Thomas & Friends: Big World! Big Adventures! The Movie (U)



Action (2018)
85mins UK

Starring: John Hasler, Yvonne Grundy, Peter Andre
Director: David Stoten
Writer(s): Andrew Brenner
Listings: London | Rest of UK and Ireland

On the island of Sodor, fun-loving Thomas meets racing car Ace, who is heading to the Senegalese capital Dakar, the starting line for a gruelling rally. The brash, yellow vehicle encourages Thomas to abandon his duties to join him as he burns rubber on all five continents. Without saying goodbye to his fellow engines, Thomas heads excitedly out to sea and learns valuable life lessons as he encounters the roaming wildlife of Tanzania and the good folks of San Francisco.

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LondonNet Film Review
Thomas & Friends: Big World! Big Adventures! The Movie (U)

More than 70 years after Thomas The Tank Engine chugged out of the sidings in The Railway Series penned by Reverend Wilbert Awbry, the plucky blue locomotive embarks on his first round-the-world expedition in a gently paced computer-animated adventure. Directed with a light touch by David Stoten, Thomas & Friends: Big World! Big Adventures! The Movie is an extended chug down the tracks of the popular TV series set on the mythical island of Sodor...

Thomas & Friends: Big World! Big Adventures! The Movie. Copyright: 2HIT Entertainment/Mattel. Caption: Thomas (voices by John Hasler) in Thomas & Friends: Big World! Big Adventures! The Movie. All Rights Reserved.The cast of cute, anthropomorphised vehicles will be instantly familiar to pint-sized fans (and their parents) of Thomas's small screen escapades and Stoten's film retains the TV voice cast with the starry addition of Peter Andre as a self-absorbed Australian racing car called Ace, whose careless actions threaten the safety of others. Andrew Brenner's linear script is easily digested by the target audience of preschoolers and promotes a timely message of diversity with the introduction of the series' first African tank engine, who was developed in conjunction with experts from the Royal African Society. Voiced by Kenyan-born actress Yvonne Grundy, the character of Nia is a soothing voice of reason for Thomas every time the blue locomotive believes he can accomplish great feats on his own. "We are bigger and stronger, Thomas, when we stay together," counsels Nia warmly. Her sage words strike home when the film reaches its dramatic crescendo in the snow-laden mountains of China and Thomas attempts a daring rescue following an avalanche with the assistance of old friend Yong Bao.

The odyssey begins on Sodor where fun-loving Thomas meets Ace (Andre), who is heading to the Senegalese capital Dakar, the starting line for a gruelling rally. The brash, yellow racing car encourages Thomas to abandon his duties for Sir Topham Hatt (Keith Wickham) and join him as he burns rubber on all five continents. "You will be the first railway engine to go all the way round the world. That's probably never been done!" gushes Ace. Without saying goodbye to fellow engines Emily (Teresa Gallagher), Gordon (Wickham again), James (Rob Rackstraw) and Percy (Nigel Pilkington), Thomas heads excitedly out to sea and learns valuable life lessons as he encounters the roaming wildlife of Tanzania and the good folks of San Francisco. En route, a posse of lasso-wielding cowboys and girls helps a derailed Thomas to get back on track and Nia joyfully reminds the blue engine that two sets of wheels are always better than one.

Thomas & Friends: Big World! Big Adventures! The Movie achieves its modest ambitions with colourful animation and occasional toots of humour. Pacing rarely shifts out of first gear. All aboard for 85 minutes of undemanding entertainment, which couples education with simplistic, hummable songs about friendship and teamwork.

- Kim Hu

Thomas & Friends: Big World! Big Adventures! The Movie. Copyright: 2HIT Entertainment/Mattel. Caption: Thomas (voices by John Hasler) in Thomas & Friends: Big World! Big Adventures! The Movie. All Rights Reserved.


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