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- "Never a dull moment on the ISS!"
- —Ms. Frizzle
The Magic School Bus Rides Again: Kids in Space is the fourteenth episode of the second season. Its topic is astronauts.
It is the first of the three forty-five-minute Netflix Original specials. It aired through the aforementioned platform in select territories on August 7, 2020.
Netflix (variant 1): "The Magic School Bus kids blast into orbit and onto the International Space Station — only to find themselves on the run from a giant tardigrade!"
Netflix (variant 2): "3… 2… 1… blast off! Adventure awaits Ms. Frizzle and the class on an important mission in outer space."
The sound of rockets roar. The screen is covered in flames. It's the Magic School Bus, in the form of a detachable rocket, blasting off into space! An afraid Arnold yells his famous catchphrase as Ms. Frizzle activates booster shutdown. The Bus detaches itself from its rockets into a pod-shape as it leaves Earth's atmosphere into its orbit. As they approach the International Space Station, Keesha is in awe and calls it "the It's So Spectacular!" Arnold then notices a sudden speed-up and begs Ms. Frizzle to slow down, before she docks the Bus with the ISS, relieving him. Ralphie unbuckles his seatbelt, then floats around inside the Bus as he yells "Hey, I'm flying!" Ms. Frizzle tells Ralphie that he's not "flying", but actually in freefall around Earth. (which is what orbit is). Ralphie doesn't care, and he still thinks it's a superpower, but he is unsure how to control himself. Keesha tells him that he just has to push off of something, and Carlos grabs Ralphie and gives him a boost. Arnold figures out how to untie all the extra seatbelts he added on the Magic School Bus, and when he does, Ms. Frizzle opens the Bus doors and lets the class enter the International Space Station.
When the kids enter the station, Ms. Frizzle reunites with her old buddies from her previous trip there. As usual, Ralphie is confused and says "Wait. You've already been here?" The Friz then explains to the kids that she took a four-month tour of duty at the Station before she started teaching.
|Ms. Fiona Frizzle||Kate McKinnon|
|Arnold Perlstein||Roman Lutterotti|
|Carlos Ramon||Leke Maceda-Rustecki|
|Dorothy Ann Hudson||Gabby Clarke|
|Jyoti Kaur||Birva Pandya|
|Keesha Franklin||Mikaela Blake|
|Ralphie Tennelli||Matthew Mucci|
|Tim Wright||Kaden Stephen|
|Wanda Li||Lynsey Pham|
- This episode makes the first time size manipulation is utilized on a space field trip, with that method of size-manipulation being the Bus Remote.
- Carlos' "Good morning, ISS!" (really afternoon) quote references "Hi, how are ya? Nice to see ya! Thanks for coming to school, and enjoy your day!" in Gets Programmed.
- We see more of Ralphie's character in this season, acting more childish than his normal laid-back and relaxed personality.
- For its representation in the specials' credits, Ralphie and Liz are seen in the International Space Station.
- This is the first episode with the ending tag, "For Joanna Cole, who educated and inspired us all." The next episode will have this dedication.
- Arnold's job as safety officer might reference "Getting Energized".
- The episode's plot is loosely similar to The Busasaurus and Spins a Web, in which the kids are chased by a giant monster or dinosaur. In this episode, it is a giant tardigrade, but in the former episodes, it is a giant mantis or T. rex. Both Spins a Web and this episode feature the Portashrinker.
- This is the first episode that aired in an August.
- This is the second episode in which the guest star isn't an actor/tress. In this case, it happened to be a famous astronaut. The first time this happened was in Space Mission: Selfie, when the guest star was astronaut Mae C. Jemison.
- This is the second episode in which a guest star plays himself or herself. The first was Alex Trebek (†) in Shows and Tells.
- Tim's voice is noticeably deeper, because Kaden Stephen was going throught puberty, however he never got replaced.
- Starting with episode and onward, Arnold and Ralphie are voiced by Roman Lutterotti and Matthew Mucci, respectively.
- The term "Portashrinker" is used in a Rides Again series episode for the first time.
- Arnold grows big for the second time, with the first time being "The Busasaurus", possibly referencing the latter when he grew huge to fight a T. rex.
- A new art style is implemented for the second time. The first time this happened was in "Frizzle of the Future".
- The Bus' space-bus form in this episode is the biggest out of all the Space Buses (excluding Planet School Bus from "Gains Weight", which is not a vehicle), surpassing the flagship rocket from the books and logo, the USS Enterprise from "Out of This World", the Space Bus from "Sees Stars", the one from "Space Mission: Selfie", and the one from "Making Magic".
- This is the one of the times that the Bus' transformation sequence is not played. The first time is in "Sees Stars". Coincidentally, they both focus on space.
- This is the first episode longer than the usual 30 minutes that is completely animated, without any live-action.
- The Bus' normal school bus form does not appear in the episode itself, but rather in the credits. Also, stills of the theme song are shown in the credits in the new late-season 2 art style while the theme plays. The credits change for the remainder of the season.
- This is the first episode that Professor Frizzle does not appear in the Producer Says Segment, which references the 1994 series, in which guest stars would take calls and fill in for the Producer while he's away. Also, Liz's appearance in the segment furthers the reference.
- This episode (as well as the sequels) is/are dedicated to Joanna Cole, who passed away a month before its release.
- Former astronaut Chris Hadfield is the guest star of this episode who plays himself. He appears in Ralphie's and Tim's flashbacks, as well as the Producer Says segment.
- Ralphie's middle names (Alessandro Giuseppe) are the second to be revealed, after Arnold's (Matthew).
- Arnold's middle name was mentioned in a book rather than an episode.
- Carlos does not make any puns in this episode. This happened in In the Arctic and Revving Up.
- This is Liz's first time in the Producer Says segments in The Magic School Bus Rides Again. She will appear in the subsequent ones.
- In this episode, Ralphie acts out his dream and "communicates" in his sleep. The class tries to be quiet so Ralphie doesn't wake up.
- However, Inside Ralphie was the opposite. From inside his body, the class didn't know he was asleep. But Liz, who was outside his body, got him to wake up by banging a gong.
- In Ralphie Strikes a Nerve, the kids knew he was asleep, but he wakes up eventually after a trip up his brainstem.
- Keesha telling Ralphie that he needs to communicate.
- Pinky's slurping when giant.