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Kids in Space
The Frizz Connection
In the Zone

"This is like my recurring dream of a field trip descending into total chaos. Wait a second—that dream is real—and it’s every single trip!"
Arnold

The Frizz Connection (Air Currents) is the second episode of the third season of The Magic School Bus Rides Again. It first released on Netflix worldwide on October 20, 2020.

Descriptions[]

  • Netflix (version 1): "It's triple the Frizz, triple the fun when lightning strikes and a high-flying hot air balloon adventure goes haywire!"[2]
  • Netflix (version 2): "Lightning splits the Magic School Bus into three pieces, scattering the class around the globe, with different versions of Ms. Frizzle aboard each Bus."
  • Brown Bag site: “In a flash of lightning, the Magic School Bus is split into three pieces and the class is scattered across the globe. But that’s not the biggest shock: Ms. Frizzle has been split into three too! Now, the class has to master the global air currents to bring themselves, the Bus, and the Frizzles back together before it’s too late.”[3]

Plot[]

A thunderstorm rages above a desert, and the Magic School Bus, as a hot-air balloon, flies along the lightning-infested skies. The kids all exclaim in terror as Ralphie says, "Oh, the humanity!" Ms. Frizzle tells everyone to hang on as the kids experience one of her favorite things about riding a hot-air balloon—turbulence, and her second favorite thing—wind shear. Arnold is upset to hear about her third favorite thing, and wants to know how to get out of the storm. Ms. Frizzle tells the kids that the balloon Bus does not have steering capabilities, and it can only go up and down. Arnold proceeds to yell, "I knew I should've stayed home today!" and Jyoti contradicts it, telling him that it was because of he that everyone went into all of this trouble.

[Begin flashback]

It's Arnold's birthday, and Tim gives him a card that he made, depicting the former falling out of the Bus into a pit of balloons, with a scared look on his face. Arnold thanks Tim for capturing his essence, as Ms. Frizzle appears and tells Arnold that, since it's his birthday, he can choose the field trip, causing Keesha to sarcastically say, "I guess we're staying home today!" Arnold says that he wants to go to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, and Ms. Frizzle orders everyone to the Bus, which transforms into a giant basket attached to a deflated hot-air balloon.

After noticing the deflated balloon, a confused Ralphie wonders where all the helium. Ms. Frizzle tells the kids that hot-air balloons don't need helium, and tells Ralphie that the way to inflate it is in the words "hot air". Keesha, as snobby as she is, states: "No problem, Ralphie's full of that!" as Ralphie scratches his head. First, Ms. Frizzle blows air into the balloon using the giant fan on the Bus basket, and then heats up the air so the balloon can rise. Dorothy Ann states that if you heat something, the air molecules move around uncontrollably fast (which she learned from Three in One). Soon, the balloon and the Bus rise, and the kids climb on board. Arnold feels relaxed, as he states that this is the best field trip ever.

[End flashback]

Back in the present day, the kids worry if they'll be safe. Ms. Frizzle states, "We'll be fine as long as we don't get hit by lightning!" Soon, the kids get hit by lightning, and the hot-air bus disappears.

In Waikiki, Hawaii, two surfers are paddling on the water as the Magic School Bus appears. However, things are different: the Bus's balloon is now shaped like a banana, the basket is smaller, and Ms. Frizzle is dressed as a clown with frizzier hair. Keesha, Carlos, and Ralphie are also the only three students on the bus. Ms. Frizzle sings a song about the great blue sea in Waikiki, and the trio dances the hula to the song.

In the Andes Mountains, Peru, a version of the Magic School Bus with a compass-shaped hot-air balloon appears, carrying Tim, Jyoti, and Wanda. They worry about everyone else being missing, and soon, another Ms. Frizzle appears, who happens to be more brave than usual. She starts rambling about her adventure to find the Buried Mummy of Chan-Chan. She doesn't care about the Balloon Fiesta, and just wants to "surf some serious air currents".

