A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
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.
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
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.
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Products & Purchases
This reboot is inspired by the Scholastic book series of the same name.
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.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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