Latest in the animated reboot fever is a revival of The Magic School Bus. The edutainment show originally ran from 1994-1997, and chronicled the adventures of Ms. Frizzle and her elementary school class. Ms. Frizzle was the owner of the eponymous magic school bus, and she used it to take her students into space, deep underwater, or shrinking to tiny sizes.
Now, Netflix is creating a new season of the show, and they’ve picked up the best Ms. Frizzle voice imaginable. Kate McKinnon (Ghostbusters), rose to fame with her spot-on impersonation of Hillary Clinton for Saturday Night Live. Her particular brand of manic, unpredictable wackiness is perfect for the mad scientist/teacher.
The Netflix incarnation of The Magic School Bus has been in development for almost three years, but it seems that it’s finally been fast-tracked. The show still doesn’t have a firm release date, but there are a few details about the show.
- The new series will be CG-animated, in a departure from the original’s hand-drawn animation
- A major focus of the new episodes are emerging technologies, like robotics, drones, and virtual reality.
- The express purpose of the show is to encourage an interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) studies. This is another departure from the original’s wide-ranging, “anything goes” style.
Cartoons are a wonderful thing. Anything really can happen in them. They have an essentially unlimited effects budget, and voice actors can play just about any character at all. It doesn’t matter what they look like or what they can physically do.
Kate McKinnon can even take over for Lily Tomlin. Keep an eye out for the new series of The Magic School Bus. It’s likely to be great for kids and former kids alike.