"Sees Stars" is the seventh episode of season four and the forty-sixth episode overall of the animated children's series The Magic School Bus. It originally aired on November 16th, 1997.
It's Dorothy Ann's birthday, and Tim has made her a model of the Sun that plays "Wait 'Till the Sun Shines, Nellie" when wound up. Just then, Keesha gets a call from Dorothy Ann, who called the class to come over to see her new telescope. When Ms. Frizzle arrives, Tim shows her Dorothy Ann's birthday gift and accidentally steps on a screwdriver, falling over, letting go of the present, causing it to fall to pieces, and gets smashed. Seeing the Star Shopping Network featuring Horace Scope on television, all but Keesha decide to buy Dorothy Ann a real star. Keesha argues that buying from TV shopping networks is a bad idea, her grandmother having issues with the mop she bought from the Home Mopping Network. So with help from Ms. Frizzle, they go explore the stars that are for sale to find which one is perfect for Dorothy Ann.
The Magic School Bus transforms into a space shuttle and the class goes star shopping in space. They pass the moon and Ralphie realizes that The Magic Space Bus has gone through space in less than a minute. The class views the stars in the sky and Tim wonders if they would get bigger as the class approaches them close up. Just then, the TV ad is shown one again on television, and Horace Scope informs that up close, people could see a lot of different stars, also adding that one would have to fly over five million miles an hour to see for themselves. But it takes 80 years to do so. So Ms. Frizzle doubles The Magic Space Bus' speed and Carlos asks her if the sun is a star, which Ms. Frizzle answers yes. In a search for the baby star, The Magic Space Bus approaches a star, which Ms. Frizzle tells the class is a great place for a baby star.
Meanwhile, Dorothy Ann is at home looking through her telescope. She shows Liz the dust and clouds in the sky through the telescope. The Magic Space Bus approaches a ball of gas and the class ends up being suck in the ball of hot gas, causing it to go out of control.
Tim pulls the reverse lever and the bus approaches an extremely bright light that appears to be a baby star. Ms. Frizzle uses a large pair of sunglasses to put on The Magic Space Bus and measures the size of the baby star, which is only half the size of the sun. Keesha, however, refuses to buy it, stating that it's too young and the class needs a star that is bigger, bright, has less gas, and that the class could trust as much as the sun. On the TV ad, Horace Scope informs that there are two stars left and shows a middle-aged star found in the big dipper as an example. So Ms. Frizzle accelerates The Magic Space Bus to the star and Keesha wants to verify that it is different from the baby star. As the class gets a closer look, Keesha seems to like the star and Ms. Frizzle informs that the star is all grown up and is five billion years old at the prime of its life. When the class checks out the planets the star has on its own, Keesha feels that it is perfect and wants to buy it. Unfortunately, the star is already sold to Janet, who names the star after her. So the class searches for the last star, which Horace Scope shows in the television ad as a giant red star, So Ms. Frizzle drives to the solar system to locate the red star.
Back at her house, Dorothy Ann learns in her book that the shiny star she sees in the sky is a red super giant, which is a hundred times larger than the sun. In the solar system, the rest of the class approaches the twenty million-year-old red star and Horace Scope informs in the ad that he would take fifty cents off the price if someone buys in the next fifty seconds. So Tim dials the number and asks Keesha for her opinion. Keesha agrees and Horace informs that the star is sold to the class, much to their delight. Ralphie, however, seems suspicious of the fact that the star the class purchased was very cheap. So Ms. Frizzle uses The Magic Space Bus' sneak-a-peak-athon to get a closer look of the inside of the star, which is collapsing. Just then, a core explosion precipitates, and the star is blown to smithereens, much to Keesha's disappointment.
The class wonders why the star would explode when it was bigger and brighter and Phoebe remembers how Horace says that it was twenty million years old. Ms. Frizzle informs that a star as old as the red star goes out, naming it the supernova. Keesha then learns that the hot, boiling gas in the first star the class approached was a star being born and Phoebe also learns that stars are made out of hot gases. It isn't long before Keesha finally learns that a star squeezes hot gas hot enough to make the baby star to shine and the hot gas keeps the star shining for million of years and the stars die out by exploding once the fuel finally runs out, as well as the tiny pieces of the star making new stars. So Keesha decides to just make a present for Dorothy Ann instead by garnering up the bits and pieces to make a new star themselves, using The Magic Space Bus to do that task. When the star is finally made, the class flies down to the earth.
Dorothy Ann notices the newly-built star and writes about it in her journal just in time for the rest of the class to arrive at her house. They tell her that they made the star and named it after her, much to her confusion. Just then, Horace from the TV ad informs he has discovered the star and asks if there would be someone to call for it. So the class calls him as confrontation to demand him that the star is theirs, as well as informing him what they learned about stars. So Horace decides to cancel the sell of the new star and Dorothy Ann thanks the rest of the class for her birthday present.
Horace Scope: Dabney Coleman
- The "baby star" is a T Tauri star.
- Dabney Coleman, the voice of Horace Scope, co-starred with Lily Tomlin (Ms. Frizzle) and Dolly Parton (Murph) in the 1980 comedy, 9 to 5.
- This is the second time Tim accidentally steps on something and then lets go of something else which causes it to break. The first was Taking Flight.
- The spacesuits the students (except Dorothy Ann, Janet and Liz) wore were the same spacesuits they wore in Gets Lost in Space, but without helmets in this episode. Ms. Frizzle's spacesuit has only stars instead of planets as well.
- This is the second episode where someone is sick and has to stay home. The first is Inside Ralphie with Ralphie staying home. Unlike Ralphie though, Dorothy Ann does not have any part in the trip, and the inside of her body has never been explored in the series.
- This is the second episode where someone has a birthday, in this case, it's Dorothy Ann's birthday. The first episode was in Gets Ready, Set, Dough, where it was Valerie's birthday.
- Janet makes a minor appearance.
- In this case, Ms. Frizzle is a 3rd grade teacher and the age range for students in this grade would be 8-9 years without skipping or repeating a grade.
- Ms. Frizzle states that stars are formed from giant balls of gas in this episode. In reality, stars are formed from plasma, making this one of the few episodes to contain factual errors.
- There were 7 candles on Dorothy Ann's cake, though in The Magic School Bus Explores the Age of the Dinosaurs, she said she'd lived for 8 years, meaning she would have turned 9 in this episode. The 7 candles is likely a mistake by the animators.