Celebrity cameos, familiar voices to ride 'Magic School Bus' reboot

Netflix is keeping many details of the show's return under wraps. Good thing a former "Bus" rider is talking.

Gael Fashingbauer Cooper
CNET freelancer Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
Gael Fashingbauer Cooper
2 min read
Enlarge Image

Early concept art of the new "Magic School Bus" show was shared in 2014.

Scholastic Media

Netflix has been keeping the details of its "Magic School Bus" reboot pretty secret, but leave it to celebrity gossip site TMZ to wheedle out some info.

Netflix announced in 2014 it was creating new episodes of the 1990s animated children's science show, which at the time was scheduled to arrive in 2016. The new show would be called "Magic School Bus 360°," and would use computer-generated animation, Netflix announced at the time.

Now we're already into 2017, and still no new field trips with magical teacher Ms. Frizzle. But producer Stu Stone, who voiced sports-loving kid Ralphie on the original show, tells TMZ production has begun.

"It's a very top-secret field trip that Ms. Frizzle is taking the kids on," he said in a video interview.

Stone said he is "a little too old to be in the fifth grade," but that he did visit the production and saw some of his old classmates (note that he doesn't specify who). "I also ran into some new kids...there's a whole new generation of kids on the show," he said.

And expect some star power.

"Just like the original series, whenever Ms. Frizzle had friends, they were usually voiced by celebrities, and there was always cameos in the original series," Stone said. "And this will be no different. There are tons of cameos planned, and I know that there's big stars that want to be involved in this." The original show included Lily Tomlin as Ms. Frizzle, and guest stars including Dolly Parton, Dan Marino and Eartha Kitt.

Famous faces who grew up watching the show now want to be involved with the new version, Stone said -- while not naming any names. "I think it opens it up for them to be on the 'Magic School Bus,'" he said. "Really surprise us with some people from out of left field."