Ah, the ‘90s. What a magical time for children’s television, back when leaving the kids alone for hours on end in front of the TV was completely acceptable, and anthropomorphic aardvarks were everybody’s favourite animal. This week, the current trend of endless reboots and sequels has struck us right in the feels once again, with the trailer for Netflix’s The Magic School Bus Rides Again released on Twitter to mixed emotions.
The original Ms. Frizzle, voiced by Lily Tomlin, apparently has a hip younger sister, who will be voiced by Kate McKinnon. In the new series, Ms. Fiona Felicity Frizzle has her sister’s trademark red hair and disregard for the laws of time and space, and will also take the class on wild, sometimes terrifying, but always educational adventures. (In the trailer, she accidentally presses a button that sucks all the kids off the bus and into the ocean, so that seems promising.) McKinnon is known forher role in the all-female Ghostbusters and her hilarious impressions on Saturday Night Live, and is slated to bring her lauded comedic skill to the role.
However, the show’s new animation style has copped some criticism, with fans of the original describing it as cheap and generic-looking. Revivals of The Powerpuff Girls, That’s So Raven, and Hey Arnold are also in the works, so it seems like this trip down memory lane is not going to end any time soon. With each new announcement, the question has become: are the networks exploitatively messing with all things sacred, or just introducing a new generation to the classics of yesteryear? Only time will tell.
The series will drop on Netflix on September 22 and, judging by the trailer, the nostalgia is going to be way too much. Did I mention Lin Manuel-Miranda sings the theme song?
Top photo: Netflix
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Molly McLaughlin is a travel and culture writer currently based in Mexico City. Her work has appeared in publications including Lonely Planet, Refinery29 and Ms. Magazine. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram at @mollysgmcl.