The Magic School Bus: Rides Again

A generation of kids grew up with The Magic School Bus, an animated PBS series that aired in the mid-1990s starring a beloved and wacky science teacher character named Ms. Frizzle. And now, via Netflix, a new generation can enjoy a continuation of that science fun with The Magic School Bus Rides Again.

Ms. Frizzle, (Fiona Felicity Frizzle and younger sister to the Ms. Frizzle) voiced by Kate McKinnon, is always ready to gather her students and hop into the Magic School Bus to shrink, dive, parachute and time-travel to wherever they need to go for their next field trip. It might be that they become microscopic miners and venture deep into the iron of a whistle to understand electrons in a magnetic field. Gadgets and gizmos pop up along the way for the students to use, wear or drive. They all pull together and make the lessons stick.

In one episode, they voyage to the bottom of the sea, driving mini submarines around as they learn about the different depth zones and the power of water pressure. In another episode, Ms. Frizzle shows up in snowboarding gear at school and the bus takes the students to a glacier, where they parachute into snowflakes and learn about climate change.

At the end of each episode, Prof. Valerie Felicity Frizzle, voiced by Lily Tomlin (the original Ms. Frizzle) answers questions in a short segment. It’s an added bonus to an already educational, enjoyable, adventurous series.

Ann Oldenburg ©2018 Parents’ Choice

Ann Oldenburg, lecturer and interim director of the journalism program at Georgetown University, writes about television, food, workplace issues and other pop culture topics. A University of Florida Gator with a degree in journalism, she began her career at The Washington Post and spent more than two decades with USA TODAY. She and her husband have three sons and live in McLean, Virginia.