- "Take chances, make mistakes, get messy!"
- ―Ms. Frizzle's catchphrase
The Magic School Bus is a Canadian/American Saturday morning animated children's television series, based on the book series of the same name by Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen. It is notable for its use of celebrity talent and combining entertainment with an educational series. Broadcasting & Cable said the show was "among the highest-rated PBS shows for school-age children." On June 10, 2014, Scholastic Media announced that it will be releasing an all-new CG animated series which will be inspired by the original show as well as retain the same name. That series would later be the Netflix series The Magic School Bus Rides Again, which was horribly received by fans of the original series, criticizing the new characters and Flash animation (provided by 9 Story Media Group instead of Nelvana).
In 1994, The Magic School Bus concept was made into an animated series of the same name by Scholastic Entertainment and it premiered on September 10, 1994. The idea for the show was thought up by Former Scholastic Entertainment Vice President and Senior Editorial Director Craig Walker. Scholastic Entertainment president Deborah Forte said that adapting the books into an animated series was an opportunity to help kids "learn about science in a fun way". Around that time, Forte had been hearing concerns from parents and teachers about how to improve science education for girls and minorities across the globe. Each episode of the series ran for 30 minutes. In the United States, the series originally aired on PBS as a part of its children's block, PBS Kids, through South Carolina's SCETV network; it was the first fully animated series to be aired on PBS. The last episode aired on December 6, 1997, the series then aired reruns on PBS until October 1998. The Fox network, in a hasty effort to fill educational television mandates for its stations, aired repeats on its Fox Kids weekday block from September 1998 to September 2002 when Fox changed it into the FoxBox, and also aired repeats on Discovery Kids and TLC's Ready Set Learn block from 2003-09. Starting September 27, 2010, several weeks before Discovery Kids became The Hub (and later Discovery Family in 2014), The Magic School Bus started a daily run on Qubo in the US, and on Saturday mornings on NBC. The Fox Kids and Qubo airings both used a shortened version of the opening.
Based on the best-selling Scholastic book series written by Joanna Cole and illustrated by Bruce Degen, The Magic School Bus is the longest running children's science television series ever. With Ms. Frizzle and her pet lizard, Liz, no field trip is ever ordinary. The Magic School Bus might seem like a normal bus, but it has the ability to transform for field trips into anything Ms. Frizzle desires - a spaceship, a submarine, a weather machine and more. When you're on the Bus with the Friz, you never know what's going to happen next!
- When airing on Qubo, the theme song is jarringly edited and shortened.
- A reboot series, The Magic School Bus Rides Again, is currently streaming on Netflix. (the original series is currently streaming on Netflix as well)