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| Lines | Notes | Pictures | Summary - Official | My Summary | My Review


Role Actor
Mr. McClean Malcolm McDowell
Valerie Frizzle Lily Tomlin
Mikey Ramon Kevin Zegers
Carlos Ramon Daniel DeSanto
Phoebe Terese Maia Filar
Keesha Franklin Erica Luttrell
Dorothy Ann Tara Meyer
Tim Andre Ottley-Lorant
Ralphie Tennelli Stuart Stone
Arnold Perlstein Daniel Tamberelli
Wanda Li Lisa Yamanaka
Student Ashley Brown
Mr. Ruhle Paul Winfield

Directed by Charles E. Bastien
Written by Jocelyn Stevenson & George Arthur Bloom


All of McClean's lines.

"Ah laddie, I've been dreaming that dream for years. This just came for Mr. Ruhle and he said for you kids to set it up. Well we better get to work. We'll be open for business before you know it."
"Excuse me laddie, would you mind telling me what's going on here? Well, I'd better be going to see if it's all fine in the teacher's lounge."
"What's going on here? The entire school's gone wacky."
"Alright laddies, I've had it with your bright ideas. My, Mr. Ruhle? Would you like some coffee sir? We won't? It is? Ha ha"



McClean enters the class

Summary - Official

Ms. Frizzle's class arrives early to open the school for Mr. Ruhle. But there's so much to do! 'There must be a way of doing all these chores without actually doing them,' says Carlos. The school handyman, Mr. McClean, is in total agreement. Enter Mr. Ruhle's new computer! Then enter Mikey, Carlos's whiz-kid brother, who programs the computer to do all the chores. But when Ms. Frizzle shrinks Mikey and sends him inside the computer for a guided tour, everything goes crazy. And the only person who can fix the problem is Mikey - who is somewhere between the CPU and the hard drive!

My Summary

    The kids are bummed about having so many chores to do at school before it starts. When Mr. McClean delivers Principal Rhule's new computer, it's yet another task they have to do. The kids get the bright idea to help the computer automate some of their tasks to lighten the work load and Mrs. Frizzle explains they have to program it. They only have half an house before school starts and it's a risk, but you only learn by taking risks. The problem is no one knows how to do it. When Carlos's wheelchair bound little brother comes in early to clean his desk out, they have their programmer. He's a computer whiz and gives each kid a cord to run to the computer to do a specific task like water the lawn, raise the flag, open the doors and do the announcements. He has Carlos record an announcement "Hi how are you, nice to see you, thanks for coming to school today and enjoy your day!" and they are all set. Everything works and Mikey admits it would be cool to know how it all worked on the inside. Frizzle thinks that'll be a good field trip for him, but the others still have work to do. She gives Mikey a special walkman and he turns into a floppy disk and goes into the computer where he's remade into a small size and uses the Walkman to go on an audio tour of all the components.
    Suddenly outside everything goes wrong. All the tasks Mikey entered are starting to repeat over and over and no one knows how to stop them. McClean gets wet from the sprinklers and comes in upset. Even worse, school will be opening soon. They have to find Mikey and Frizzle agrees it's what needs to be done. Someone needs to stay behind and Arnold agrees so Frizzle lets him watch Lizzie her iguana. She makes the bus appear and it too turns into a floppy disc and flies through the air. They are put into the machine and she gives them a tour as the search. It starts with the computer reading the disc and converting the information into electronic language the computer can understand. No one sees Mikey, he's touring farther away. They go down to the motherboard and have to figure out where everything is going. The bus converts to a blimp and Frizzle gives everyone a skateboard to cover the area faster. They search everything, but Mikey is nowhere to be found. Frizzle says everything goes to the hard drive and they all go up that link to get there. They McClean is lifted up the flagpole.
    The buses arrive and McClean gets down from the pole. Arnold calls them for help and Carlos pokes his head out of the floppy drive. They don't know where Mikey is. The information for the tasks has been stored permanently. Frizzle tells them on the hard drive. They ask where it is and she points the way. The tour voice is heard saying the discs are hard not floppy and instructions are stored forever. Mikey is spinning around on it. He asks what are they doing here. Something is wrong with the computer. He says he's been through it all, nothing is wrong with it. It's doing our jobs over and over again. He says to go out with the output, info is going out to the printer, so they ride the cable, land on paper and the ink prints over them, then they fly out into the bus. Arnold is so happy they are back. The announcement still replays, the flag goes up and down. Mikey has to check the program. Frizzle explains it's a list of instructions the computer understands. They ask if he made a mistake. Mikey doubts it. It prints out the list and it says to repeat everything every minute. He was supposed to set it to every day. It just did what it was told. Garbage in, garbage out. He changes it to day and saves it. Mr. Ruhle arrives. He says no one is out there and the school is getting ready by itself? He sees they set up the new computer for him, but he doesn't remember asking him to program it. Can't they follow instructions? They just gave it instructions, that's all it know, now it runs the school. He's not happy, he's trilled. Mr. McClean comes in upset with coffee, Mr. Ruhle says now they won't have to make it themselves anymore. They made some mistakes at first, but what's life without mistakes. They all laugh. The End.

My Review

    There isn't any cutting edge art or humor here. This is animated edutainment for kids to learn about how computers work which is fine and dandy. Of course every month that goes by make this more dated because they go into the computer on a floppy disc which has been replaced by the CD and now the DVD. It's also an old desktop computer instead of a tower so kids will wonder why it looks so strange, but otherwise the inner workings would still be basically the same. Malcolm is barely around to do anything with the role except unload the computer, get wet and go up the flagpole. As the janitor he's like the token old British guy, like Groundskeeper Willie in The Simpsons and is really there to provide comic relief. By the time he's had enough, it's too late, the principal is thrilled. The story is for kids, but adults could learn something about computers if they are clueless about them. The weird thing is Frizzle looks like Bette Midler but is voiced by her friend Lily Tomlin. I wonder if the role was made for her and she declined.

Rating: 3.5/10

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