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The Magic School Bus Rides Again

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The Magic School Bus Rides Again
The Magic School Bus Rides Again.jpg
GenreAdventure, Children's, Educational
Based onThe Magic School Bus
by Joanna Cole
Bruce Degen
Voices of
Theme music composerPeter Lurye
Opening theme"Ride on the Magic School Bus", performed by Lin-Manuel Miranda
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes26 (list of episodes)
Running time25 minutes
Production company(s)Scholastic Entertainment
9 Story Media Group Klasky Csupo
9 Story Media Group
Original networkNetflix
Original releaseSeptember 29, 2017 –
April 13, 2018
Preceded byThe Magic School Bus

The Magic School Bus Rides Again is a Canadian-American flash-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 1994–1997 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.[1] The second season premiered on April 13, 2018.[2]


In the sequel to the original series, Valerie Frizzle retires from teaching and passes the keys of the Magic School Bus over to her younger sister, Fiona Frizzle, to embark on new adventures with her class. As they journey on their exciting new field-trips, they discover new locations, creatures, time periods and more to learn about the wonders of science, educating viewers along the way.

Voice cast[edit]

  • Kate McKinnon as Miss Fiona Felicity Frizzle[3]
  • Lily Tomlin as Professor Valerie Felicity Frizzle, Ph. D.
  • Miles Koseleci-Vieira as Arnold Perlstein
  • Lynsey Pham as Wanda Li
  • Mikaela Blake as Keesha Franklin
  • Gabby Clarke as Dorothy Ann Rourke[4]
  • Leke Maceda-Rustecki as Carlos Ramon[4]
  • Matthew Mintz as Ralphie Tennelli
  • Birva Pandya as Jyoti Kaur
  • Kaden Stephen as Tim Jamal
  • Debi Derriberry as Digital Splaat

Guest stars[edit]

Season 1[edit]

  • Will Arnett as Galapagos Gil ("Frizzle of the Future")
  • Mae Jemison as Kathy K. Kuiper ("Space Mission: Selfie")
  • Sandra Oh as Dr. Sarah Bellum ("Ralphie Strikes a Nerve")

Season 2[edit]

Additional voices[edit]

  • Lilly Bartlam
  • Amos Crawley
  • Annelise Forbes as Janet Perlstein, Arnold's know-it-all conceited cousin.[5]
  • Lisa Jai
  • Julie Lemieux
  • Ana Sani
  • Stuart Stone
  • Jamie Watson
  • Marcus Craig
  • Martin Roach
  • Kevin Vidal


Season 1 (2017)[edit]

No. in
TitleTopicDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
11"Frizzle of the Future"EcosystemRichard WestonJohn May & Suzanne BolchSeptember 29, 2017 (2017-09-29)
It's a new year in Walkerville Elementary as a brand new teacher arrives to make field trips more fun. However, Arnold is nervous that the new teacher, Ms. Frizzle's sister, will alter the class ecosystem.
22"Pigs in the Wind"EngineeringRichard WestonMike McPhadenSeptember 29, 2017 (2017-09-29)
33"In the Swim"Fish AdaptationsRichard WestonJohn May & Suzanne BolchSeptember 29, 2017 (2017-09-29)
44"The Battle for Rock Mountain"Rock Cycle (Rock Layers/Fossils & Erosion)Richard WestonJohn May & Suzanne BolchSeptember 29, 2017 (2017-09-29)
55"The Magnetic Mambo"MagnetismRichard WestonJennifer DaleySeptember 29, 2017 (2017-09-29)
66"Carlos Gets the Sneezes"AllergiesRichard WestonGeorge Arthur BloomSeptember 29, 2017 (2017-09-29)
In a throwback to "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.
77"Hides and Seeks"CamouflageRichard WestonBetty QuanSeptember 29, 2017 (2017-09-29)
88"Three in One"Solid, Liquid & VaporRichard WestonJocelyn StevensonSeptember 29, 2017 (2017-09-29)
99"Space Mission: Selfie"SatellitesRichard WestonMike McPhadenSeptember 29, 2017 (2017-09-29)
1010"The Tales Glaciers Tell"IceRichard WestonStory by : Josh Gal
Teleplay by : Jocelyn Stevenson, John May & Suzanne Bolch
September 29, 2017 (2017-09-29)
1111"Ralphie Strikes a Nerve"NervesRichard WestonBernice VanderlaanSeptember 29, 2017 (2017-09-29)
1212"Monster Power"Different Kinds of PowerRichard WestonMerrill HaganSeptember 29, 2017 (2017-09-29)
1313"DA and the Deep Blue Sea"Ocean ZonesRichard WestonEvan Thaler HickeySeptember 29, 2017 (2017-09-29)

Season 2 (2018)[edit]

