Thomas And The Magic Railroad

on July 26, 2000 by Dwayne E. Leslie
   Thomas the Tank Engine has been taking families on journeys of the imagination for many years. Originally spawned in the 1940s by Reverend Wilber Awdry, Thomas the Tank Engine was given new life in 1983 when Britt Allcroft created the TV series "Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends," with Ringo Starr doing the narration.

   In this all-new adventure, Thomas (voiced by Edward Glen) proves that even little steam engines can do big things. When a renegade diesel engine threatens to wreck the harmony of the magical Island of Sodor, Thomas and his steam engine friends must band together to help Mr. Conductor (Alec Baldwin) find a magical lost steam engine before the diesels do, because if the magical engine is destroyed, the steam engines will cease to exist and the diesel engines can take charge. Unfortunately for the steam engines, Mr. Conductor loses his magic powder. Now, Sodor's only hope lies with Thomas and a 12-year old girl named Lilly (Mara Wilson), who embark on a quest to find the lost engine and a new source of gold dust for Mr. Conductor.

   The story is light-hearted and very tame. Its primary audience is patrons whose ages are in the very low single digits and are easily amused by simplistic comedy, weak special effects and songs that are only catchy while watching the film. The main problem with this film is that it is too complicated for its toddler viewers, whereas the storybooks are appropriately simplistic. Kids are old enough to understand the multi-tiered storyline are too old to believe in the magic. Starring Alec Baldwin, Mara Wilson, Peter Fonda and Michael E. Rodgers. Directed and written by Britt Allcroft. Produced by Britt Allcroft and Phil Fehrle. A Destination release. Family. Rated G. Running time: 86 min

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