In Nova Scotia, Canada, a third of the Bus with a balloon shaped like an apple appears. Arnold, DA, and Liz are the remaining three. Arnold claims he is "classblind" because he can't see the others, but Dorothy Ann (he can see her) says that the other students are not there, and its just she, he, and Liz. Arnold then replies that this reminds him of a recurring dream that just happens to be every single trip. Soon, their Ms. Frizzle appears in a suit and pants and a bun hairstyle without frizzle. She tells the two kids that their Bus is approaching the lighthouse in Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia, Canada. Dorothy Ann wonders why they are in Canada instead of Albuquerque, and Ms. Frizzle tells the kids learn that the lightning has caused the Bus to rupture, causing the full Ms. Frizzle to split into three parts - the reason for the Frizzle clones.

Ms. Frizzle gives Arnold her FrizzPad Fragment, and he goes to the GPS showing the others' locations. The kids learn that another part of the Bus in Peru (the Compass Bus).

On the compass-balloon Bus, someone is calling Wanda on her FrizzPad Fragment. Tim wonders if it's a rescue team, but it's actually Arnold, calling from the Apple Bus. The Compass group was starting to get worried that Arnold would be gone forever. Arnold tells Wanda that he and Dorothy Ann are in Nova Scotia, Canada. Then Dorothy Ann finds another part of the Magic School Bus in Hawaii. She calls its respective FrizzPad fragment, where Keesha answers. Keesha says that she needs help because Carlos, Ralphie, and Ms. Frizzle won't stop acting weird. Wanda says that that isn't possible because, to her, Ms. Frizzle is supposed to be in Peru, where in reality, she's been split into three, as Dorothy Ann chimes in to the video call, showing everyone her Ms. Frizzle. Keesha's Ms. Frizzle says "You get a Frizzle, she gets a Frizzle, we all get FRIZZLES!"

Back in the apple-balloon Bus, Arnold and Dorothy Ann's Ms. Frizzle tells the passengers about the other Frizzles: Carlos, Ralphie, and Keesha have the wacky, goofy, silly side, named the Frizz. Tim, Wanda, and Jyoti have the daring, adventurous side, named Fiona. And finally, Arnold, Dorothy Ann, and Liz have the reliable teacher side, who just goes by "Ms. Frizzle". The Reliable Teacher orders the two to sit, as it is 77.84% safer than standing.

The kids soon find a way to get all three Ms. Frizzles back together soon, because if they don't combine before it's too late, they'll fade away for good. As the reliable teacher's hand fades away, Carlos and the Frizz ask, in the form of a terrible pun, "Could somebody give her a hand?" Then the Frizz's arm fades. While Fiona is swinging from a rope on her Magic School Bus Fragment, her arm fades as well, as she uses her other arm to grab onto the rope.

The Reliable Teacher's hand grows back, as the Frizz tells everyone through the phone that the Frizzle Fragments can't survive on their own. Arnold, desperate to get his teacher back, devises a plan to get to Albuquerque and reunite the Frizzle Fragments, but they have to do it quickly.

Fiona's group flies through the air on the Compass Bus Fragment, watching their teacher swing from her rope. Jyoti warns her to watch out for an incoming tree, but Fiona doesn't listen. She slams into a tree and spits out a few leaves. The students need to pull her up, but Fiona claims that she has a better idea: cut the rope with a knife and use the tree branch to catapult herself into a river, leaving Tim, Jyoti, and Wanda all alone on Fiona's Magic School Bus.

Fiona uses the river to teach her group a lesson about currents. "I'm in a river, and so are you!" she says. She explains that the students are in a "river" because the air has currents, just like a river. But after everyone notices she's in a waterfall, Jyoti presses a Liz button on the Bus Fragment's dashboard, which makes the Compass Bus stick out a rope-like tongue. The tongue pulls Fiona onto the vehicle as she shouts "tasty save!" and fades a second time. Desperate to head to Albuquerque, Tim suggests they head north.

The Frizz' crew approaches another thunderstorm on its way to meet up with the other Bus Fragments. Ralphie is afraid that he might experience a Magic Rupture if the Banana Bus gets hit by lightning - and split into his Fragments: Ralphie, Awesome Ralphie, and Super Awesome Ralphie.

