.|
|7||7||"Hides and Seeks"||Camouflage||Richard Weston||Betty Quan||September 29, 2017|
|During a school-wide hide and seek game, Ms. Frizzle's students are concerned about a proficient player and ask for advice on how to hide from her. Leaving Tim, Jyoti and Ralphie in the game, the others travel to the rainforest and relay what they learn about camouflage in real time.|
|8||8||"Three in One"||Solid, Liquid & Vapor||Richard Weston||Jocelyn Stevenson||September 29, 2017|
|Jyoti is trying to think of a project idea for a competition called "Gizmos That Go". Ms. Frizzle takes her and her classmates inside an ice cube so that they can see what happens when it melts and then boils. Inspired by this, Jyoti's entry becomes a bumper cars ride with three phases.|
|9||9||"Space Mission: Selfie"||Satellites||Richard Weston||Mike McPhaden||September 29, 2017|
|Before an upcoming game, Walkerville Elementary is unable to broadcast footage of its soccer field due to a malfunctioning satellite apparently owned by the Frizzle family. When the class goes into orbit to investigate, Keesha considers it a perfect opportunity to put the finishing touches on her application to astronaut camp. While trying to get a selfie, she accidentally destroys other satellites which makes the mission more complicated.|
|10||10||"The Tales Glaciers Tell"||Climate Change, Carbon Dioxide, Ice, Glaciers||Richard Weston||Story by : Josh Gal|
Teleplay by : Jocelyn Stevenson, John May & Suzanne Bolch
|September 29, 2017|
|Dorothy Ann is eager to impress her parents in an upcoming storytelling performance. When she and her classmates travel to a glacier, Ms. Frizzle teaches them that each of its layers holds a record of the past. This provides inspiration for a story about carbon dioxide levels.|
|11||11||"Ralphie Strikes a Nerve"||Nerves and the Human Brain||Richard Weston||Bernice Vanderlaan||September 29, 2017|
|In a remake of the original series episode, "Flexes Its Muscles", Ralphie urges his classmates to build a cheer-leading robot to help in a volleyball game against Janet's team. Although Ms. Frizzle is able to have the chassis built quickly, the students observe Jyoti's brain in order to get the idea to co-ordinate its movements with pneumatic tubes. To prevent Ralphie from getting tired, they build a second command center for Keesha to control the autonomic functions.|
|12||12||"Monster Power"||Renewable Energy||Richard Weston||Merrill Hagan||September 29, 2017|
|Ms. Frizzle takes the class to go camping, but Arnold brings along several lights, because he is afraid that a horror film he recently watched will come true. Since there is no electricity grid nearby, Arnold and his classmates learn how to harness wind and water currents for the purpose of powering the lights.|
|13||13||"DA and the Deep Blue Sea"||Ocean Zones||Richard Weston||Evan Thaler Hickey||September 29, 2017|
|While preparing to write a blog post about the ocean, Dorothy Ann gathers data with an advanced locket belonging to Jyoti's grandmother. When her fishing line breaks, and she loses the locket, Ms. Frizzle turns the bus into a submarine in order to help find it. Along the way, the students learn about undersea life and different depths.|
Season 2 (2018)
|Title||Topic||Directed by||Written by||Original release date|
|14||1||"The Land Before Tim"||Fossils||Richard Weston||Brian Hartigan||April 13, 2018|
|The class is set to compete on a gameshow about fossils hosted by Tim's idol. In order to prepare, they go back in time and become dinosaur fossils which form as Pangea breaks apart into the continents familiar to humans.|
|15||2||"Claw and Order"||Birds||Richard Weston||Jennifer Daley||April 13, 2018|
|Wanda befriends a magpie but Ms. Frizzle's other students become suspicious of him after seeing that the classroom has been ransacked by a bird. They subsequently travel the world learning about the different adaptations birds have.|
|16||3||"Ghost Farm"||Harvesting||Richard Weston||Mike McPhaden||April 13, 2018|
|Wanda is organizing a fall fair but she has forgotten that it will need food. Ralphie mentions that he knows a nearby farm which is reportedly haunted. With no other options, they travel to the farm and find that the supposedly possessed vehicles have been programmed to tend to the crops by an agricultural scientist.|
|17||4||"Nothin' But Net"||Computer Codes||Richard Weston||John May & Suzanne Bolch||April 13, 2018|
|Jyoti is sending a virtual hug to her grandmother (who was mentioned in "DA in the Deep Blue Sea") with the help of Ms. Frizzle and the Magic School Bus's "Super Scanner", which was recently installed. However, when Arnold drops in and accidentally uses the Super Scanner on himself, he is turned into an email attachment. The other students digitize themselves and the Magic School Bus as they enter the fiber-optic cables of the Internet, ensuring that their packets are sent to the same place.|
