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|Your premier source for Thomas & Friends™ trains, toys and other goods! Totally Thomas' Toy Depot is a full-service toy store featuring a large assortment of specialty and developmental toys and products, but especially those based on Thomas the Tank Engine and his railway friends. Established in 1992, we are famous for our huge selection of Thomas the Tank Engine trains and toys of all types, Thomas Wooden Railway, TrainMaster, Take-Along Thomas, TOMY, Take-Along Thomas and other trains and accessories (including BRIO®), but that is only the Locomotion section of our store in San Diego, California. We also carry clothes, party supplies, books, videos, games, puzzles, bedding and decor, based around Sodor's favorite trains. And we carry many others toys, art and craft supplies, dolls, games and entertainments besides!|
Movie Review: Thomas & Friends™ - The Great Discovery
This morning I attended the preview at our local theater of the new Thomas & Friends feature movie The Great Discovery. This is the second release designed for theater release, following the 2000 release of Thomas & the Magic Railroad. Starring the world's most famous not-quite-real railway locomotive, Thomas the Tank Engine, the films are expanded versions of the animated train shorts developed for TV and videos. Pierce Brosnan is the new storyteller and voice of the animated characters in the film, following in the footsteps of former favorites Ringo Starr, George Carlin, and others. Brosnan may be the best narrator yet, bringing a nice variety of voices and accents to the task, with a very relaxed delivery.
A few stylistic aspects of the movie are worth notice. The animation, like the videos, uses model trains and articulated figures on a set in a studio. I've watched many of the videos over the years, though none recently. But this movie was the best looking I've seen, with rich colors and extreme detail, on a wide screen that kept my eyes busy trying to take it all in. The surround soundtrack was also a joy, and the musical interludes even made the now-old Thomas theme song, performed in about three different musical styles, entertaining. Whether or not this will translate to the eventual DVD release remains to be seen, but the theater experience was really good.
The plot of the Great Discovery movie basically threads together what would otherwise be 3 or 4 video segments. First Thomas, the little blue tank engine who embodies all really useful ethics, along with a few temporary character flaws which provide the lessons of many of the stories, is given the task of finding all the lost tracks on the island of Sodor in preparation for the island-wide Sodor Day celebration. This he does, discovering, in the process, a lost town. As a reward, Thomas is put in charge of the other engines to refurbish the town, while his shunting jobs are to be filled by a new engine, Stanley. Stanley is such a success with the other engines that Thomas becomes distracted from his task and feels jealous of the new engine, leading to a series of disasters that cause Thomas to slink away in shame. During all of this activity, many of Thomas' railway friends, both humans and engines, get cameo appearances and small parts.
The next part of the movie is the most fun, as Thomas, trying to make up for his trouble, runs deep into a mine pit of more hazards. While I'm wondering how he manages to stay on track through all the excitment, suddenly he is off it and up to his buffers stuck in the mud. Thomas is missing, stuck, dishonored and out of steam! All the other engines are worried and looking for him instead of attending to their work. Sodor Day is going to be a catastrophe!
Needless to say, all the crises are resolved, and all of Sodor's characters are smiling at the end. Lessons have been learned, jobs completed. The film ends with a long musical segment that bodes well for the future of Thomas & Friends videos, bringing some modern beats to now familiar themes. One last comment: the faces of the machines in the film have been improved immensely from the older videos I've seen. Although still static, they change from shot to shot to emphasize the mood of the character, and are so detailed that the personalities seem much more emotional and human-like. Although spending a morning watching a kiddie film might no be my first choice for a holiday weekend, I actually enjoyed my time there, and recommend the film for those whose little kids are Thomas fans or likely to become so.
- E. Wyatt, 7/5/08
Now available on DVD VideoThe Great Discovery DVD Video (NTSC, Region 1 - USA, Canada)
$19.99 Add to Cart
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Last Update: 6/25/2008
The specialty and developmental toys and products contained in this catalog may be trademarked, servicemarked, copyrighted or patented by individuals, entities or associations who are not owned, affiliated, related, or otherwise a part of Totally Thomas' Toy Depot or Totally Thomas Inc.
Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends™
A Britt Allcroft Company Production
Based on The Railway Series by The Reverend W Awdry
® 2008 Gullane (Thomas) Limited. A Hit Entertainment Company
Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends and Thomas & Friends are trademarks of Gullane Entertainment Inc.
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