Ada Twist, Scientist balloon returns to 2022 Thanksgiving Parade

Bruno Cooke November 25, 2022
Ada Twist, Scientist balloon returns to 2022 Thanksgiving Parade
Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images


Ada Twist, Scientist graced the streets of New York with her presence for the second time at the 2022 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Her first outing was in 2021. That year, Michelle Obama was among those celebrating the young scientist’s attendance. She’s an executive producer on the show. 

Originating in 2016, Ada Twist, Scientist started out as a children’s picture book. But many will have heard of her for the first time from a TV series adaptation of the same name that came out in 2021.

How did people respond to her at this year’s parade, and what do we know about the balloon version of the young Questioneer?

Photo by YUKI IWAMURA/AFP via Getty Images

Ada Twist, Scientist graces Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade 2022

The Ada Twist, Scientist balloon is 51ft (15.5m) tall, 41ft (12.5m) long and 29ft (nearly 9m) wide.

Which, you’ll appreciate, is significantly larger than the bitesize girl of which it’s an inflatable version.

She’s only the second ever African American balloon to feature in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, according to the parade’s Fandom webpage. Little Bill may have been the first. He ran (or floated) from 2002 to 2004.

Behind Ada Twist’s giant inflatable ear is a giant inflatable pen. It’s the size of 27 regular pens, but the perfect size for a 51ft eight-year-old.

The Polar Express | Trailer

The Polar Express | Trailer

Who led the balloon?

A Mexican marching band preceded the Ada Twist, Scientist balloon at this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. They played saxophones and sousaphones.

“Netflix brings us this bright star in the sky,” read the voiceover on the television coverage of the parade.

The TV adaptation of Ada Twist, Scientist “follows the adventures of eight-year-old Ada,” it continued, “who’s out to discover the truth about, well, everything!”

“With the help of her friends, Ada unravels and solves mysteries, putting her knowledge into action, making the world a better place.”

The original book, meanwhile, earned praise from (among others) Kirkus, which gave the following verdict: “Cool and stylish. Get it.”

Twitter reacts to the Ada Twist, Scientist balloon at this year’s parade

Netflix’s official Strong Black Lead Twitter account tweeted about Ada Twist’s appearance at the 2022 Thanksgiving parade, asking social media users if they caught “our favorite scientist.”

One user said Ada was a “favorite float” to see, “since we’ve become scientists at school.” Which Ada would undoubtedly be very happy to hear.

While no one appears to have taken issue with the fact of Ada Twist, Scientist’s presence at the parade, one did pass comment on what they thought was a lack of air pressure in her balloon.

And another identified what they called a “sign of generational divide,” when some of the people they watched the parade with “thought the Ada Twist, Scientist float was Doc McStuffins.”

Chris Nee created the Netflix adaptation of Ada Twist, Scientist. He previously worked on the disney Junior program Doc McStuffins, which is about a six-year-old girl (also Black) who cares for her stuffed animals in her playhouse clinic. 

Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images

Season 3 came out in September 2022 – will there be a season 4?

Just five years after the original book came out, Netflix adapted Ada Twist, Scientist into an animated TV series.

Season 1 premiered on September 28, 2021. A second followed just months later, on January 25, 2022. And season 3 arrived on September 12, 2022.

All of which means that it doesn’t take long to produce a season of the show, despite each episode having a running time of between 25 and 29 minutes, and there being six episodes in each season.

Thus far, however, there hasn’t been an official renewal announcement from Netflix. But such decisions often come down to viewing figures and a show’s popularity, and audiences making themselves known via other channels. So, if you have a stake in its renewal, say so.

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Bruno is a novelist, amateur screenwriter and journalist with interests in digital media, storytelling, film and politics. He’s lived in France, China, Sri Lanka and the Philippines, but returned to the UK for a degree (and because of the pandemic) in 2020. His articles have appeared in Groundviews, Forge Press and The Friday Poem, and most are readable on Medium or