Anyone remember that one show about an omniscient sorceress who used her shapeshifting entity she claimed was a bus to whisk a bunch of children off into perilous situations? Let’s be real, that’s basically the premise of The Magic School Bus. Thinking about Ms. Frizzle’s class trips in retrospect, it’s kind of horrifying, but I can’t deny the show was highly entertaining, and effective to boot. I still remember a lot from my Magic School Bus days, like how white blood cells work and the process of digestion.
What amazes me most about the show now, as an adult, is Ms. Frizzle herself. What a woman! I love a good themed outfit, and Ms. Frizzle was queen of theme. In each episode, her outfit matched whatever subject she taught her class that day, right down to her earrings. The woman knew how to accessorize, people. A subtle detail about the Frizz that I find super awesome is that she’s Ms. Frizzle. That’s right—she’s single! There she was in the mid-90s, living that single, middle-aged life, doing a job she loved, along with an eccentric past. Apparently before becoming a teacher, she was in a rock band called the Frizzlettes. In the recent reboot, The Magic School Bus Rides Again, Ms. Frizzle made an appearance as Professor Frizzle, with a Master of Science, a Doctorate of Education, and a Doctorate of Philosophy. It’s like Ms. Frizzle is showing us that you’re never too old to pursue your interests!
Although her teaching methods were a bit, um, dangerous, it can’t be denied that she was passionate about her job. She seemed to possess all the knowledge in the world, even if she claimed not to know everything. She was also absolutely fearless. Even in the face of boiling lava, being ingested by a fish, or being attacked by white blood cells, she never freaked out or let her panicking students affect her. And hey, everything always worked out in the end, didn’t it? Usually with her marveling at nature or science in the meantime. I’d say that’s a pretty good perspective to have.
There was definitely something otherworldly going on with Ms. Frizzle. Her outfits lit up and appeared seemingly from nowhere, she popped out of a model volcano, not to mention she owned a magic bus? It could’ve been magic, or maybe she was just so smart that she learned how to give sentience to an inanimate object. Aside from its sentience, the bus also had a device called a mesmerglober, which allowed it to change shape. Maybe it’s magic, maybe Ms. Frizzle is just an ingenious mechanic. The other important device the bus had was the shrinker scope, which allowed it to shrink. This could also be chalked up to mechanics, except that it also shrunk anyone who was inside the bus. Care to explain, Ms. Frizzle?
I’m mostly joking, and I know there’s no point in dissecting an educational children’s show from the 90s. Maybe Ms. Frizzle did have a secret magic side. Or maybe it’s cool enough to leave her as she was: the enthusiastic, smart, fun, and fashionable Frizz who represents middle-aged women characters in an entirely unique and awesome way.