Friday, September 11, 2009

Thomas and Friends: Hero of the Rails

Having three boys, my family has done our share of Thomas the Tank Engine. We've collected the wooden trains, created elaborate tracks, gone to Day Out With Thomas, and have tried to watch the DVDs and TV show.

I say tried, because my kids have always been slightly deathly afraid of the traditional Thomas DVDs, voiced by George Carlin or Ringo Starr. They always claim to want to watch them, but then run away and watch them by peeking around corners.

Anyway, all of this to say that HIT Entertainment recently sent me a copy of Thomas and Friends: Hero of the Rails, which is a brand new CG-animated 60-minute special that is airing on PBS Kids all through September. News that we would be watching a Thomas video was not met with glee by my four-year-old, who ran away screaming. (Let's be honest here. I think the old-style Thomas shows are cool, but they are a little creepy and dark.)

I put on the TV show and my little guy started edging his way back forward...

...until eventually he was happily sitting in the same room as the TV, laughing and smiling at the TV.

I think he liked Hero of the Rails because it is a little more natural than the original show. Because it is animated, the facial expressions are more fluid and easy. Also, the characters all have their own voices, which was fun. The story is cute too. Thomas helps save an abandoned, broken-down train from being scrapped. However, as might be expected on the Isle of Sodor, mishaps abound. You can watch a trailer for it on YouTube.

It really is worth a look if you have a child that loves Thomas the Tank Engine. If your child watches and likes the original Thomas shows, s/he will LOVE this.

Find out when PBS Kids is showing Hero of the Rails on the PBS website. (They also have a new CG-animated Angelina Ballerina and a new Barney special airing this month.)

Honesty Clause: I received a review copy of Hero of the Rails at no cost. You can watch it for free on PBS Kids or buy it at a list price of $19.98 (although it is currently on sale at Amazon for $13.99).


Heather said...

I think I know what my boy-o is getting for his birthday next month! ;-) They don't mind the old videos, but I'm a little creeped out by the faces!

Andrea AA said...

I thought my kids were the only ones who hid from the Thomas shows! Thanks for making my kids seem more normal :) We'll be checking out the new show on PBS, though they have recently been hijacked by Dinosaur Train (Dinosaurs! Trains! Could there be anything better for my kids?).
Thanks for the laughs and honesty, you are always a joy to read!

Anonymous said...

This reminds me that Ringo Starr narrated 'The Point', which I loved as a child. I would really recommend getting the dvd, maybe when your children are a little older.
Though, I suppose the 1970's imagery and music may not translate...
: )

Friend of Thomas Toy Train said...

TV shows are fine, but the real value is in the Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway toys -- they are guaranteed to last a lifetime, which you cannot say about the messages kids get from TV. The original Railway Series of books written by the Reverend W. Awdry are timeless. said...

I miss this tv show already, I used to watch this tv show and I have my own train set on this too, I just keep it in my closet, so sad time is just like an interlude

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