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List of The Magic School Bus characters facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts

This is a list of characters that appear in the The Magic School Bus book series (1986-2021), The Magic School Bus television series (1994–97) and The Magic School Bus Rides Again (2017–18).

Main characters

The school is known as Walkerville Elementary, named for the fictional town of Walkerville, where it is located. The original book series had a larger number of students in Ms. Frizzle's class (19 instead of 8); 11 characters were omitted in the TV series, the TV tie-in books (based with the TV series), and the video game series.

Frizzle sisters

Valerie Felicity Frizzle

Voiced by Lily Tomlin in the TV series and Tina Marie Goff in the games

Valerie Felicity Frizzle is a 3rd–5th grade teacher at Walkerville Elementary. In the first series she is normally referred to as Miss Frizzle or Ms. Frizzle, but her students often call her "The Friz". While she is eccentric and somewhat strange, The Friz is intelligent, kind, resourceful, happy, funny, supportive, loving and somewhat motherly. She loves making jokes revolving around the lesson she teaches, even if she is the only one laughing. She makes flamboyant entrances to start the class, causing some to remark "How does she do that?" A redhead, she wears wacky dresses that reflect the subject of each adventure and earrings that glow before a field trip begins. She usually winks before the earrings glow (in the original books, her dress on the last page usually hinted at the plot of the next book; the very last book sees it covered with question marks). She enjoys singing, seems unafraid of danger, and often refers to her relatives or ancestors during trips. She can make a lot of jokes like Carlos, and she also admires Carlos's jokes. She appears to be very attached to the bus, almost as if having a nostalgic connection to it. She also loves to surprise the students and although she denies that she knows everything, she seems to never be in the dark about her students' activities. To Arnold, she is strange, but he and his friends still love and respect her. Some of Ms. Frizzle's ongoing catchphrases are, "Bus, do your stuff!", "Take chances, make mistakes, get messy!", "Hit it Liz!", "As I always say...", "To the bus!", "Wahoo!"

She appears in The Magic School Bus Rides Again as Professor Valerie Felicity Frizzle, Ph.D, with Tomlin once again providing her voice. In this series, she answers phone calls in the fictional call-in segments (replacing the producers scene in the original series), along with her pet monkey named Goldie, and usually gives some clue as to the topic of the next episode. Mostly, in the new series, she sometimes but not always shows up, and is always known for being shown at the ending.

Fiona Felicity Frizzle

Voiced by Kate McKinnon

Fiona Felicity Frizzle is Valerie Frizzle's younger sister and the class's new teacher. She borrows a lot of her big sister's catchphrases, including "Bus, do your stuff!", among many others. Similar to her sister, her skirt and necklace often change each episode based on the topic. Just like her sister, she often quotes random relatives and friends of hers, but does not share the same catch phrases with her.


Voiced by Catherine Thompson in the games

Liz is the class pet Jackson's chameleon who goes on most of the field trips with Ms. Frizzle and the students, often getting herself into dangerous comedic situations. She appears to get jealous when the bus receives more attention than she does. In the episode "Gets Ants In Its Pants", she is visibly annoyed and disappointed when she does not get the recognition she deserves.

Liz is mute, but often does things that one would not expect from a chameleon in real life, such as driving the bus. When she goes to Herp Haven for a brief period her packing list includes claw polish, scale moisturizer and fang-paste. If Ms. Frizzle has to leave the students for a brief period for any reason, or if the class must split up, she leaves Liz in charge, acting as a sort of substitute teacher. In "In a Pickle", she is the supposed "Judge" in Ms. Frizzle's trial for stealing Keesha's 1st prize cucumber/turning it into a pickle (she wears the wig, and the outfit, and carries the gavel).

While Liz is mute on the show, she speaks in the CD-ROMs (although it appears that only the player can hear her). She is also seen at the end of most episodes with the producers of The Magic School Bus.

