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Thomas & Friends: The Great Discovery - DVD Review

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Thomas & Friends: The Great Discovery
Photo © HIT Entertainment
MPAA Rating: G
Genre: Childrens educational
Age Range: 2-6 years
Runtime: Approx. 60 minutes

Thomas & Friends: The Great Discovery - Summary

Featuring Pierce Brosnan as narrator, The Great Discovery is the first feature-length Thomas & Friends movie. Thomas the Tank Engine is happily going about his duties on the Island of Sodor, when he gets lost in the mountains and discovers the long forgotten town of Great Waterton. Excited by Thomas' discovery, Sir Topham Hatt, controller of the railway, orders that the town will be fully restored for the great Sodor Day celebration. On Thomas, he bestows the honor of being in charge of the restoration. Pleased with his important new responsibility, Thomas begins the work of bringing the deserted town back to life.

While Thomas is busy up in the mountains, a new engine named Stanley arrives on the Island. Stanley, an engine who is similar to Thomas but a little bigger and shiny new, begins taking over some of Thomas' old duties, and he gets chummy with Thomas' friends. Upon meeting Stanley and seeing all the changes, Thomas feels threatened. He decides to trick Stanley and show everyone that Stanley isn't all that strong, but his plan backfires and creates a dangerous situation.

Thomas feels upset and ashamed, and he devises a new strategy to set things right. Once again, things don't go as planned, and Thomas ends up being the one in danger this time. Thomas is about to lose hope, when who should come to his rescue but his archrival, Stanley. If Thomas can befriend Stanley and overcomes his jealousy, he just might find that working together is much better than trying to be the best.

Thomas & Friends: The Great Discovery - Guide Review

Despite the fact that Thomas & Friends is animated in a live-action format using models that barely move (the trains move and have some face movement, but the people and other characters are generally stationary) -- a far cry from the flashy CG animated kids' shows of today -- the series has been huge for over 20 years. The success is all in the story telling. Thomas & Friends episodes are narrated in storybook fashion in a way that draws kids into the characters and the story. Additionally, the models are brightly colored and the backgrounds are detailed, making the show fun for kids to watch as well.

Generally speaking, when shows for preschoolers try to draw a story out to make a full-length feature, the result becomes a little strained. However, The Great Discovery does not disappoint. The adventure easily fills the 60 minute runtime with fun, exciting, and thoughtful action perfectly geared toward young children. Additionally, the movie is supported by five new songs that will get kids moving as they experience a story of teamwork and friendship.

Thomas & Friends: The Great Discovery - DVD Bonus Features

  • "You're the Leader" Music Video and Karaoke
  • Learn With Thomas featurettes:
    • “Spot the Difference”
    • “Tough Trucks”
    • “Thomas Puzzle Parts”
  • Behind-the-Scenes with Pierce Brosnan
Kids who love Thomas might also enjoy: The Busy Little Engine
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