Scholastic’s The Magic School Bus had the ability to traverse the ocean floor and zoom through the intricate chambers of the human body. If only we could all get out of rush hour traffic and go where the Magic School Bus goes, the world would be a happier and better educated place.
With the charming and witty voice of Lily Tomlin, Ms. Frizzle was the eccentric science teacher and commander-in-chief of the bus, which she used to navigate through science’s most mysterious passages. Ms. Fizzle and her adventurous science class – Carlos, Phoebe, Keesha, Dorothy Anne, Ralphie, Arnold and Wanda – traveled everywhere from the vastness of space to the miniscule spaces of beehives, from the frozen Arctic to a waterworks plant. The bus itself was indeed magic, able to change its size, shape, and function to suit the task at hand.
Each of the 52 episodes, which aired from 1994-1997 dealt with an aspect of science that many young viewers would be exposed to in school. Creator Joanna Cole, who wrote the book on which the series was based, combined her experience as an elementary school teacher and children’s book editor to create an entertaining, yet educational show.
Scholastic’s The Magic School Bus always took its audiences on a fantastic journey, driving home valuable information in a way everyone could understand. The show formed part of a new vanguard in educational television, standing alongside such popular entries as Arthur and Wishbone. These shows all became long-running PBS hits, proving that “educational” doesn’t have to be a synonym for “boring.”
If you hold fond memories of this popular 90s series, we welcome all of your thoughts and recollections in our comments section, as we tip our hats to one of better educational shows to emerge from the 90s.