No. in
TitleTopicDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
141"The Land Before Tim"FossilsRichard WestonBrian HartiganApril 13, 2018 (2018-04-13)
152"Claw and Order"Bird FeaturesRichard WestonJennifer DaleyApril 13, 2018 (2018-04-13)
163"Ghost Farm"HarvestingRichard WestonMike McPhadenApril 13, 2018 (2018-04-13)
174"Nothin' But Net"Computer CodesRichard WestonJohn May & Suzanne BolchApril 13, 2018 (2018-04-13)
185"I Spy with my Animal Eyes"EyesRichard WestonEmma KassirerApril 13, 2018 (2018-04-13)
196"Ready, Set, Fail!"The Engineering Process and Failures Lead to SuccessRichard WestonEvan Thaler HickeyApril 13, 2018 (2018-04-13)
207"The Good, the Bad, and the Gnocchi"Simple machinesRichard WestonBernice VanderlaanApril 13, 2018 (2018-04-13)
218"Send in the Clouds"CloudsRichard WestonMike McPhadenApril 13, 2018 (2018-04-13)
229"Ralphie and the Flying Tennellis"Using Math in Real Life ScenariosRichard WestonJohn May & Suzanne BolchApril 13, 2018 (2018-04-13)
2310"Tim and the Talking Trees"Plant & Animal Communication/InteractionRichard WestonNathalie YounglaiApril 13, 2018 (2018-04-13)
2411"Waste Not, Want Not"Utilizing Waste/FertilizationRichard WestonEvan Thaler HickeyApril 13, 2018 (2018-04-13)
2512"Janet's Mystery Gene"DNARichard WestonBernice VanderlaanApril 13, 2018 (2018-04-13)
2613"Making Magic"SunRichard WestonSuzanne Bolch, John May & Mike McPhadenApril 13, 2018 (2018-04-13)


In 2014, the series was first announced by Netflix and Scholastic Media, and was titled The Magic School Bus 360°.[6] 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.[7] It was produced by 9 Story Media Group.[8] 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.[9] In February 2017, Netflix announced that 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.[10] Lin-Manuel Miranda of Hamilton sings the theme song.[11] 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.[12][13] The series was released on Netflix on September 29, 2017.[1] The second season was released on April 13, 2018.[2]

Critical reception[edit]

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, [14]

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 wouldn't live up to the original series.[15][16] AOL accused the show of giving Ms. Frizzle a nose job.[17] Bustle put this down to fans of the show being "protective of its legacy".[18]

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.[19] 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.[20] 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".[16] The Houstonian found the episodes' scenarios to be "pretty interesting", commenting on the academical and moral lessons.[21] The AV Club felt the series lives up to its predecessor, and contains the same "goofy humor and ease with making learning fun".[22] 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.[23]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2018 The Magic School Bus: Rides Again Parent's Choice Silver Honor - Spring 2018 Television Won[24]
2018 The Magic School Bus: Rides Again Common Sense "Great For Families" seal Won[25]
2018 Annellie Rose Samuel for episode "Space Mission Selfie" Canadian Cinema Editors Award for Best Editing in Animation Nominated[26]


  1. ^ a b "New to Netflix in September: 'Pulp Fiction', 'Jerry Before Seinfeld' and More". August 23, 2017. Retrieved August 23, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Scarface, The Iron Giant, Seven coming to Netflix in April". March 21, 2018. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
  3. ^ @netflix (September 5, 2017). "The bus is magic. The science is real" (Tweet) – via Twitter. video, Valerie: "Class, please welcome Miss Fiona Felicity Frizzle".
  4. ^ a b "da Costa Talent". da Costa Talent. Retrieved January 31, 2018.
  5. ^ Annelise Forbes. "Annelise Forbes on Twitter: "I'm playing "Janet" on the new Magic School Bus. @Lin_Manuel sings the theme song and it's a super fun show! @netflix #animation #voiceactor…". Retrieved January 31, 2018.
  6. ^ "Scholastic is Bringing The Magic School Bus 360 degrees to Netflix". Coming Soon. June 11, 2014. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
  7. ^ Koch, Dave (June 18, 2014). "Three New Animated Series, Reboots All". Big Cartoon News. Archived from the original on June 20, 2014. Retrieved June 18, 2014.
  8. ^ "The Magic School Bus 360 delayed to 2017". Coming Soon. December 3, 2016. Retrieved December 3, 2016.
  9. ^ Gael Fashingbauer Cooper (January 4, 2017). "Celebrity cameos, familiar voices to ride 'Magic School Bus' reboot". CNET. Retrieved July 27, 2017.
  10. ^ Serrao, Nivea (February 9, 2017). "Kate McKinnon to voice Ms. Frizzle in Netflix's 'Magic School Bus' revival". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved July 27, 2017. 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
  11. ^ Stanhope, Kate (September 5, 2017). "Lin-Manuel Miranda Updates 'Magic School Bus' Theme Song for Netflix Reboot". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 5, 2017.
  12. ^ "'The Magic School Bus Rides Again' brings new magic to a familiar set of wheels". September 29, 2017. Retrieved September 30, 2017.
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ "Why Are Adults So Mad About 'The Magic School Bus' Reboot?". September 29, 2017.
  15. ^
  16. ^ a b "'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.
  17. ^ Staff, A. O. L. "'Magic School Bus' reboot: Did Ms. Frizzle get a nose job?". Retrieved December 19, 2018.
  18. ^ Patton, Rebecca. "The Magic School Bus' Reboot Could See Another Season So Soon". Bustle. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
  19. ^ "The Magic School Bus Rides Again - TV Review". September 28, 2017. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
  20. ^ Messer, Dustin. "The New 'Magic School Bus' Still Sees Knowledge as a Gateway to Wonder". Retrieved December 19, 2018.
  21. ^ Editor, Assistant; White, Masey (October 4, 2017). ""The Magic School Bus Rides Again" Review". The Houstonian. Retrieved December 19, 2018.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  22. ^
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  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^

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