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Details about Thomas and the Magic Railroad
Thomas and the Magic Railroad (2000)
iMDB Rating: 3.4
Date Released : 26 July 2000
Genre : Adventure, Fantasy
Stars : Alec Baldwin, Cody McMains, Russell Means, Peter Fonda. Mr. Conductor’s supply of magic gold dust, which allows him to travel between Shining Time and Thomas’s island, is critically low. Unfortunately, he doesn’t know how to get more. Meanwhile, Thomas is fending off attacks by the nasty diesel engines. Getting more gold dust will require help from Mr. C’s slacker cousin, his new friend Lilly, and her morose grandfather, plus the secret engine he’s …” />
Mr. Conductor’s supply of magic gold dust, which allows him to travel between Shining Time and Thomas’s island, is critically low. Unfortunately, he doesn’t know how to get more. Meanwhile, Thomas is fending off attacks by the nasty diesel engines. Getting more gold dust will require help from Mr. C’s slacker cousin, his new friend Lilly, and her morose grandfather, plus the secret engine he’s hidden all these years and couldn’t get running.
The best Thomas film to date
Thomas the Tank Engine is a precious memory that many young adults and older parents hold dear to their youthful days. Either if it was narrated by Beatles’ drummer, Ringo Starr in the U.K. version, or by comedian, George Carlin in the American version, the show was, and still continues to be a wide success among aging toddlers. So it is of no surprise that at the beginning of the 21rst century that the cheeky steam engine was given a theatrically released film. Sadly, Not many people have found it appealing; however, I am one of those few people who actually did.
Shocking to me, I don’t understand why so many people hate this movie. Yes there are a couple of areas that were not perfect before the filming began, but don’t all great projects have their setbacks. And really, there are only a couple issues. But I’m going to forgive it because this film should not be trashed for such small errors. The movie is also partially narrated Mr. Conductor, Alec Baldwin, the third most recognized conductor to tell of Thomas’ adventures from the TV show.
The problem is that Mr. Conductor starts losing the magic in his gold dust and he must find it quickly. The gold dust is what keeps him from traveling between his world and the Island of Sodor (Thomas’ world). And the only people who can help him uncover this secret is a girl and her grandfather. The little girl, Lily is played by the no more in showbizz actress Mara Wilson. Her grandfather, Burnett is played by veteran actor Peter Fonda. And let’s not forget that Mr. Conductor has a relative, Jr. (Michael E. Rogers), who joins the crew as well. Even Didi Conn from the original Shining Time Station (1989) TV show, which aired the Thomas and Friends adventures, reprised her role for this movie.
There are other actors like Russell Means who doesn’t have a big role but do add to the nostalgia of the film. What ticks people off about this film is the acting and characterization. And that’s just the human part of the film. I didn’t find it out of place at all. Baldwin is considered to be at his worst but I found him fairly entertaining. Fonda is bashed for being to down in the dumps, but I found his performance quite emotional because some people become depressed when losing a family member; it happens. I sympathized with him.
Lily and Jr. were thought to be of no importance to the story at hand either. But to me, I found Lily a character that children could connect to. And Jr. may not have been the most convincing character but he did have a number of funny moments. The other thing viewers and professional critics alike did not enjoy were the trains themselves. Apparently audience wanted to see moving mouths. But why do that? The TV show wasn’t like that. Why would you want to change something that’s classic to bad? Ever hear of “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it”? It’s good that they kept it that way, otherwise it probably would have done worse. Of course, NOW the new series of Thomas and Friends have moving mouths so I hope all of you mopes are happy.
The reason why the mouths did not move was that Britt Allcroft, who also happened to be the director of the popular TV show, also directed this movie. I mean, what more could a fan ask for? I give credit to Allcroft, I believe she put in the most effort into making this film as good as it was. She even provided a voice to one of the trains. Speaking of which, this is the last thing people were not happy with; one of the Thomas’ friends does not show in this film because his physical train model was not available and the trains all have different voices instead being narrated by Mr. Conductor. Guess what? Not everything’s perfect.
Actually, the voice actors do a swell job being the trains. Edward Glen as Thomas was a good match. His voice didn’t sound too old or too young. Neil Crone as Diesel 10 was a good match too. In fact, Crone’s voice made Diesel a very comical villain. Kudos to them! And the film score by composer Hummie Mann was done brilliantly. Mann is able to combine all the right tones with each scene and it even includes The Shining Time theme song in his tracks as a reoccurring theme. It helps the movie a lot.
As the only theatrically released film of Thomas the Tank Engine, it should be respected for its good performances and storyline. The characters a very likable and the music excels it to the max.
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