For all of us kids that grew up watching The Magic School Bus series on TV, there’s good news! It’s making a comeback starting September 29 on Netflix!! Lin-Manuel Miranda, who I know you all remember from his hit musical Hamilton voices the new theme song. The original Ms. Frizzle played by Lily Tomlin, will be returning but with a more esteemed title. She now goes by Professor Frizzle. Sounds like someone went back for her higher education! Her younger sister Fiona Frizzle is voiced by one of my favorite actresses Kate McKinnon from SNL. Fiona has taken over Ms. Frizzles classroom and will be leading them on all sorts of new adventures. I remember watching this show in the early 90’s and finding myself completely immersed in the different adventures the kids and Ms. Frizzle went on. I loved when the kids shrunk down to teeny sized people and went into space, food and even into the human body (that’s my favorite episode BTW). Now that I have an almost 5 year old, I was excited to share this show with him. Luckily, all of the old episodes are on Netflix. We’ve watched them all together and when I saw that the Magic School Bus was riding again, I was so happy. Fun fact…the TV series started out as a series of books! It seems like every good show or movie started out as a book doesn’t it? To be completely honest, until I was writing this blog post I had no idea that this show started as a book series. Way to go Aimee. Haha! .
In case your interested…I did some research on trusty old Wikipedia and I wanted to share some history on the books in case you were curious.
This information is directly from Wikipedia:
Craig Walker, vice-president and senior editorial director at Scholastic Co., stated that the concept began with the idea of combining science with fictional stories, and Joanna Cole (who had written both science and humor before) and Bruce Degen were then approached with creating such a series. Walker also states that his own memories of school field trips and of a teacher he had once, served as further inspiration.
The first book “At the Waterworks” was written in 1985 and published the following year.
Cole and Degen started a new series called Ms. Frizzle’s Adventures in 2001, which teaches social studies. There are now three books in that series. Microsoft Home started publishing Magic School Bus software in 1994.
Scholastic Entertainment, the American Meteorological Society and the Children’s Museum of Houston created a Scholastics the Magic School Bus Kicks Up a Storm, a 2,600 sq ft (240 m2). traveling exhibit funded in part by the National Science Foundation, which premiered at the Children’s Museum of Houston in 2003 (a copy of it opened in New Jersey the month after that).
Main article: List of The Magic School Bus characters
In the original books, Ms. Frizzle’s class was a larger number of students (or “characters”) and consisted of Tim, Arnold, Ralph (changed to “Ralphie” on the show and later books in this series), Dorothy Ann, Wanda, Phoebe, John, Carmen, Gregory, Amanda-Jane, Florrie, Shirley, Michael, Phil, Molly, Rachel, Alex, Carlos, and Keesha (19 students). Phoebe was first introduced in the 1987 book, The Magic School Bus Inside the Earth, and Carlos and Keesha were added in the 1994 book, The Magic School Bus In the Time of Dinosaurs.
The homework assignments of all the students were seen in the books. In the TV series, these assignments were included in early episodes and were usually presented by Dorothy Ann.