|18||5||"I Spy with my Animal Eyes"||Eyes||Richard Weston||Emma Kassirer||April 13, 2018|
|While the rest of the class is on a field trip into Arnold's left eye, Arnold turns his back on the class pet, Ratney (from "Carlos Gets the Sneezes") for a minute and loses her. Ms. Frizzle helps in the search by turning the Magic School Bus into several local animals to give the students a sense of how they see.|
|19||6||"Ready, Set, Fail!"||The Engineering Process and Failures Lead to Success||Richard Weston||Evan Thaler Hickey||April 13, 2018|
|Ralphie reads about a gem on an exoplanet that can help him pass tests without studying. After learning that the planet has a magnetic field which is impenetrable to the Magic School Bus, the class designs a rover and builds five iterations, improving it each time. When they acquire the gem, they learn that it was left by Professor Frizzle in order to entice them to think like engineers.|
|20||7||"The Good, the Bad, and the Gnocchi"||Simple machines||Richard Weston||Bernice Vanderlaan||April 13, 2018|
|When Ralphie is showing the class his family's pasta display, Carlos is in a race with his brother Mikey (from "Getting Energized" and "Gets Programmed"). Ms. Frizzle involves the rest of the class in their race when she notices that the corrugated pasta surface makes for an ideal obstacle course. The Magic School Bus then shrinks and goes inside the restaurant to the pasta display, which leads to a Western-themed race between Carlos and Mikey, whose success hinges on simple machines. But they approach many obstacles, such as an avalanche of Latin alphabet noodles, a steep mountain made of cheese, and Ralphie's dog.|
|21||8||"Send in the Clouds"||Clouds||Richard Weston||Mike McPhaden||April 13, 2018|
|When Jyoti invents a new type of umbrella, she misses the opportunity to impress investors because it is not raining. To find out more about why it rains, she and her classmates go on a field trip inside clouds. Wanda tries to build a collection of clouds along the way which has the side effect of unleashing a thunderstorm.|
|22||9||"Ralphie and the Flying Tennellis"||Using Math in Real Life Scenarios||Richard Weston||John May & Suzanne Bolch||April 13, 2018|
|After Ralphie claims that math is useless, circus performers in his family ask him to fill in for their missing acrobat. His position on math changes when the class finds out that precise calculations are needed to execute a trapeze jump.|
|23||10||"Tim and the Talking Trees"||Plant & Animal Communication/Interaction||Richard Weston||Nathalie Younglai||April 13, 2018|
|When Tim opines that trees talk to each other, the class is divided on whether to believe him. When Ms. Frizzle takes the students to the forest, they learn that trees can form a colony with the help of fungal mycelia.|
|24||11||"Waste Not, Want Not"||Utilizing Waste/Fertilization||Richard Weston||Evan Thaler Hickey||April 13, 2018|
|Dorothy Ann is preparing a musical about flowers but the orchids she has been growing for it are withering. When they try to find fertilizer to enrich the soil, the other students are dismayed to learn that it comes from feces. They overcome their aversion as Ms. Frizzle teaches them about the nutrient cycle. When it is time to perform, Arnold works these concepts into a cover of Sir Elton John's "Circle of Life".|
|25||12||"Janet's Mystery Gene"||DNA||Richard Weston||Bernice Vanderlaan||April 13, 2018|
|Carlos is arguing with Janet about which book they should read to the kindergarten class. They decide that Ms. Frizzle should lead a field trip into Janet's cells where her DNA can be found. After attempting to edit her personality and accidentally editing too much, the students struggle to put Janet back together by the time the storytelling session starts.|
|26||13||"Making Magic"||Sun||Richard Weston||Suzanne Bolch, John May & Mike McPhaden||April 13, 2018|
|The class travels to the sun and brings along an eager Principal Ruhle (from "Makes a Rainbow") who believes the trip to be a simulation. When they get to the center, Arnold risks his life to prevent the Bus from running out of power.|
|Title||Topic||Directed by||Written by||Original air date|
|"Kids in Space"||International Space Station||Richard Weston||David Skelly||August 7, 2020|
Note: This special is dedicated in memory of Joanna Cole. The subsequent episodes have this dedication.Ms. Frizzle and the kids have undergone training procedures and travel to the International Space Station in the Magic School Bus. When Ralphie accidentally uses the size-manipulation (the Bus Remote, called the Porta-Shrinker) to turn a tardigrade into a mutant, water-seeking beast, the kids must find out where to find the Porta-Shrinker (as Ralphie lost it) so it can be shrunk again.