"Yeah, we might get hit lightning again, and I might split into my three main parts: Ralphie, Awesome Ralphie, and Super Awesome Ralphie. The world couldn't take it."
Ralphie

Characters[]

Character Voice
Ms. Fiona Frizzle Kate McKinnon
The Frizz
Fiona
The Reliable Teacher
Liz Ard
Bus
Banana Bus
Compass Bus
Apple Bus
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
Ralphie (mentioned)
Awesome Ralphie (mentioned)
Super Awesome Ralphie (mentioned)
Tim Wright Kaden Stephen
Wanda Li Lynsey Pham

Bus forms[]

Home video releases[]

DVD[]

Allusions[]

  • Teen Titans (2003 animated series) and Teen Titans GO! - Ms. Frizzle's splitting into the Fragments could reference Raven's doing so.
  • The Pineapple Express - The river of air that The Frizz mentions is named after this film featuring Seth Rogen.
  • Oprah Winfrey - The Frizz uses Oprah's "You get a _____" line, snowcloning it with "Frizzles".
  • Nelvana and 9Story - Ms. Frizzle's crew ending up in Canada could reference the home of Nelvana (the studio behind The Magic School Bus) and 9 Story (the studio behind The Magic School Bus Rides Again).
  • Apple, Inc. - The Frizz's pineapple phone could be a play on Apple's iPhones.

Trivia[]

