Netflix Orders ‘Magic School Bus’ Reboot

The Magic School Bus reboot

Like Reading Rainbow, Sonic the Hedgehog, Goosebumps, and dozens of other ’80s and ’90s relics before it, The Magic School Bus is getting a 21st century makeover. Netflix is making a new version of the classic kids’ series, to be titled The Magic School Bus 360°.

Hit the jump to learn how the Magic School Bus reboot will differ from the original.

The New York Times reports that Netflix has ordered 26 half-hour episodes of the program, to begin appearing in 2016. Like the original show, The Magic School Bus 360° will follow Ms. Frizzle (voiced by Lily Tomlin in the original) as she takes her students on all sorts of crazy, educational adventures.

But in keeping with the times, the new Magic School Bus will be CG-animated, with modernized versions of Ms. Frizzle and the bus itself. And the kids will be using updated scientific technology “such as robots or a smart suit worn by the character Carlos that determines his body’s vital signs instantly,” according to the NYT.

The Magic School Bus started out in the ’80s as a series of books published by Scholastic, before being turned into a TV show on PBS in 1994. The original run of the series lasted only a few years, but reruns continued to air on Qubo and other platforms.

Netflix acquired the rights to the original show last year. According to the company’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos, it’s now the service’s top educational show. “Magic School Bus, the old version, is remarkably popular on Netflix,” he said. “It teaches science in a way that transcends generations.”

Scholastic Media president Deborah Forte added that she hopes the new Magic School Bus will offer opportunities for school and community outreach. Should all go well with the series, The Magic School Bus 360° could be the first of many joint projects between the two brands.

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