The Magic School Bus Rides Again

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
The Magic School Bus Rides Again TV Poster Image
 Parents recommend
Great reboot encourages curiosity about science and nature.

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 18 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 10 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

We think this TV show stands out for:

A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

This series is an excellent tool for introducing or expanding on scientific concepts. The pace is so fast that it doesn't expand much on finer details, but the broader subject is presented in an intriguing way for grade-schoolers and it's unique in its immersive style.


Positive Messages

The characters' experiences emphasize the value of curiosity, taking chances, getting messy, and learning by trying new things. Strong social themes like honesty and taking responsibility for your actions. Ethnic diversity in the class of students.


Positive Role Models & Representations

Ms. Frizzle encourages her students to make the most of every learning opportunity, even when it means stepping out of their comfort zone. In doing so, she helps them learn about science and the natural world, but also about themselves and their ability to adapt and grow.


Violence & Scariness

Some scenarios put the kids in presumed peril, showing them falling down cliffs or being chased by creatures of all kinds, but it never feels like they'll meet any real danger, given their access to magic. Some insects and bugs look scary in life size.


Sexy Stuff

This reboot is inspired by the Scholastic book series of the same name.


Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Magic School Bus Rides Again is a reboot of the popular '90s series The Magic School Bus, itself inspired by the Scholastic book series of the same name. Most of the characters are the same, with the notable exception of the original Miss Frizzle passing the torch to her younger sister, Ms. Frizzle (voiced by SNL's Kate McKinnon). Each episode introduces a broad scientific concept (ecosystems, for instance) and follows the class as they embark on a magical field trip to learn about the concept in a hands-on way. A parallel story involves a lesson that one or more of the characters learn from the experience. Though the educational content is fairly one-dimensional, the show does a great job reminding viewers of the importance of cultivating their curiosity and learning from it.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byAlice Madiran June 18, 2019


This is an insult to PTV Park!
The Magic School Bus' reboot is trash! The animation is trash, and the even worse thing is THE NEW MRS FRIZZLE ISN'T EV... Continue reading
Adult Written byStacey B. September 8, 2018

My 11 yoyo grew up on original and hates this one.

I agree with one review, its been dumbed down! Its been turned into a stupid sitcom, there is no "crazy learning experience", instead there is just u... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byJust Another Lemon April 17, 2019

An insulting reboot

I loved the original series, and recently heard they rebooted the series. For fans of the original series, this is an insult. The animation looks like it was ma... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byalpha_ant September 10, 2020

Extremely disappointing

I was feeling nostalgic so I decided to watch the original Magic School Bus series, then I found there was a newer version of The Magic School Bus, so I decided... Continue reading

What's the story?

It's the start of another school year, and students eagerly await the return of their eccentric teacher, Miss Frizzle (voiced by Lily Tomlin). Imagine their surprise when it's a different Frizz -- her younger sister, Ms. Fiona Felicity Frizzle (Kate McKinnon) -- who shows up instead in THE MAGIC SCHOOL BUS RIDES AGAIN! With Miss Frizzle embarking on fact-finding journeys across the globe, she hands over the keys to the Magic School Bus to her little sis and bids the class well on their new endeavors. So begins a new chapter in the adventures of the world's greatest field trip vehicle, which can transform into any shape and transport its riders anywhere they want to go.

Is it any good?

Science class has never been as fun as it is under the direction of Ms. Frizzle, who's every bit as enthusiastic and quirky as her big sister. With her at the helm, the class delights in getting up close and personal with all different aspects of the natural world, from broad ecosystems to the smallest inhabitants of remote islands. Not only does the bus adapt and transform to the needs of the day, but Ms. Frizzle also has the ability to change the kids' sizes and shapes, which creates some comical scenarios and a unique perspective for viewers to learn.

The Magic School Bus Rides Again doesn't mess too much with a good thing, and kids who have watched the '90s series will appreciate the generally consistent cast and overall style of the show. The new kid in class -- Jyoti (Birva Pandya) -- reflects the show's commitment to continued diversity, and its gender balance among the STEM-interested students is another plus.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the STEM topic explored in each episode of The Magic School Bus Rides Again. Was it a new one to you? What examples of it do you see around where you live? How could you explore it yourself?

  • How does Ms. Frizzle encourage her students to experiment and learn? How do they respond when they make mistakes? How do mistakes help us learn? What kinds of topics are you most curious about? Why is curiosity an important character strength

  • Another theme in this series is adapting to new experiences and situations. Is this something you do easily, or is change hard for you? What evidence of adaptation do you see in the natural world?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love learning

Character Strengths

Find more TV shows that help kids build character.

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate