The Magic School Bus

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

Parents say

age 5+
Based on 29 reviews

Kids say

age 5+
Based on 29 reviews

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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 byqueencat October 2, 2019

Educational for ages

I’m guessing the newer reviews that say it’s inappropriate must be talking about the new tv series, they used to have these tv shows in school.
Adult Written byPCAcademy February 17, 2019

Great show

I watched this as a kid and probably leaned more from this show than I did in school. Now I use this in our homeschool for my daughter....just hope no-one ever... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old April 9, 2008

i nearly died watching it in school!!

Too boring! zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...
Teen, 13 years old Written byCANETDS January 3, 2021

Not for young kids

In one of the episodes they showed a sperm cell and I don't think kids under the age of 12 should learn about that.

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

Our editors recommend

For kids who love learning

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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