Last week saw the release of the first trailer for The Magic School Bus Rides Again, Netflix's reboot of classic educational children's series The Magic School Bus. In the original series, eccentric teacher Miss Frizzle, voiced by Lily Tomlin, uses the bus to teach her class very real lessons about science. The Magic School Bus Rides Again follows the same premise except that Miss Frizzle (now Professor Frizzle) has handed over the bus and her class to her younger sister, Fiona Felicity Frizzle, voiced by Kate McKinnon.
While much of the news leading up to the reboot — such as the casting of McKinnon, and enlisting Lin-Manuel Miranda to perform an updated version of the series of the classic theme song — was met with excitement from fans, the reception of the new trailer has not been nearly as warm.
Here are a few things fans of the original series need to remember about The Magic School Bus Rides Again:
1. The Series Is Not Really For Them
While it would be nice for fans of the original to get some enjoyment by reliving their childhoods through The Magic School Bus Rides Again, they have to remember that they are no longer the series' intended audience. This reboot has been made for the purpose of introducing The Magic School Bus and its lessons to a new generation of children, who will most likely not have seen the original. The things that older fans are complaining about — the new animation style and character redesigns — will not be a problem for kids watching the series for the first time. The Magic School Bus Rides Again is for those kids, and it is their opinion that will ultimately matter most.
2. The Animation For The Original The Magic School Bus Was Just As Cheap
One of the biggest complaints aimed at the reboot trailer is that the animation looks "cheap" when compared to the original Magic School Bus. Everyone has a tendency to look back at their childhood favorites through rose-colored glasses. The truth is, while the animation for the new series was quite likely done cheaply, the same is true of the original. More often than not, TV #animation aimed at children is produced as cheaply as possible. We recall the animation in the shows of our own childhood better because all of our favorite cartoons were better than the ones of the previous generation. In the future, the current generation will think their own favorites are better quality than whatever comes next.
3. Lily Tomlin's Return As OG Miss Frizzle Proves That Rides Again Is Trying To Honor The Original
The creative team behind The Magic School Bus Rides Again were not at all obligated to pay the sizable pay packet likely required for Lily Tomlin to reprise her role as Miss/Professor Frizzle. Their decision to do so anyway proves that they are acknowledging the show's history.
4. The Series Educational Roots Are Still Intact
Longtime fans will know that the original The Magic School Bus TV series was inspired by a series of educational picture books from Scholastic. The animated series, as well as an accompanying set of computer games aimed to bring the book's lessons to children in a more interactive way. That the new series keeps the educational elements intact is one of the most important points to consider when deciding how accurately it is bringing #TheMagicSchoolBus to the next generation.
5. The Theme Song Is Still Awesome
The new version of the show's classic theme song is heavily featured in the new trailer, and was the one element that was positively received. It may prove just as iconic as Little Richard's original.
Relive your childhood with the intro to the original The Magic School Bus here:
What science topics do you hope to see covered in the new reboot of The Magic School Bus?