A reboot of The Magic School Bus is coming to Netflix in the form of The Magic School Bus Rides Again.
Here’s everything you need to know.
1. The Magic School Bus Rides Again Stars Ms. Frizzle’s Sister
The Magic School Bus tells the story of an elementary school class going on adventures with their teacher, Ms. Frizzle, as well as Liz the lizard in a magic school bus. Adventures take the children through the deepest depths of the ocean, inside the human body, and even inside of a baking pie.
In the remake, Ms. Frizzle, played once again by Lily Tomlin, passes on the keys to her sister, Fiona Felicity Frizzle, played by Kate McKinnon. While Fiona and Liz will be taking the reigns of the magic school bus, the old Frizzle will be going on her own adventure with her new pal, a monkey named Goldie.
McKinnon has been a cast member on Saturday Night Live since 2012, known for her impersonations of Hilary Clinton and Ellen DeGeneres. Her work earned her an Emmy in September 2016, according to Hollywood Reporter. Her voice credits include Finding Dory and The Angry Birds Movie. She also played Jillian Holtzmann in the 2016 Ghostbusters remake.
Tomlin currently stars on another Netflix show, the live-action comedy Grace and Frankie, which earned her three consecutive nominations for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series in 2015, 2016, and 2017. She’s also well known for her roles in Nashville, The Late Show, and of course The Magic School Bus.
Hollywood Reporter reports that the show will show off the latest tech innovations such as robotics, wearables, and camera technology to encourage children’s interest in science, just like the original PBS show.
2. That’s Lin-Manuel Miranda Singing the Theme Song
Lin-Manuel Miranda was asked to provide the voice for the iconic themes song for the remake.
He said that he recorded the theme song in the same studio in London where they apparently recorded for Peppa Pig and Thomas the Tank Engine.
Miranda is of course behind the smash hit musical Hamilton, creating the book, music, lyrics, and originating the title role. The musical won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize in Drama and earned 16 Tony Nominations and 11 Tony Awards. The original Broadway cast recording won the 2016 Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album.
His TV/Film credits include The Electric Company, Sesame Street, The Sopranos, House, Modern Family, Polar Bears, Do No Harm, Smash, How I Met Your Mother, Inside Amy Schumer, Difficult People, Hamilton’s America, Saturday Night Live, Drunk History, The Odd Life of Timothy Green, 200 Cartas, and Moana.
3. It’s Based on the Iconic TV Show & Book Series
Based on the books by Joanna Cole, The Magic School Bus premiered on PBS in 1994 and ran through 1998, with the 52 episodes continuing to be rerun years after according to Hollywood Reporter.
Scholastic Media President Deborah Forte is the executive producer of the new project with Chris Gilligan as the director, the publication reports. The reboot was first greenlit in 2014 with an order of 26 half-hour episodes.
4. It’s Coming Exclusively to Netflix
The show is coming exclusively to Netflix. A release date hasn’t been finalized but it’s slated for release in 2017.
Netflix has over 100 million members in over 190 countries watching over 125 million hours of TV shows and movies per day, according to the description in the show’s trailer.
The show joins other popular shows exclusive to Netflix including BoJack Horseman, Voltron: Legendary Defender, Ask the Story Bots, and Stranger Things.
5. Audience Reaction Has Been Mostly Positive Yet Still Mixed
The show’s trailer has seen an overall positive yet mixed reaction from Twitter.
Writer/Developer of Web Animations & Comics Aaron Margolin, for instance, criticized the show’s art style and limited animation in the tweet above.
He’s not alone. In fact, the show’s art style seems to be the main criticism from most people so far.
Others are more indifferent to the show:
Others have expressed a more positive embrace of the remake’s changes, especially Miranda singing the theme song:
Many are just excited for the show in general:
McKinnon is hosting the show’s world premiere webcast on September 26th, 1:00 p.m. EST. You can sign up here.