Netflix is bringing back ‘The Magic School Bus’

Many millennials remember watching “The Magic School Bus,” an educational fantasy series that premiered on PBS in 1994 and had its first run through 1997. The premise was that Ms. Frizzle, a teacher with a particular set of talents, would take her class on field trips on the Magic School Bus, which was able to take the children to places far beyond the usual museums and classical music concerts. One week the class went into space; on another, through the human body, and in several others, to various animal habitats around the world. The TV show, based on a series of books and produced by Scholastic, was designed to get young people to become interested in science in a fun, entertaining way.

Netflix and Scholastic recently announced that “The Magic School Bus” is coming back to air on the streaming video service. Of course the show is going to be updated to fit the realities of the 21st century. The episodes/lessons will reflect the science issues of our time. The Magic School Bus will be updated with the latest in technology, including robotics and various gadgets such as wearable devices. The series will be produced with top of the line computer animation.

On the other hand, Ms. Frizzle will look about the same, with that gorgeous, curly red hair.

Many of the original voice cast are being signed up for as-yet-undisclosed roles in the rebooted series. Also, as with the original, 1990s version, a number of celebrity cameos are promised, though so far no names are being mentioned. 

The revival of “The Magic School Bus” is coming at a time when interest in STEM education for young people has become more important than ever before. The future of robotics, artificial intelligence, commercial space travel, climate change, and advances in medical treatment using stem cells and 3D-printed organs, has arrived and will continue to change our world in ways that were once the stuff of science fiction. So a show that gets young people interested in science, in a fun way, will certainly prepare the next generation for a world in which such knowledge will be of great importance.

“The Magic School Bus” revival has been in the works since 2014 and was originally scheduled to start in 2016. Netflix has not revealed when the show will actually be available on the streaming service, but it is presumed that it will happen later in 2017.