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British Movie Toons
 

      Calling all Engines!


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   Thomas and Friends:
   Calling all Engines!
  
  (2005)
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producers: HIT Entertainment
   animation:
radio-controlled models + effects
      run time: 60mins

 

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    Would you believe that Thomas the Tank Engine is 60 years old?
    Well he is, and as part of his anniversary celebrations, HIT Entertainment
    commissioned this feature-length DVD presentation, with Thomas and his
    pals animated in the same fashion as the ever-popular tv series. Which
    means lots of lovely model trains, rolling eyes, and great chuffs of steam...

    In "Calling all Engines!", the Sodor engines are helping Sir Topham Hatt to
    build a new suspension bridge and a spanking new airport. But there's trouble
    on the tracks, in the form of the diesel engines, who are always out to spoil
    the "Steamies" fun. Thomas tries a little trick on his enemies. He swops
    their construction materials for a container of bananas, but his plans
    backfire, and the very future of the island is put in jeopardy. Then a storm
    breaks over Sodor and Thomas has a dream about Lady,  the special golden
    engine from Muffle Mountain (seen in the live-action feature "Thomas and
    the Magic Railroad"). Lady tells Thomas that the "Steamies" and the
    "Diesels" will get along just fine, in time. But will her vision come true,
    and will the airport be finished on shedule?

    There may have been a five year gap between the original series and this
    new animated production, but it's just about "business as usual" for Thomas
    and his Sodor friends. In the UK, Michael Angelis is back oboard. Folks in
    America get Michael Brandon. It's nice to see Lady on the tracks again, and
    Diesel 10 is also welcomed back, alongside old favourites Emily, James
    and Toby and a host of familar engines loitering around in various cameos
    and appearances. So where does the "almost" part come in? Well, this
    feature-length tale includes songs and games for preschool viewers, with
    the action pausing intemittently
whilst puzzles are posed and solved.
    This kind of "Teacher Feature" element is slipping in to more and more
    preschool series and specials nowadays (Engie Benjie springs to mind).
    Is it a welcome addition, or an unwelcome distraction? - Only time will tell.

    Meanwhile, Trainspotters will note that this is the first time we get to see
    the newly-built Sodor Airport and the Airport Manager, the Sodor Suspension
    Bridge, and the new Tidmouth Sheds for the trains.

    
» Song titles include: "Busy", "Try to do things Better", "Together we
        Made it Happen", "The Dream Song", and the "New Engine Roll Call".

    
» The series and this feature film are, of course, based on the books
        by Reverend Wilbert Vere Awdry. The first title was published way
        back in 1945.

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     See also

    
Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends (series)

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     Calling all Engines on DVD


     UK DVD
Thomas and Friends: Calling All Engines
                Region 2 / VCI / October 2005

     USA DVD
Thomas and Friends: Calling All Engines!
                Region 1 / Lyons Group / Lyrick / Sept 2005


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     for HIT Entertainment Plc

     director:
     Steve Asquith
     producer:
   Simon Spencer
     narration:
   Michael Angelis (UK)
                      Michael Brandon (US)

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      On the web

 
       Thomas the Tank Engine
       HIT Entertainment's official Thomas site, now getting up to speed...

       Awdry Family Home Page

       With the continuing runaway success of the Thomas series and its
       associated licensing it's all too easy to forget about the actual origins of
       these little Sodor Railway engines. That's why you should pop by the
       Awdry Family Home Page. Rev. Awdry's son Christopher now writes the
       Railway Series, and these pages keep you up to date on his whereabouts
       and happenings.....


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2005 Gullane (Thomas) Limited. A HIT Co. / F2006