The Magic School Bus
This movie sucks.
From the creators of Night at the Museum comes Shawn Levy’s next big film. The Magic School Bus: The Movie takes the classic book series we all loved, but punches it up for today’s moviegoing public.
The film opens on Carlos Ramon, and Ralphie Tennelli played respectively by Daryl Sabara, and Joel Courtney. Carlos and Ralphie are two foster kids who are always getting into trouble. They are High school freshmen and dangerously close to falling in with the bad crowd at McKinley HS. One day they are caught by cops vandalizing the school and they are arrested. As conditions for them not going to jail a judge, played by Whoopi Goldberg sentences the two boys to attend an alternate high school with smaller classes so that they get the attention the need.
The next scene opens on the two boys walking onto the campus of their new school, Walkerville High, where all of the kids seem to be rushing around and working on nerdy science projects and stuff. The bell rings and they walk into their first class, which appears to be Science 101 (yes a class called Science 101 doesn’t make sense on a hs campus, but whatever) and an excited teacher with VERY red curly hair named Ms. Frizzle, played by Amy Adams, says to the camera “Seatbelts everyone! We’re in for a BUMPY ride.” A very Dr. Who reminiscent theme song begins to play as the kids rush to the bus. We don’t see where they go exactly, but we hear a lot of hooting and hollering and a whizzing sound before the bus takes off. The screen shot of Magic School Bus The Movie shows.
We then open up on Principal Weatherbee of Walkerville played by a really annoyingly overacting Steve Martin, giving a speech in the teacher’s lounge about how discovery is the cornerstone of any valuable education. We see in the back corner one of the Assitant Principals, Mr. Sludgenose, played by Bradley Whitford is obviously despondent during the speech. He mutters to his assistant Gary played by Russell Brand, that with all the technology that this school has and uses they should be titans of industry making tons of money, not teaching snot nosed little punks (he then spills his coffee on himself).
We cut back to the kids coming back from their trip, Carlos and Ralphie think it awesome. We see they are slowly starting to warm up to the school and the other students. Three other students in particular, Arnold, Dorothy, and Keesha, all decide to eat lunch with Carlos and Ralphie and ask them to join the Science Club. At first they are hesitant, but they decide to oblige and meet them after school in Ms. Frizzles Lab.
We go back to a meeting with Weatherbee and Sludgenose where Sludgenose has enlisted Gary to poison Weatherbee’s lunch so that he will get sick and call out and Sludgenose can take over the school. Weatherbee eats the comically discolored Mashed Potatoes and mentions how good they are. Sludgenose laughs maniacally and then we see Weatherbee running to his car to go home to poop (funny sound effects here).
The next day, Ms. Frizzle goes to the Principals office to ask them if she approved their trip INTO the aquarium, and Sludgenose spins around in the chair and says there will be no more school trips. And he is going to sell the bus to some company. She tells him he can’t do that, but he says, as long as Weatherbee is sick he can do what he wants. She leaves and heads to Weatherbee’s home (yes she’s supposed to be at work teaching), and he lets her in. He looks very ill and says that he’s thinking about retiring. She asks him not to because Sludgenose is going to run the school into the ground. He says that unless he gets better, he doesn’t know if he’ll ever be back to Principal the school.
Ms. Frizzle goes back to school to her science class and in a rousing and triumphant fashion, she tells the kids that they are going to save Mr. Weatherbee, and the school in the process. Carlos and Ralphie ask how and Keesha, in sassy fashion, says they’re getting on The Magic School Bus. This is the first time we see the bus full on. It speaks like Bumblebee did in the transformers movie, only it has creepy eyes and a nose and face. The bus shrinks down and Arnold starts piloting it straight for Mr. Weatherbee’s house. They park the mini-bus in Mr. Weatherbee’s soup and then they ride into his digestive system. A bunch of nerdy shit happens from here, but we see that the human body on the inside operates like a city, and when you are sick it is like someone polluted the environment. Inexplicably this frightens Dorothy and she grabs Ralphies arm. It has only been hinted at up to this point but they like each other. Ms. Frizzle says they need to find out what got Weatherbee sick and fix it. Keesha and Carlos decide to venture out of the bus and put on special suits that enable them to get out and do some detective work. They ask around and eventually a few White Blood Cells tell them that they’ve been poisoned. Ms. Frizzle is shocked upon this news and tells them they have to find a cure.
We cut back to the school and it’s basically Martial Law at Walkerville and the remaining students are being made to invent things purely for Sludgenose’s gain, and Gary, begins to question whether or not he should have poisoned Weatherbee.
We go back to the bus and find that they can’t figure out a cure, because they still don’t know what the poison was and introducing the wrong cure could kill him. Around this time, Gary after realizing he was wrong drives to Weatherbee’s and tells him that he’s sorry for poisoning him with moldy bread and rotten apple mixed into the potatoes. The bus and the kids are watching from behind Weatherbee’s eyes, which look like movie screens on the other side. Arnold at this point gets the idea to find a cure within Weatherbee’s body. He does some nerdy science talk, but the bottom line is the cure has to be administered like graffiti on his stomach walls. Carlos and Ralphie know how to do that, so they do, and they save the day.
Dorothy kisses Ralphie and everyone cheers.
Asst. Principal Sludgenose is on the phone with his back turned and Weatherbee with Ms. Frizzle barge in and Sludgenose says “it’s great you’re feeling better, but it’s too late, the school is already MINE!” Gary comes in and says that he told them everything and aren’t going to press charges as long as he leaves and never comes back. Sludgenose says you might have won now, but I’ll be back! Arnold trips him on his way out. Arnold was a big nerd the whole movie, but now he’s cool. Ms. Frizzle adopts Carlos and Ralphie, and they become brothers for real.
The bus drives up at the end of the movie and winks at the camera. The End.