Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Thomas The Tank Engine and Friends - It's Great to Be an Engine|
Genres: Kids & Family, Television, Animation
Magic carpets, rip-roaring races, snow, sleet, wind and trainloads of ice cream! Every season on the Island of Sodor brings new opportunities for adventure and discovery. And that means there is never a dull moment for Tho... more »
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Nice Effects, Lame Stories
J. Fetter | PA USA | 12/07/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"As a parent who has to watch what his kid is watching, I grew fond of the original stories narrated by Ringo Starr and George Carlin. Their readings and characterizations, the technical content of the stories, and the distinct characters of the engines make TV-time bearable. These new stories lack the charm of the old, the narrator is bland, and the blatant moralising is annoying. It's Barney on Rails. I can just hear the marketing executives wondering how they can make the Thomas franchise more palatable for as wide an audience as possible. Some of the engines also act differently from their established personae--Thomas has never shown much of an interest in transporting children (unlike Trevor the Traction Engine), but in the first story he suffers great anxiety because the other engines get to take children to the beach, but he is stuck transporting ice cream components. Gone also is the old Thomas theme, replaced with a new bubble-gummy piece of music.
That said, my two-year-old likes this DVD. He's not as critical as his parents, I guess. The trains have been rendered more three dimensional using computer effects, which is much easier on the eye then the old tapes. It takes a good two minutes to finally get to the story menu and select a story."
Better than "Steamies Vs Diesels."
J. Fetter | 01/03/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"After "Steamies Vs Diesels" I was a bit apprehensive about approaching this DVD, but I really enjoyed it. On "Steamies Vs Diesels," the new camera work made everything look plain weird, but on this DVD it gives the series a more realistic look. The new composer's music has improved, and the score for the DVD is lovely.
As for the episodes themselves, "You Can Do It Toby" and "Edward the Great" are probably the best of the lot. "Too Hot for Thomas," "Percy and the Magic Carpet" and "Gordon Takes Charge" are pretty good too. "Emily's Adventure" and "James Goes Too Far," however, are let down by the obvious "ask politely" and "help your friends" morals rampaging through them.
As far as the narration goes, Michael Brandon does an excellent job as usual. One complaint though is that Mr Brandon is rather inconsistent with his voices. Some of his characters sound different with every line they speak, and others sound different from episode to episode. I suppose the other elements of the narration overlook this, but what's the point of giving individual voices if you aren't going to be consistent with them?
Overall, a very good DVD. Still lacking something, but a vast improvement on the previous batch of HIT-produced episodes."
From a clueless, fledgling Thomas fan...
N. Theisen | Nicosia, Cyprus | 05/31/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I got "Percy's Chocolate Crunch" on video for my little boy (now 20 months) and he seems to really like it. The result of that purchase was that we have watched that video countless times. Personally, my favourite line from it is "YOU HAVE CAUSED CONFUSION AND DELAY" in that booming voice after Percy gets tipped over. Anyhow, having grown up myself on Sesame Street, I have to say that this whole series/concept is very different for me and takes some getting used to...I usually don't find the stories particularly "funny" or anything else as so other Thomas fans.
That being said... I then purchased "It's great to be an engine" with a toy on DVD. I have to say that I miss the catchy soundtrack from "Percy's chocolate Crunch" and that funky voice that Alec Baldwin offers us. Brandon's voice on this edition seems rather bland and heartless (not much modulation in tone and volume). The first viewing for my little guy resulted in him walking away in the middle (but this may have been because the DVD is quite long) but, after that, he seemed to warm up to it and calls it his "Toot-Toot".
I'd like to get editions with better narration and maybe more imaginative stories but don't really know what to get and the "technical information" offered on Amazon pages doesn't indicate who is narrating the particular edition.
Of course, I also want to get ones which offer the toys (how do you know which toy is going to come with the DVD/video?...what if you get a duplicate?) because the genuine Thomas toys here in Cyprus cost an average of 25+ dollars (for one train car!).
Another question I have is if the toys that are offered for free with the videos/DVDs are the same size/type/style as those offered in the Thomas train sets (I want to get my little boy started on that).
All in all, I am pleased with my purchases in the Thomas area and will continue to develop our collection."
N. Theisen | 08/14/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Too Hot For Thomas:
Thomas feels sad when he misses out on the opportunity to help deliver ingredients to the ice cream factory but later feels much happier thanks to a nice little surprise job...
Emily finds that being unkind to others is the wrong thing to do when in need of help with a big job.
You Can Do It Toby:
When Gordon becomes stuck on the hill, Toby comes to help and push but will he have enough confidence in himself after Gordon saying earlier on to him that he's not a proper engine?
Edward The Great:
Edward is chosen to compete against Spencer in a race, but is soon left eating Spencer's dust due to his much larger amount of power. Far out in the lead, Spencer grows overconfident and decides to have a little snooze...
James Goes Too Far
When the other engines ask James for help with some hard jobs, he says he's much too busy with his assigned task of exporting loads of coal around the island. However, when James breaks down, his attitude soon changes...
Percy & The Magic Carpet
Percy collects a special carpet to deliver, but suddenly the windy weather starts to blow it around. Percy, though, thinks that it's not the wind...