The Magic School Bus (TV series): Wikis


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The Magic School Bus
The Magic School Bus title credit.jpg
The Magic School Bus as seen in the show's opening sequence.
Format Children's television series
Created by Bruce Degen
Joanna Cole
Starring Lily Tomlin (Ms. Frizzle)
Malcolm-Jamal Warner (The "Producer")
Danny Tamberelli (Arnold Perlstein)
Daniel DeSanto (Carlos Ramon)
Tara Meyer (Dorothy Ann)
Erica Luttrell (Keesha Franklin)
Maia Filar (Phoebe Terese)
Stuart Stone (Ralphie Tennelli)
Lisa Yamanaka (Wanda Li)
Andre Ottley-Lorant (Tim Jamal)
Country of origin  Canada
No. of episodes 52 (List of episodes)
Producer(s) Nelvana Limited
South Carolina ETV
Scholastic Entertainment
Running time approx. 30 min (per episode)
Original channel PBS
Fox Kids
Discovery Kids
Original run September 10, 1994 – December 6, 1997

The Magic School Bus is a Canada-U.S. animated series based on the book series of the same name by Joanna Cole. It is notable for its use of celebrity talent and combining entertainment with an educational show, according to and an article in Animation World Magazine by Annemarie Moody incorporating an interview with Executive Producer Deborah Forte.[1] Broadcasting & Cable said the show was "among the highest-rated PBS shows for school-age children."[2]


Production and airing

In 1994, The Magic School Bus concept was made into an animated series of the same name by Ellipse (France), Nelvana (Canada), and Scholastic Studios (USA-Canada), which premiered on Saturday September 10, 1994. Forte says that adapting the books into an animated series was opportunity to help kids “learn about science in a fun way”.[3] Around that time, Forte had been hearing concern form parents and teachers about how to improve science education for girls and minorities.[3] Each episode of the show ran about 30 minutes. In the United States, the show originally aired on PBS, through South Carolina's SCETV network; it was the first fully animated series to be aired on PBS. The last episode was released on Saturday December 6, 1997, when the series stopped production.

The Fox network also had the series on the schedule, after it acquired the rights from PBS, on Saturday October 10, 1998; it ran on that network until Saturday January 5, 2002.

The Magic School Bus was also seen on TLC and Discovery Kids[3] in the U.S., TVOntario and the Knowledge in Canada, Pop and CITV in the United Kingdom, with no plans to make more episodes, on November 9, 2002. In 2005, Nelvana sold the show to Cartoon Network.[4] The series continued on these six stations until February 4, 2006. Today, re-runs of the series are shown on these stations.

When The Magic School Bus is syndicated on commercial networks, the Producer Says segment at the end of each episode is cut out to make space for commercials. The Producer Says segments are only seen when the series is shown on non-commercial networks (e.g. PBS and the Knowledge) and children's networks (commercial breaks are shorter).

The show's theme song called "Ride on the Magic School Bus" was written by Peter Lurye and performed by rock 'n' roll legend Little Richard.

The series was released on VHS by Lyrick Studios and HiT Home Entertainment on Tuesday, March 30, 2001, KidVision between Tuesday, December 13, 1994 and Tuesday, March 3, 1998 and by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment between Tuesday January 12, 1999 and Tuesday, April 2, 2002, and on DVD by Warner Home Video between Tuesday, May 9, 2006 and Tuesday, August 4, 2009. Only the DVDs contain the funding credits. In the VHS and DVD releases, all the episodes are uncut with the Producer Says segments intact.


Jason Fry, in a column for the online edition of the Wall Street Journal, expressed an overall appreciation for the show, but wrote that the episode The Magic School Bus Gets Programmed should have been about on the perils of internet searches and network concepts surfacing at the time, rather than an old-fashioned technology-run-amok story about the respective roles of programmer and machine (although he admitted that the episode was ten years old).[5]

Tomlin won a Daytime Emmy for her role as Ms. Frizzle.[6]



Season 1 (1994)[7]

# Title Theme Airdate
101 Gets Lost in Space Solar System September 10, 1994
102 For Lunch Digestion September 17, 1994
103 Inside Ralphie Germs September 24, 1994
104 Gets Eaten Food Chain October 1, 1994
105 Hops Home Habitat October 8, 1994
106 Meets the Rot Squad Decomposition October 15, 1994
107 All Dried Up Desert Adaptation October 22, 1994
108 In the Haunted House Sound October 29, 1994
109 Gets Ready, Set, Dough Kitchen Chemistry November 5, 1994
110 Plays Ball Friction November 12, 1994
111 Goes to Seed Seeds November 19, 1994
112 Gets Ants in its Pants Ants November 26, 1994
113 Kicks Up a Storm Weather December 3, 1994

Season 2 (1995)

# Title Theme
201 Blows Its Top Volcanoes
202 Flexes Its Muscles Body Mechanics
203 The Busasaurus Dinosaurs
204 Going Batty Bats
205 Butterfly and the Bog Beast Butterflies
206 Wet All Over Water Cycle
207 In a Pickle Microbes
208 Revving Up Engines
209 Taking Flight Flight
210 Getting Energized Energy
211 Out of This World Space Rocks
212 Cold Feet Warm/Cold Blooded
213 Ups and Downs Floating/Sinking

Season 3 (1996)

# Title Theme
301 In a Beehive Honeybees
302 In the Arctic Heat
303 Spins a Web Spiders
304 Under Construction Structures
305 Gets a Bright Idea Light
306 Shows and Tells Archaeology
307 Makes a Rainbow Color
308 Goes Upstream Migration
309 Works Out Circulation
310 Gets Planted Photosynthesis
311 In the Rainforest Ecology
312 Rocks and Rolls Erosion
313 Holiday Special Recycling

Season 4 (1997)

# Title Theme
401 Meets Molly Cule Molecules
402 Cracks a Yolk Eggs
403 Goes to Mussel Beach Tidal Zones
404 Goes on Air Air Pressure
405 Gets Swamped Wetlands
406 Goes Cellular Cells
407 Sees Stars Stars
408 Gains Weight Gravity
409 Makes a Stink Smell
410 Gets Charged Electricity
411 Gets Programmed Computers
412 In the City City Critters
413 Takes a Dive Partnerships



  1. ^ Moody, Annemarie (2009-03-07). "Word Knowledge is Power for WordGirl". Animation World Magazine. Animation World Network. Retrieved 2009-03-07. 
  2. ^ Green, Michelle Y. (1997-07-28). "Scholastic Productions banks on Best-Sellers". Broadcasting & Cable (Cahners Publishing Co./Reed Publishing (USA ) Inc.) 127 (31): 48. 
  3. ^ a b c Clarke, Melanie M. (2005-06-20). "A Scholastic Achievement". Broadcasting & Cable (Cahners Publishing Co./Reed Publishing (USA) Inc.) 135 (25): 30. 
  4. ^ Dinoff, Dustin (2005-11-07). "Deals for Toons, Docs at MIPCOM". (accessed through Proquest. Playback: Canada’s Broadcast and Production Journal. Retrieved 2009-03-26. 
  5. ^ Fry, Jason (2007-12-10). "Real Time: From PET to Net; A Kid's TV Show Leaves Your Columnist Pondering a Generation of Immense Change; Online edition". The Wall Street Journal (Eastern Edition) (Online Edition) (accessed through Proquest). Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Retrieved 2009-03-25. 
  6. ^ "Biography: Lily Tomlin". American Theater Wing. May 2007. Retrieved 2009-03-26. 
  7. ^ "The Magic School Bus (1994) - Episode List". IMDB. Retrieved 2009-07-11. 

External links



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