Everyone remembers the instructive yet entertaining original series, The Magic School Bus. The show that had the ability to engage young students in their homes and school with its spunky attitude and educational lessons in both life and academics. As of recently, the show has been resurrected and with all the same characters. Although the show in theory is ageless, we didn’t think the children were as well. What exactly is in that magic school bus to make the characters from 1997 freeze in time? Well the magic is not in the bus, but in the artists behind the scenes. Preference lies beyond the audience. To age or not to age?
“The issue is debatable. For example, look at Avatar the Last Air Bender. It was a popular show until they aged avatar in Legend of Korra and ruined the audience base. Some series like Ben 10 turned out to be good. The plot and character development was pretty sufficient as the characters aged,” Luis Hernandez, Co-captain on the Deer Park High School debate team said. “The reason why cartoon immortality exists is because of the safety of the plot. In another sense, not aging the characters makes it easier for the animators so they can just keep the same sketch for each character. Allowing them to be more efficient with their time and focus on character development,” Hernandez said.
The pull of an animated series is maintaining the essence of those characters. For instance, Tina in Bob’s Burgers will forever be branded a misunderstood, depressed and anxious teenage girl. If that were to change, it would become a completely different show. The burden of a cartoonist is to either allow their show to adapt and risk the results of a changing audience or to preserve their original characters that the people fell head over heals for in the beginning. Although both of these styles can be favored equally, some people root for the immortal.
“Most cartoons are made for children, so if they age then the kids would not be as interested,” Deer Park Escorts member Gisselle Garza said.
“According to my research” the children on the Magic School Bus are not immortal because of their special mode of transportation, but because it is a cartoonist’s successful attempt at upholding the characters’ reputation to bewitch future generations with this educational series. Like Ms. Frizzle always says, “Take chances, make mistakes, and get messy!” and that is exactly what they did.