Can Netflix’s new Magic School Bus cartoon stand up to the 1990s original? Are fans prepared for the changes?
Previously announced as The Magic School Bus 360˚, the newly-titled The Magic School Bus Rides Again debuted its first trailer this morning. People who grew up with the original cartoon have been waiting for this moment for a while now. The good news: it’s more Magic School Bus. The bad news: it’s rendered in cheapo Flash animation; commence whining now.
The good news: it’s not a reboot, it’s a continuation of the original series. The bad news: it’s kind of a reboot wearing a “continuation” suit. We actually get Lily Tomlin for the first few seconds of this trailer before she suddenly announces she’s handing over the bus and her entire operation (even the lizard) to her heretofore unheard-of younger sister, Fiona Felicity Frizzle (voiced by Kate McKinnon).
Lin-Manuel Miranda does a decent cover of the theme song, originally “woooooed” out by Little Richard. But I have to question the legitimacy of Fiona’s claim of sharing Friz DNA. She feels suitably wacky enough, she clearly possesses magic powers, but her hair just isn’t frizzy enough. How can you be a Frizzle if you don’t have frizzy hair?
That’s the show. Nostalgic MSB devotees may want to check it out for a while, but serious animation fans may prefer to stick with Voltron. The Magic School Bus Rides Again starts its engines September 29 on Netflix.
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