  • Since the Joanna Cole specials have the same credits across every episode, the previous episode teases this episode. Some foreshadowing elements include the balloon bus flying through a storm on the way to the Balloon Fiesta, and the air-current theme of Ms. Frizzle's dress.
  • Keesha noting “Ralphie’s full of [hot air]” might reference a scene in “Kicks Up a Storm.”
  • For the theme song in the subtitles, Ralphie and Wanda are erroneously credited for saying the "achoo" and "take that" ad-libs, respectively. They were the ones who said them in the original series. This is also the same in "Kids in Space."
  • This and the previous episode are the only episodes in this season without a Carlos gag. The next two episodes feature at least one.
  • Each Frizzle Fragment's personality in relationship to the unit, bus balloon shape, and trio of passengers have a theme:
    • The Frizz's theme is comedy and pop culture:
      • The Frizz represents the unit Ms. Frizzle's humorous side. She is named after "The Frizz", a nickname used since the '80s books that the class uses to refer to both Frizzle sisters.
      • Her Bus Fragment's balloon is shaped like a banana. Tripping on banana peels is a stereotypical comedic act.
      • Her passengers are the comedic and sarcastic students. Carlos and Ralphie are known for their comedic antics. Keesha exhibits sarcasm, and she also sometimes gets annoyed by the latter two.
      • The crew arrives in the US state of Hawaii after the Magic Rupture. The United States is also home to Hollywood (The Frizz’s trio eventually arrives in Hollywood on the quest to reunite Ms. Frizzle), where a lot of blockbuster films (including comedies) are made. With regards to MSB, the US is also the country of origin for The Magic School Bus book series, A Magic School Bus Halloween, and The Magic School Bus feature film.
      • The Frizz makes various pop culture allusions, such as Oprah Winfrey's infamous "You get a _____" snowclone and The Pineapple Express film.
    • Fiona Frizzle's theme is action/adventure:
      • Fiona represents the unit's bravery. She is named after her first name, Fiona.
      • Her Bus Fragment's balloon is shaped like a compass, a tool used for navigation (which could be needed on adventures).
      • Her passengers are the adventurous students. Tim is creative and enjoys drawing and writing comics, Wanda shares many character traits with Fiona, and Jyoti also exhibits creativity in the form of her many inventions and interest in STEM.
      • The trio arrives in the Andes Mountains in Peru, and climbing tall mountains is very common among daredevils in media.
    • And lastly. Ms. Frizzle's theme is an homage to the Magic School Bus franchise.
      • Ms. Frizzle represents her intelligence. Her hairstyle is similar to Professor Frizzle. She shares her fragment nickname with the unit Ms. Frizzle.
      • Her Bus Fragment's balloon is shaped like an apple, like the stereotypical "apple on a teacher's desk", or in the Frizzle sisters' case, the items on the "special spot" of the desk: C. frizzlaeia, the mug, and the green gem.
      • Arnold and Dorothy Ann are both notable characters who have undergone a lot of development. Liz ends up with them, as well, referencing her status as the mascot of the franchise.
      • Canada is the home of Nelvana and 9 Story, the companies that animated The Magic School Bus and this series, respectively.
  • It is revealed that when the Bus is hit by lightning, it and other things aboard it (such as Ms. Frizzle or the FrizzPad) split into thirds, scattering the students across the globe. This process is called a Magic Rupture, as it is named by Fiona of the Frizzle Fragments.
  • Starting in this episode, Ralphie's default outfit changes to his ‘70s attire from Keesha’s air bubble in "The Tales Glaciers Tell", which resembles his outfit from The Magic School Bus, except the shirt is white and the rims are blue, and the R logo is missing.
  • "The Pineapple Express" is a nod to the 2008 film of the same name, The Pineapple Express.
  • This episode represented The Magic School Bus Rides Again when it was nominated for the 2021 Canadian Screen Awards.[4]
  • The name of this episode may allude to 1971's The French Connection.
  • This is the first episode to be released in October since Sees Stars, and the first and only Rides Again episode that aired in October.
  • This is the last episode of Season 2 in which two characters high-five.
  • This episode was released 24 years and a day before “Shows and Tells” and 25 years and a day after “In a Pickle”.
  • It's not just Ms. Frizzle who has Fragments, Ralphie has Fragments too (he mentioned the Ralphie Fragments when the storm approaches the Banana Bus).
  • For its representation in the credits, the Bus is shown in hot-air balloon form, during the line "Climb on the Magic School Bus".
  • This is the second time the kids video-chat with each other. The first time was in Shows and Tells.
  • The Bus's split hot-air balloon forms have smaller baskets than the full Balloon Bus. The three balloon buses look similar to the full Bus's balloon form from The Magic School Bus Inside a Hurricane.
  • Ms. Frizzle’s “Reliable teacher” fragment was originally going to wear a skirt, but it got changed to a suit. [2]
  • Even though a guest star is credited, Kate McKinnon is not considered a guest star.
  • This episode streamed in the month of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, and it is coincidental that Arnold wanted to attend it for his birthday.
  • When Ms. Frizzle puts hot air into the Bus's balloon in the flashback, D.A. remembers what she learned in Three in One.
  • Similar to Cracks a Yolk, part of the episode is told in a flashback.
  • The Producer Segment features the Frizzle Fragments as the "producer". This is the second Producer Segment to feature the Bus after Rocks and Rolls, and one of the two to feature a main teacher after Goes to Seed, when the professor appears on a video call to Mr. Seedplot.
  • This is the first Producer Segment without Liz or Goldie.
  • There are three hosts (Fragments), similar to the two producers in Gets Ants in Its Pants and Kicks Up a Storm.
  • This episode released six days prior to 24 years after "Makes a Rainbow".
  • "The Frizz” references Oprah Winfrey's "<blank> gets a <blank>" when she says “You get a Frizzle…”.
  • Arnold celebrates his supposedly eleventh birthday in this episode.
  • The full Ms. Frizzle says "Wahoo" for the first time. This is the first time Fiona uses her sister's version of the phrase.
  • This is the first birthday of a male in the canon (Arnold's), and the third birthday episode in the series, following Dorothy Ann's in "Sees Stars" and Professor Frizzle's in "Gets Ready, Set, Dough". Coincidentally, when the Bus is split into clones, Dorothy Ann is on Arnold's bus, referencing her birthday in the former.
    • Not counting Professor Frizzle, Arnold and Dorothy Ann are the only students to have a birthday episode.
    • This is the only birthday episode not to feature Professor Frizzle.
  • The students wear their default outfits for the first time in the Joanna Cole specials.
  • Tim's and Carlos's voices were deepening for a few of their lines in this episode, because their voice actors, Kaden Stephen (Tim) and Leke Maceda-Rustecki (Carlos), were possibly going through puberty at the time of production.
  • This is the second episode to have Joanna Cole's dedication message: "For Joanna Cole, who educated and inspired us all. 1944-2020". The previous episode had this message.
  • The Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta happens in the first week of every October, confirming Arnold’s birthday to be around that time frame. Because he was born in the first week of October, he is the first student with a known Western zodiac sign - that being Libra.

Songs[]

  • "Hangin' with the Frizz"
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