Arnold Perlstein

Voiced by Amos Crawley (season 1) and Danny Tamberelli (seasons 2–4); Miles Koseleci-Vieira (Rides Again); Roman Lutterotti (Rides Again (2020))

Arnold Matthew Perlstein is a bespectacled, Jewish American boy. He is often seen as somewhat of a coward but is actually braver than he's given credit for (in "The Busasaurus," he scares off a T. Rex to save the class). Arnold also inspires the class with ideas and they call him a genius. In the episode "Shows and Tells," he mentions that his great-aunt is the famous archaeologist Arizona Joan, a parody of Indiana Jones. He frequently bemoans and shows concern about Ms. Frizzle's wild field trips, but on several occasions, he proves himself fiercely loyal to the teacher herself, as in "Lost in Space" where he defends her against his cousin Janet. Another example of this is in "In a Pickle" where he acts as a lawyer for Ms. Frizzle, taking his job almost too seriously. He has an intense interest in and knowledge of rocks and minerals and an extensive rock collection. Because of this, he is the only child to be a member of GRANITE, the Great Rock Admirers' National Institute of Tectonics Experts ("Goes Cellular"). In "Cracks a Yolk," he and Dorothy Ann share the only kiss on the series when she kisses him on the cheek. It is implied in the episodes "For Lunch" and "Holiday Special" that he has a crush on Wanda and vice versa, but in "Wet All Over," he has a crush on a girl in another class named Tiffany. It's also hinted in "The Busasaurus" that Phoebe has a crush on him as well. In "Goes to Seed" he mentions he's allergic to pepper and pollen. In some of the books and on the TV series, Arnold has orange hair, but he has blond hair in the computer games and other books. His middle name, Matthew, is mentioned in Ms. Frizzle's Adventures: Medieval Castle. In most episodes, he usually says "I knew I should have stayed home today", or a variant of it. He has a bossy, rude, know-it-all cousin named Janet, who often antagonizes Ms. Frizzle and the class; while Arnold often has trouble standing up to her demands, when things get serious, he refuses to let Janet have her way. His favorite color is Orange, revealed in Makes A Rainbow and Goes Cecullar

Carlos Ramon

Voiced by Daniel DeSanto (original series), Leke Maceda-Rustecki (Rides Again).

Carlos Ramon is the Hispanic American class joker, always making a pun or joke about whatever situation the class is in. He is a hands-on learner, preferring to invent unique devices, such as a best-loved stuffed animal, an instrument or rain catcher, rather than learn from a book like Dorothy Ann. Carlos tries to be funny by telling several jokes, but they often backfire and cause the kids to groan "Carlos!" in an aggravated manner. By contrast, Ms. Frizzle seems to enjoy his jokes, sometimes even complimenting him on being observant in the process of making them up. He is kind and outgoing, but he can have a bossy side as well. Despite this, Carlos is good-hearted and has a brotherly instinct about him. In "The Magic School Bus Going Batty", his father also makes puns, to which the other kids' parents would respond, "Mr. Ramon!" also in unison. In the episode called "Get Ready, Set, Dough," Carlos has the responsibility of making chocolate cake for Ms. Frizzle's birthday. In "Getting Energized" he entertains a crowd and can even do impressions of Arnold Schwarzenegger. In one of the producer segments, one of the kids points out that Carlos's bad puns must come from the producers as heard in one of the phone calls.

Dorothy Ann Hudson

Voiced by Tara Meyer (original series), Gabby Clarke (Rides Again).

Dorothy Ann Hudson is the class reader and bookworm, always looking for a fact in one of her many books and is considered the brain of the class. She is usually called "D.A." by the others. She always carries her pink satchel, which holds her books. In the episode "Blows its Top," Dorothy Ann loses her books, but realizes she does not need them to learn about things. She appears to love astronomy, especially in "Out of This World" and "Sees Stars", where she is shown to have a telescope. In "Sees Stars", Dorothy Ann is celebrating her birthday, but she is sick and stays home that day, making her the second and last student after Ralphie to be sick in an episode. She appears to enjoy physics too, as she is seen with a physics book in "Plays Ball." She usually wears her blonde hair in pigtails tied in red hair ties, and in the episode "Goes On Air," she takes off her hair ties, her pigtails staying in place (as pointed out by Arnold). In the beginning of "Out of This World," she has a nightmare about an asteroid crashing into her school and in the climax, she is the captain of the ship and she has her own ideas to save our planet. Dorothy Ann's last name is never mentioned in the books or the original TV show; however, her last name is mentioned to be "Hudson" in the sequel series, The Magic School Bus Rides Again. It's also revealed that she has a little sister named Evan. She is one of three kids known to have siblings, the other two being Carlos and Wanda. When reading about different facts, D.A. usually begins by saying, "According to my research the..." In the original series, she had a slight British accent and pronounced "research" with the accent on the second syllable. In The Magic School Bus Rides Again, she pronounces it with the accent on the first syllable, as it is usually pronounced in the United States. In The Magic School Bus Rides Again, her book satchel is replaced by a purple tablet computer.

