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The Magic School Bus

TV review by
Sarah Wenk, Common Sense Media
The Magic School Bus TV Poster Image
A fun, frantic, and educational ride for kids.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 5+
Based on 27 reviews

Kids say

age 5+
Based on 21 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Educational Value

The show -- which is based on a series of fun and educational books -- encourages learning about all aspects of science.

Positive Messages

The show strongly promotes curiosity, experimentation, and learning about science.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Miss Frizzle, though unconventional, is an intrepid heroine, dedicated to teaching and learning. Her kids are a great bunch, too.

Violence & Scariness

Some very mild peril during some adventures.

Sexy Stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this series carries on the tradition begun in the beloved books it's based on. Wild teacher Miss Frizzle takes her students on adventures of every kind, teaching them (and viewers) about science as they go. At times the lessons may be a bit hard to follow, but there's plenty of learning and fun to be had.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byLowe's man May 8, 2016

even worse than Barney

Yes, you read that right. Several years ago MommaFish felt a need to tell her daughter that school isn't going to be like Miss Frizzle's classroom.... Continue reading
Parent of a 4 year old Written byfierce_mink_2000 April 9, 2008

great show!

I am very conservative regarding what I let my kid watch--every movie must be screened before he sees it to be sure it's ok. The magic school bus meets ev... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byLordoftheRings1997 December 3, 2013

Awesome, though it does promote evolution.

This show is great, and I only have one thing against it. This show does promote evolution, which is my one and only problem with it. For parents who are concer... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byGregoryMccormick123 June 24, 2014


This was a great show. Nice animation, very educational, funny characters, and cool plot. PBS Kids, bring The Magic School Bus back! It's way better than t... Continue reading

What's the story?

THE MAGIC SCHOOL BUS is quite a vehicle. At the command of schoolteacher Miss Frizzle (voiced by Lily Tomlin), it can transform into any possible shape and size (including a "bathysphere" shaped like a bathtub) and carry a group of kids off to adventures in space, under the sea, or even inside the human body.

Is it any good?

There's lots of fun and learning along the way, though at times the pace is so fast that it can be easy to miss some of the educational value. Some of the effects used in the animation can be pretty strange, too -- the sight of a group of mussels with the heads of children, each wearing a jet pack, isn't something you see every day, but it will keep kids and parents entertained.

The Magic School Bus series strictly follows the formula of the book series created by Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen. From dinosaurs to beehives, kids get an inside peek into the inner workings, history, and function on a wide range of topics.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the explorations that the class goes on in each episode.

  • Also, what kind of field trips does your child go on? What would their dream field trip be? Ask your kids what they learned about at the end of each episode. Did they study that subject in school?

TV details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love learning

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