The Magic School Bus — Fun Science for the 90s Kids

Ms Frizzle is the best!

It’s not too often that I write about educational materials since I only ever did it twice (or three times… I’m not sure anymore). It was about video games in both cases, but educational material can come in several forms. One particular form is that of animated science shows with a kid-friendly premise and borderline annoying yet somehow lovable characters, and there were a lot of those in the past. But to save the bullshit, I’ll just say the one with the most quality when it comes to educational entertainment and one of my favourite cartoons ever: The Magic School Bus.

Nowadays, people don’t really talk about this masterpiece, but kids in the 90s used to love it. It tells the adventures of Ms Frizzle, an optimistic yet eccentric school teacher who takes her class of 3rd graders to all kinds of hazardous environments that no child should be allowed to go to. But that’s ok because Ms Frizzle has a magic school bus that protects them thanks to the power of plot armour. My point is it had a bit of a goofy premise, and as an adult, you can’t help but let that parent inside you, with or without kids, criticise the conduct of Ms Frizzle. But it was a fun show for a kid and definitely educational.

It’s through The Magic School Bus, among other things, that I learned how to speak English when I was younger because it had trivia about various sciences and not just one subject, and everything was tailor-made so a kid can understand. It was science-y, education-y, and you got to have fluent English as a second language. What’s not to like?

Cartoons and other cultures, and science as well

I don’t know how many people know this today, but science shows for kids during that time were highly informative, and the characters were colourful, each with their distinct personalities. I already talked about how awesome Ms Frizzle is, but what about her class? You have the butt-hurt Arthur who won’t stop complaining, and then there’s the clown, Carlos, who always tells bad jokes at the wrong time and the wrong place. I wish I could name them all, but I don’t have the budget for that. I should also mention that every kid represents a different ethnicity.

But as multicultural as the cast was, science was the main delivery of the show, teaching kids about the inner workings of nature and whatnot in ways only a kid can understand. As I said, this helped me improve my English and taught me about all kinds of stuff that will not assist me in my daily life in any way. But hey, at least it was fun.

My point is that these science cartoons for kids are good educational means not often used today, which is not surprising given that TV is on the brink of extinction (feels like something I might’ve said before), or at least its culture. Of course, I also haven’t watched TV in a while, and I’m not entirely informed about what goes on with every streaming service because there are a lot of them today.

Where’s the Magic School Bus when you need it?

Well… time has passed since the 90s, and what was will stay that way. I’m just being stubborn that everybody needs to go back. It was fun, but it’s over.

But I suppose that more shows like this could be made, and that’s a straightforward solution. Get a budget and a crew to animate something as beautiful as this, but that’s easier said than done. I heard they made a reboot of the show, but I’m not a fan of remakes (something that I still need to talk about), so I didn’t pay attention.

Then again, not sure about what audiences want to see these days. Come to think about it. There are several factors to consider here, so maybe more shows like MSB aren’t necessary… at least not today.

Appreciate the beauty of the past

Because that’s what I do, I recommend everyone to do it by watching shows from the past AS THEY ARE… because that’s when they look the best. In any case, if you liked this show, or have a say on educational cartoons, then go ahead and say what you feel.

In Conclusion…

The Magic School Bus was an awesome show, and I’m sad for those who didn’t get to experience it in its original glory. They’ll probably have to settle for the reboot instead — something that I am not obligated to perform and that will probably stay like this… because I don’t like remakes. In any case, keep it in the past, and it will remain beautiful, and enjoy it for what it was because there will never be any cartoons like these ever again. Of course, I’m just being butt-hurt because I miss those times.

As for educational value, it still holds, and it surprisingly works even today. However, the show was more for science. The English improvement is indirect since what assisted me was that I grew up in an international community, so English was a must whether you had it or not. But hey, if any kid wants to become a scientist, then they should probably start by watching The Magic School Bus.

Did I mention that Ms Frizzle has a pet chameleon?




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