Based on the popular books by Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen, this television series combines fantasy with science education. Via her magical transforming school bus, Ms. Frizzle takes her curious and often doubting class "into" the natural and scientific worlds. Through their many science lessons, Arnold, Ralphie, Wanda, and the rest of the class travel to outer space, under the sea, and even go through Ralphie's digestive system. Lily Tomlin marvelously captures the energy and mystery of Ms. Frizzle as she was characterized in the Magic School Bus books. The Magic School Bus appeals to children of various ages, as the colorful animation and silly antics of Liz and the bus entertain preschoolers, whilst older children enjoy learning how things work from the inside out. ~ Heather M. Fierst, All Movie Guide Close
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The Magic School Bus features the antics of Ms. Frizzle and her class of eight children (in the original books, the class population was at a larger and more standard amount), who board a magical school bus which takes them on field trips into the solar system, under the Earth, into the human body, or to other such impossible locations. The books were written in the first person from the point of view of an unnamed student in "the Friz's" class. The class pet, Liz, an anthropomorphic lizard, accompanied the class on their field trips.
Since the Magic School Bus books present scientific facts in the form of stories in which fantastic things happen (for example, a bus turns into a spaceship, or children shrink to the size of blood cells), each book has a page at the end detailing in a humorous manner which parts of the book represented scientific fact and which were fanciful storytelling. In the books' television adaptation, this was replaced by the Producer Says segment at the end of each episode, in which the producer of the show (voiced by Malcolm-Jamal Warner of The Cosby Show fame) receives phone calls from kids complaining about how some things that happened on the show couldn't happen in real life. This allows the show to explain the specific facts in question and why they had to be disregarded to a degree because of the need for dramatic license.