|"The Frizz Connection"||Air current||Richard Weston||Merrill Hagan||October 20, 2020|
|Ms. Frizzle takes the students to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta on the hot-air bus for Arnold's birthday. Along the way, the students are caught in an electric storm. When the Magic School Bus gets hit by lightning, it and Ms. Frizzle are split into three distinct parts reflecting the latter's personality (The Frizz being her humor, Fiona being her bravery, and Ms. Frizzle being her intelligence). They are scattered across the world, each school bus having a different group of three students (Liz included). It's up to everyone to navigate the balloon buses to Albuquerque and join them together before each version of Ms. Frizzle fades away.|
|"In the Zone"||Time zones||Richard Weston||Jennifer Skelly, Jocelyn Stevenson & Evan Thaler Hickey||December 26, 2020|
|Ms. Frizzle has taken the kids to see her cousin, Maven, in concert on New Year's Eve. New Year's Eve is also the day when the Magic School Bus installs a 13GB update for its MagicWare (the software that gives it its magical properties), and it finishes at 12:00. Since the kids were traveling the world, the Bus has been reinstalling its software in every time zone, causing it to glitch and malfunction (the kids transform, shrink, and age while the Bus transforms into different vehicles). This causes Maven to cancel the tour and head to Walkerville. Still, instead of Walkerville, the malfunctioning Bus eventually turns on autopilot and travels to the South Pole, where it glitches once more. When they get to Walkerville, its MagicWare eventually crashes. It reboots when the kids reset its clock to solar time because it is dependent on the time on its internal clock.|
In 2014, the series was first announced by Netflix and Scholastic Media, and was titled The Magic School Bus 360°. The new iteration of the franchise features a modernized "Ms. Frizzle" (replacing Valerie with her younger sister Fiona) and a high-tech bus that stresses modern inventions such as robotics, wearables and camera technology. The hope is to captivate children's imaginations and motivate their interest in the sciences. It was produced by 9 Story Media Group. Producer Stuart Stone, who voiced Ralphie in the original series, stated that The Magic School Bus 360° will feature some of the original voice actors in different roles. The show's voice cast is based in Los Angeles, California, United States and Toronto, Ontario, Canada with Susan Blu as the Los Angeles voice director and Alyson Court as the Toronto voice director. In February 2017, Kate McKinnon was cast in the role of Ms. Frizzle (without clarifying it was Fiona, the younger sister of Valerie, now Professor Frizzle, still voiced by Tomlin). The series then changed its name to The Magic School Bus Rides Again. The series was released on Netflix on September 29, 2017. The second season was released on April 13, 2018.
Lin-Manuel Miranda of Hamilton sings the theme song. Phoebe Terese, a character from the original series, is replaced by a new student named Jyoti, as it was revealed that Phoebe transferred back to her old school. The episode endings feature question and answer sessions with Professor Frizzle, echoing the segments about viewers calling the producer which accompanied the original series on commercial-free channels. Despite clarifying some creative license taken in the episode, these scenes are still set in a universe with magical vehicles. Among other changes, the students still wear the same clothes every day but they do not resemble those from the original series. Three 45–minute specials were released in 2020: the first special The Magic School Bus Rides Again: Kids in Space was released on August 7, the second named The Magic School Bus Rides Again: The Frizz Connection on October 20 and a third titled The Magic School Bus Rides Again: In the Zone on December 26. The artstyle was changed for the specials as the characters have no outlines and the lighting and shading are more detailed.
Why has this good-natured show already received an inordinate amount of judgement? How can this much vitriol be thrown at a creation before anyone has even seen it?— Decider, 
After the series' announcement and the release of its trailer, there was initial resistance to the new art style, absence of Lily Tomlin as Ms. Frizzle, and fear it would not live up to the original series. AOL accused the show of giving Ms. Frizzle a nose job. Bustle put this down to fans of the show being "protective of its legacy".
