Yesterday, Netflix announced that it would debut all-new episodes of "The Magic School Bus." According to a report in the New York Times, the online streaming platform plans to begin airing half-hour episodes of the beloved series in 2016.
Nostalgic millennials will remember that the show was first broadcast on PBS in 1994. Like those vegan baked goods that Gwyneth Paltrow so convincingly evangelizes, episodes were not only good, but good for you! Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos agrees. He told the Times that the animated adventure "teaches science in a way that transcends generations."
The new incarnation has been rechristened "The Magic School Bus 360°". In an effort to modernize the series, Scholastic Media will use CGI animation to create episodes that introduce children to such novelties as a "smart suit worn by the character Carlos that determines his body’s vital signs instantly." Still, Scholastic Media President Deborah Forte, who will reprise her role as executive producer for the new series, assured fans that it will retain its eccentric essence: Ms. Frizzle will continue to helm the classroom. We are sure she has aged gracefully.
Before the reboot premieres, we revisit five of the greatest episodes and the unlikely lessons learned aboard the bus. Seat belts, everyone!
Ms. Frizzle and her class blast off into outer space to explore the solar system. As the bus-rocket hybrid explores an asteroid belt, it suffers a hit. But after the Friz flies out to repair the damage, tragedy strikes. The bus malfunctions and leaves her stranded in space. Prefiguring Sandra Bullock in Gravity, she is ultimately saved. George Clooney is not mentioned in the episode and thus is presumed safe. The takeaway is clear. Ruggedly handsome movie stars are not at risk when Ms. Frizzle is in charge.
The class embarks on a journey through Arnold's innards to investigate the human body. "At my old school, we were never allowed to be digested!" says Phoebe. Oh, that Ms. Frizzle! She is so alternative. She wears earrings shaped like sandwiches.
The class transforms into reptiles to rescue Liz from a nefarious place called 'Herp Haven.' We are taught to be suspicious of slithery foreign men and cold-blooded creatures. When we encounter Slytherin years later, we are prepared.
"When visiting a nest, smell like the rest!" says Ms. Frizzle as the class visits an ant colony. This is so true. We will remember this nugget of wisdom the next time we need to convince our mom to buy us the Victoria's Secret body mist that all the popular girls are wearing.
In this very special episode of "The Magic School Bus," Dolly Parton voices Ms. Frizzle's cousin, Murph. Murph owns a recycling plant. What a family!