The magic reboot

Mrs. Frizzle leads her new students on their first adventure with her.

Mrs. Frizzle leads her new students on their first adventure with her.

Sydney Crouch

The release of “The Magic School Bus Rides Again” on Friday, Sep. 29 brings heaps of nostalgia upon those who grew up on the original “Magic School Bus.” The original show is based on the lesser known series of best-selling books by Joanna Cole and has been a source of both entertainment and knowledge for young audiences since 1994. It uses a classroom of kids and a shape-shifting school bus to explore the world and teach kids lessons about science in a unique way. Each episode is a different adventure, along with which different lessons were brought about.

“I liked that you could learn something without it being super boring,” senior Alex Guzman Baker said.

Although this was a widely loved show, as 90’s kids grew older, they grew out of the show as it is catered toward children. This is true for the reboot as well. There are differences between the reboot and the original; however, there are enough similarities to bring back the familiarity of sitting on the living room couch watching the show while snacking on some Lunchables, Dunk-a-roos, or Teddy Grahams.

“I always made my parents stop going through channels so I could watch it,” sophomore Connor Whitney said.

One difference from the original is the two characters from the original series that have been replaced; Jyoti replaces Phoebe (Maia Filar) and Mrs. Frizzle’s sister (Kate McKinnon) replaces Mrs. Frizzle (Lily Tomlin). While the amount of time between the original and the reboot is unclear, the reasoning for change between the two is. Phoebe went back to her old school and the original Mrs. Frizzle is now Professor Frizzle. Our beloved Professor Frizzle is moving on to new adventures with her new monkey sidekick, Goldie, leaving the class lizard, Liz, with her younger sister. Professor Frizzle’s original voice actor, Lily Tomlin, revisits her role for short appearances throughout the first episode, and reappears at the end of each episode to recap and provide additional information, something fans of the original series will remember as the “Is this the Magic School Bus” section.

The most noticeable change is the animation style, which seems to be based in flash. This stirs controversy and splits opinions on the show due to the drastic difference between the new and old styles. This takes away some nostalgia for those who grew up on the original 90’s animation.

“I like the old one better,” senior Bradley Langfeldt said. “The new animation is too different.”

So, that leaves the question as to why they made the reboot in the first place. Is it destroying the spirit of “The Magic School Bus?”

“They’re bringing it back because it’s such a classic,” senior Ryan Minor said, “Who didn’t love that show?”

There are many different opinions as to why they made a reboot, although there is no set answer from Scholastic Entertainment. This leaves fans to make assumptions.

“They probably made the reboot just because it did really good when we were kids,” senior Alex Guzman Baker said.

Mrs. Frizzle was a big part of 90’s and early 2000’s kids’ lives. This is why Scholastic Entertainment was careful when changing certain aspects of the original series in order to cater to both older and younger audiences.

The writers are well aware of the changes they’ve made and how it would affect fans of the original series, as they decided to use invasive species to symbolize the kids’ new teacher’s “invasion” into the classroom, an allegory that change isn’t a bad thing. The episode indirectly states that the new show shouldn’t be looked down upon simply because it is different from the original. They even include some famous catchphrases as a callback to the original, like when Professor Frizzle jokes that Arnold was going to say he wanted to “stay home today.”

Keeping the same tune and lyrics from the original show for the new theme song sung by Lin-Manuel Miranda contributed to the nostalgia.

Despite the nostalgia, the show isn’t geared toward those who grew up on the show, for it is still a kid’s show designed to teach younger audiences about simple scientific subjects. It is more of a nostalgia trip for fans of the original show to watch one or two episodes of in order to see what’s new. If you were a fan of the original show or this is something you are willing to binge on, the show is worth watching.

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