Despite this speculation, the series has been critically acclaimed upon release. Common Sense Media deemed the show a worthy successor to its 1990s sister series, praising its gender and ethnic diversity and its commitment to teaching children about STEM subjects. Christianity Today argues that the show managed to keep the "genius of the franchise", which is that the children are almost more intrigued by the complexity and order of the natural world rather than the magic of the titular school bus. Daily Dot praised the series' premiere for addressing the change to the show's structure, putting viewers at ease through the transition, adding that the science was made "approachable". The Houstonian found the episodes' scenarios to be "pretty interesting", commenting on the academical and moral lessons. The AV Club felt the series lives up to its predecessor, and contains the same "goofy humor and ease with making learning fun". Another AV Club article wrote that the series is "lively, fast-paced, and exceedingly tolerable for adults", and full of enough science to allow them to park their kids in front of it guilt-free.
Awards and nominations
|Year||Nominee / work||Award||Result|
|2018||The Magic School Bus Rides Again||Parent's Choice Silver Honor - Spring 2018 Television||Won|
|2018||The Magic School Bus Rides Again||Common Sense "Great For Families" seal||Won|
|2018||Annellie Rose Samuel for episode "Space Mission: Selfie"||Canadian Cinema Editors Award for Best Editing in Animation||Nominated|
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Netflix has found its Ms. Frizzle! Kate McKinnon (Saturday Night Live, Ghostbusters) will be voicing the beloved animated teacher in the Magic School Bus reboot
- Stanhope, Kate (September 5, 2017). "Lin-Manuel Miranda Updates 'Magic School Bus' Theme Song for Netflix Reboot". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 5, 2017.
- "'The Magic School Bus Rides Again' brings new magic to a familiar set of wheels". Dailydot.com. September 29, 2017. Retrieved September 30, 2017.
- Writers: May, John & Bolch, Suzanne Director: Weston, Richard (September 29, 2017). "Frizzle of the Future". The Magic School Bus Rides Again. Season 1. Episode 1. Netflix.
- Crouch, Sydney (October 5, 2017). "The magic reboot". Hagerty Journalism Online. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
- Reliford, Alexis (September 29, 2017). "'The Magic School Bus Rides Again' Vs. The Original Shows There Are Some Big Changes, But '90s Fans Will Still Be Pleased". Bustle. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
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- "Why Are Adults So Mad About 'The Magic School Bus' Reboot?". September 29, 2017.
- Canva, Michael (September 6, 2017). "'Magic School Bus' reboot looks very different from the original. Who stole its visual soul?". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
- "'The Magic School Bus Rides Again' brings new magic to a familiar set of wheels". The Daily Dot. September 29, 2017. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
- Staff, A. O. L. "'Magic School Bus' reboot: Did Ms. Frizzle get a nose job?". AOL.com. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
- Patton, Rebecca. "The Magic School Bus' Reboot Could See Another Season So Soon". Bustle. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
- Ashby, Emily (September 28, 2017). "The Magic School Bus Rides Again". Common Sense Media. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
- Messer, Dustin. "The New 'Magic School Bus' Still Sees Knowledge as a Gateway to Wonder". ChristianityToday.com. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
- Editor, Assistant; White, Masey (October 4, 2017). ""The Magic School Bus Rides Again" Review". The Houstonian. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
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- "Two reboots and other bingeworthy TV". AV Club. March 24, 2018. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
- "We wade through Netflix to find the best streaming series for your kids". AV Club. May 15, 2018. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
- Baron, Reuben (March 22, 2021). "Why Is Twitter Angry About the Magic School Bus Reboot Again?". CBR. Retrieved June 12, 2022.
- "Netflix Accused of Whitewashing Characters of Color in 'Magic School Bus' Reboot". www.ibtimes.sg. March 20, 2021. Retrieved June 12, 2022.
- V, Lauren; Published, Erveen (March 21, 2021). "Magic School Bus Fans Are Reflecting On The Reboot, And They're Especially Mad About Miss Frizzle". CINEMABLEND. Retrieved June 12, 2022.
- Oldenburg, Ann (2018). "The Magic School Bus Rides Again". Parents' Choice. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
- "8th Annual CCE Awards". Canadian Cinema Editors. April 3, 2018. Retrieved June 3, 2020.