Search - Thomas & Friends: Hero of the Rails on DVD

Thomas & Friends: Hero of the Rails
Thomas Friends Hero of the Rails
Genres: Kids & Family, Television, Animation
UR     2009     1hr 0min

Thomas & Friends: Hero of the Rails

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Movie Details

Genres: Kids & Family, Television, Animation
Sub-Genres: Animation, 3-6 Years, Television, Animation
Studio: Lionsgate
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Animated,Closed-captioned,Dubbed
DVD Release Date: 09/08/2009
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 1hr 0min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 3
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English, French, Spanish

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Movie Reviews

Thomas Steams Strong in CGI
R. Wolf | USA | 09/27/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The fourth Thomas movie down the line (after "Thomas and the Magic Railroad", "Calling All Engines", and "The Great Discovery"), "Hero of the Rails" makes the biggest change in Thomas's history so far; the entire film is done in CGI animation produced by Nitrogen Studios in Canada. All of the characters are now individually voiced, although Micheal Brandon returns to narrate through the film.

In the story, Spencer, a big silver engine from the mainland, is visiting Sodor to help build a private summer house. Thomas, after being teased about his size, foolishly tries to compete with Spencer, but ends up crashing onto an abandoned old line. There he finds Hiro, an old abandoned engine who once worked on Sodor long ago. Wanting to prevent him from being scrapped, Thomas promises to help return him to his former glory, along with the help of Victor and Kevin (a steam engine and a crane, respectively), who work at Sodor's famous "Steamworks". Along the way, he has to avoid the suspicious eyes of Spencer, and keep Hiro's secret from Sir Topham Hatt.
Not spoiling the end of the story, it's vaguely similar to "Magic Railroad", but it was fantastically executed overall. Hiro's character is very believable and likable, and Victor and Kevin make a wonderful pair on-screen. The story's moral is laid in through the narration, but isn't thrown right into the viewer's face, unlike most children's films, which is a refreshing change.

The film's main focus, however, is the new animation. While the original model series was wonderful, the new CGI is a breath of fresh air. The moving faces give a whole new life to the characters, and each locomotive looks as realistic as they can be. The backgrounds, scenery, and buildings are far more detailed than something I would have expected from a film for children. There are plenty of new camera angles, too, that could never have been achieved with the models, such as shots from under the engine, or swooping shots of two engines racing side by side, or panoramic shots of morning skies across massive mountains.

The voice acting is fantastic as well. Thomas's new voice fits his personality to the tee. Hiro has a gentle Japanese accent, which suits him very well. Michael Brandon does an even better job at narrating than ever, and he really helps to bring the story to life. I would advice the scriptwriters to work more on the actual lines though; the format used in the film gets repetitive over time (for example, "Thomas's wheels whirred and wobbled" "Thomas's boiler was bubbling" or "his pistons were pounding) and the "phrases" the engines use come and go ("Fizzling fireboxes!" "Blistering boilers!" "Rattle my rods!" "Cinders and ashes!").

Overall, however, I feel that "Hero of the Rails" is one of Thomas's best films yet, and I can't wait to see Thomas in his new animated format in the near future. HiT Entertainment and Nitrogen Studios put a lot of work and effort into this new film, and it shows. Old and new fans alike are sure to enjoy Thomas in his newest adventure."
Best Thomas Movie Yet
M. Johnson | nancy,ky | 10/15/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"My 4 year old went bananas when he saw that I bought this for him. He was so happy. I watched it with him the first time and I was impressed with it. The Thomas movies have always been good for kids and now that they are animated it is even better. Not quite as creepy I think! So if you have a Thomas fan in your house this is a must see & buy."
A Thomas Movie that Won't Make Adults Go Insane
M. L. Barile | 11/27/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"My daughter loves Thomas the Tank Engine but sometimes the videos make me want to eat nails. That stupid song gets caught in my head and the stories just seem so short and underdeveloped. This movie is very different. The music is more modern (read: no annoying children's choir)and the character voices are much more natural. The longer story was developed well and did not seem to end abruptly. I actually enjoyed watching this Thomas video with my daughter."
Wonderful Movie for 2 Year-Old Daughter
Shop Girl | Roseville, CA | 11/10/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"My 2 year-old daughter has recently expressed excitement over buses, trucks, airplanes, helicopters, and I thought she might get a kick out of a Thomas video. Once I popped it in, she was hooked. It's actually a very cute movie, and carries a nice message about friendship. The new CGI format is wonderful, and I prefer it to the traditional style (this may be my preference because we started with this format in the first place). I'm waiting for the next Thomas full-length movie, as I prefer it to the videos with short stories."