Thomas And The Magic Railroad

Aimed at very young children, this gentle adventure about an extremely nice little train is a welcome alternative to such hyperkinetic drivel as Pokémon, but is a bit dull for adults. Thomas the Tank Engine and his old-fashioned steam engine friends live on the magical island of Sodor, where trains talk and have smiley faces. They're happiest when working,...read more

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Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
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Aimed at very young children, this gentle adventure about an extremely nice little train is a welcome alternative to such hyperkinetic drivel as Pokémon, but is a bit dull for adults. Thomas the Tank Engine and his old-fashioned steam

engine friends live on the magical island of Sodor, where trains talk and have smiley faces. They're happiest when working, because being "really useful" is their goal. Their human friend, the 18-inch tall Mr. Conductor (Alec Baldwin), can travel between Sodor and the real world of Shining Time

Station, a picturesque English town, by sprinkling himself with magical gold dust. Shining Time's residents include Burnett Stone (Peter Fonda), an unsmiling man haunted by his failure to protect Lady, the train that once ran on a magic railroad connecting Sodor and Shining Time. Burnett was

inattentive and Lady was chased until her engine burned out by the bullying Diesel 10, a nasty piece of machinery who wants to rid the world of antiquated steam engines. Mr. Conductor is running out of gold dust and has no idea where to get more; without gold dust or the magic railroad, the

connection between Sodor and Shining Time may be severed. Fortunately, Burnett's clever granddaughter Lily (Mara Wilson) comes to visit her grandpa for the summer, and with Thomas's help, she discovers how to get Lady running and find more gold dust. With their bold, simple faces and chirpy

voices, the steam engines have immense appeal for small viewers. Adults can find some amusement value in the casting of countercultural figures Fonda and noted Native American activist Russell Means, although the baggage they bring with them has no bearing on their roles. This film's ideal medium

is video, where children can watch it over and over to their heart's content while adults do something else.

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  • Released: 2000
  • Rating: G
  • Review: Aimed at very young children, this gentle adventure about an extremely nice little train is a welcome alternative to such hyperkinetic drivel as Pokémon, but is a bit dull for adults. Thomas the Tank Engine and his old-fashioned steam engine friends live… (more)

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