Jyoti Kaur

Voiced by Birva Pandya

Jyoti Kaur is an Indian American girl who enrolls at Walker Elementary during the events of The Magic School Bus Rides Again. An expert on technology, she can create 3D holograms of herself, and she has even built a sentient robot named Naniben. Similar to Wanda, she opts to go where no one has gone before, and she is skilled in martial arts. For her catchphrase, she describes her feelings using gerunds.

Keesha Franklin

Voiced by Erica Luttrell (original series), Mikaela Blake (Rides Again).

Keesha Franklin is an African American girl who is considered to be the most level-headed and realistic student in the class. She is usually the most sarcastic one as well. Because of her skepticism, she often argues with Ralphie, who tends to live in his imagination more than in real life. She is the only person to participate in every single field trip. When a situation went poorly, Keesha would often say, "Oh bad. Oh bad. Oh bad, bad, bad!" Her other catchphrase is, "Let's get the facts!" Keesha takes dance lessons.

Phoebe Terese

Voiced by Maia Filar

Phoebe Terese is a French-Canadian student of in Ms. Frizzle's class who often refers to how things were at her old school (now her current school). The caring soul of the class, Phoebe is sweet, gentle, kind, and a little bit shy as her biggest fear is stage fright, shown in the episode "Gets Planted." Phoebe is an animal activist, as seen in "All Dried Up," "Cold Feet," "Spins a Web," "Goes Upstream," "Ups and Downs," and "Getting Energized." Her love of animals also includes bugs ("Butterfly and Bog Beast," "Spins a Web"). She has shown a poor ability in growing plants (not growing one herself in "Goes to Seed" and growing a pitiful bean plant in "Gets Planted"). Her father is blind as seen in "Going Batty," and like her, he makes references to her old school. Phoebe's mother is never seen or mentioned in the show. Phoebe is usually paired up with Arnold the most out of all the other classmates in various situations. In the original books, her parents are never mentioned or seen, and it's implied she's being raised by her grandparents (The Magic School Bus In the Time of the Dinosaurs and The Magic School Bus and the Electric Field Trip). It is revealed in The Magic School Bus Rides Again that she transferred back to her old school.

Ralphie Tennelli

Voiced by Stuart Stone (original series), Matthew Mintz (Rides Again (2017)), Matthew Mucci (Rides Again (2020))

Ralph Alessandro Giuseppe "Ralphie" Tennelli is the Italian American class athlete. While in class, he likes to daydream. Ralphie is dark and mysterious, often staring off into the distance. His classmates often have to bring him back down to earth. He is the only field trip student to wear a hat, a backwards baseball cap. He also wears a light green T-shirt with a red R on the front and dark green pants in the original series and a blue and white T-shirt in the series revived. He plays a lot of sports, including soccer, basketball, hockey, and baseball. He has a distaste for anchovies, which, as he tells the class in "Gets Eaten," his dad puts on pizza to keep him from eating it. Ralphie likes to serve as the leader of the students, despite having tendencies to jump to conclusions (as seen in "Goes Batty") and ignore better judgment (as seen in "In the City"). He also occasionally rivals Carlos when it comes to jokes. His catchphrases are "Is it just me, or..." and "I think I'm gonna be sick". In the special "Kids in Space", Ralphie's full name is revealed to be Ralphie Alessandro Giuseppe Tennelli.

Timothy "Tim" Wright

Voiced by Max Beckford (Season 1), Andre Ottley-Lorant (Season 2-4), Kaden Stephen (Rides Again)

Tim Wright is African American, and is the most observant and artistic student. He can usually be found documenting what the class is doing, either by drawing or filming them, such as Liz posing on a crater on Mercury, his Ralphie-inspired comic book The Adventures of Weatherman, and getting footage of the swamp for evidence to argue Carlos's case. Tim wears many cardigans and has a soft-spoken voice. He is generally regarded as the most good-hearted and sweet by his class and Ms. Frizzle. His grandfather owns a honey bee farm outside of Walkerville, and as a small job, Tim delivers the honey at the start of winter. Like Dorothy Ann, his last name is never mentioned in the books or the original TV show; however, his last name is mentioned to be "Wright" in the sequel series, The Magic School Bus Rides Again. He is known to say "We've been Frizzled!" In The Magic School Bus Rides Again, he speaks with a Jamaican accent.

Wanda Li

Voiced by Lisa Yamanaka (original series), Lynsey Pham (Rides Again)

Wanda Li is a tough, cute, and boisterous Chinese American tomboy and is the smallest member of the class. Always willing to jump into adventure and going where "no kid has gone before," she serves as a foil to Arnold. She wants to solve all problems that face her. She can pull the metal handles off of large doors, using her powerful super strength; and even she can jump the highest into the air. Despite her tough exterior, she loves ballet, especially The Nutcracker, and appears to be a self-taught ballet dancer herself to a certain extent ("Holiday Special"). Wanda's favorite singer is Molly Cule (a play on the word molecule), and she loves sports, fighting, rock music (rather she's playing her electric guitar) and hanging out with boys. Despite coming across as brash and bossy, she truly does care about her friends, such as in "Holiday Special," where she is disappointed that Arnold could not come along to see The Nutcracker due to his grandmother being ill. Wanda has black hair and pale white skin. She wears a red vest, decorated with yellow flowers, over a short sleeve pink t-shirt with matching red pants, white socks and black Mary Jane shoes. In the original series spin-off books Ms. Frizzle's Adventures, she has an older brother named Henry, whereas on the TV series, she only has a younger brother, William. When the class is in a problematic situation, Wanda usually cries out, "What are we gonna do? What are we gonna do? What are we gonna do?" Her other catch phrase is "Come on, you weasily wimps!"

The Magic School Bus

The bus is "very unusual" and sometimes seems to have a mind of its own. In appearance, it may look like a typical yellow school bus, but it is capable of shrinking and expanding, as well as transforming itself into many kinds of items, most commonly as robotic animals in order to blend in with the environment in safari-type field trips. When it shrinks, so do its passengers, and occasionally, when the bus returns to its normal size when something was left behind, the other item is set back to normal too ("Gets Eaten").

It is usually completely under Ms. Frizzle's or Liz's control, although in certain episodes the bus exhibits independent, even irrational, behavior: in "The Magic School Gets Ready, Set, Dough," the bus malfunctions and shrinks in size despite Ms. Frizzle trying to fix it. In "The Magic School Bus Holiday Special", the bus disassembles itself into raw materials (while scowling), after having done so to several other structures (though Wanda did angrily slam her fists in the bus's hood before it self-disassembled); and in "The Magic School Bus In The City", the bus, after becoming a bear, wanders off from the class into the city looking for food.

Its abilities are due to unspecified, magical additions, the origins of which are never fully explained, although it would appear that the new components are subtle enough to avoid attracting much attention from outsiders as the bus is often seen undergoing inspection without anyone commenting on its additions. The Bus is capable of transforming into multiple objects, ranging from a speck of pollen to a time machine to a small planet. Some of the bus's technologies also have specific names. For example, the device that allows the bus to shapeshift is called the "Mesmerglober", and the device that allows it to change size is called the "Shrinkerscope", (a portable version is called the Porta-shrinker). Another device is called the "Apidemonflemonjab", which is what caused the bus to malfunction in "Gets Ready, Set, Dough." Its exact function is never specified.

In some transformations, the bus itself comes in different colors, such as it turning green when it turned into an alligator. The dew-dinger is the device used to indicate whether the Shrinkerscope is wet, in which case it won't work. Some episodes have featured the class having to deal with problems in the Bus itself, such as a field trip to a bakery being jeopardized when the bus shrank unexpectedly.


Archibald Seedplot
Phoebe's teacher at her old school who appears in "Goes To Seed." His passion seems to be gardening. It is learned in this episode that he knew Ms. Frizzle (and considers himself her "biggest fan"). Voiced by Robby Benson.
Production Supervisors (aka The Magic School Bus Producers)
In the fictional call-in segment at the end of the show, various characters answer questions asked by "viewers". One of the producers usually answers these calls, sometimes two producers appear at the same time, and almost always with Liz. One of the producers is an African-American male voiced by Malcolm-Jamal Warner. Another producer is an Asian female voiced by Susan Blu. Other characters have appeared in the producer segments, including characters from the episode, as well as a ghost that appears only in "In the Haunted House" (Voiced by Catherine Thompson). This segment is based on the comedic disclaimer pages at the end of the books. In The Magic School Bus Rides Again, the producers are replaced by Professor Frizzle, who takes calls while conducting her research or going on adventures.
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