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Thomas and the Magic Railroad

310 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

All aboard for fun-fueled adventure in Thomas the Tank Engine's first film ever, starring Peter Fonda, Mara Wilson and Alec Baldwin. For as long as anyone can remember, the Island of Sodar has been the realm of enchantment, innocence, and talking trains. The steam engines suddenly find themselves heading for a heap of trouble at the claw of the evil Diesel #10. This one's a totally terrible trainwith devious plans to dominate the other engines by finding and crushing their dwindling supply of magical gold dust. Lily (Mara Wilson) has a hunch that her grandfather (Peter Fonda) holds the key to rescuing the little trains in his workshop on Muffle Mountain. She meets up with Mr. Conductor (Alec Baldwin) and, along with a caboose of colorful characters, they return the sparkle to their island!

Special Features

  • Deleted Footage

Product Details

  • Actors: Alec Baldwin, Cody McMains, Russell Means, Peter Fonda, Jared Wall
  • Directors: Britt Allcroft
  • Writers: Britt Allcroft, Rev. W. Awdry
  • Producers: Britt Allcroft, Barry London, Brent Baum, Charles Falzon, John Bertolli
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, Live, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Unknown)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    PLEASE NOTE:
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: October 31, 2000
  • Run Time: 85 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (310 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004XPPF
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,734 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Thomas and the Magic Railroad" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

65 of 78 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on April 5, 2005
Format: DVD
This movie was by far the worst Thomas production ever made. I was horrified when I discovered that Britt Allcroft wrote it; now we know why she always had a co-writer when she was writing episodes for the TV series, and why she was kicked out of Gullane Entertainment afterwards.

The script is so poorly written that I feel sorry for the trees used to make the paper that it was written on. The Island of Sodor, in the TV series an island off the coast of England that was more or less normal, has been turned into a magical ghost town populated by talking trains and literate animals. Why Britt Allcroft chose to make such a rapid departure from the TV series I will never know. She also filled the script with complicated plot devices that few children will be able to understand (you'd need to be Einstein or Stephen Hawking to figure out the answer to the riddle on the windmill wall), and threw her healthy knowledge of the Thomas characters out of the window (Thomas is portrayed as a goody-goody, Bertie as being annoyingly hyperactive, Henry as being a whiny pain in the neck, and James as being so short of brain cells that he doesn't know what the word "shoo" means).

Usually, bad scripts bring in bad acting, and this movie was no exception. Alec Baldwin's character was so annoying (I'm sure I'm not the only person who wishes Diesel 10 had dropped him off the viaduct), and took the limelight that should have been given to Thomas and the other engines. Peter Fonda's character was the most miserable, depressing character in the history of children's movies. Mara Wilson's character was better, but still seemed like a teenage girl younger than her years. And what was the point of having big name actors anyway? It's not as if little children are going to recognise them.
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful By C. Asher on February 2, 2005
Format: DVD
For some reason I can't fathom my daughters love this movie, but sitting through it is painful. The little boy in the movie should consider another career, and Peter Fonda is more wooden than the trains (although if you're in the right mood his performance is almost funny, but mostly it's just painful). Alex Baldwin tried, but the script and the direction kept this movie from being anything more than dismal. The Thomas series is much more entertaining and well-written. Do yourself a favor and don't spend money on this dog.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on November 11, 2004
Format: VHS Tape
When I first heard that there was going to be a Thomas movie released, I was excited. It was about time Thomas made the jump to the silver screen, and I thought it would be brilliant. But when I actually saw it, I was shocked at how awful it was. Here are the reasons why...

1. Sodor is portrayed as a magical universe. You can't get to it without gold dust or by travelling on the Magic Railroad. There are only about two or three people living there, and they're all pint-sized (at least that's what Mr Conductor says). And the engines can all drive themselves. In the original series, Sodor was connected to the main line, there were plenty of people living there and they were all normal-sized, and the engines had drivers and fireman to control them.

2. There are a lot of continuity errors with the original series. Aside from the ones I've mentioned above about Sodor being a magical universe, the engines' whistling and puffing sounds are wrong, and Henry is portrayed as being unwell when his stay at Crewe in the earlier episodes supposedly rectified that.

3. There's too much emphasis on the human characters. The movie focuses more on Mr Conductor than it does on Thomas. It's supposed to be about Thomas the Tank Engine, not a silly railway conductor who's losing his sparkle! And I really dislike Burnett Stone; all he does is sit around feeling sorry for himself.

4. Poor acting. Alec Baldwin is easily the worst narrator for the Thomas series, and in this movie he's just as bad. And Peter Fonda is just terrible. Mara Wilson was alright though, but the rest of the acting? No. Just no.

5. Silly dialogue. "Sandle fly! Boo fly! Shoo fly! That's it!" What the hell is that? "Thank throttles you're safe!" Very irritating.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Douglas Lytle on January 29, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
As the saying goes, if it ain't broke...why anyone felt the need to mix and match live action with the Sodor characters is anyone's guess, but the way it was handled here makes me wonder if the film was put together by five different people who mailed in their ideas which were then assembled by a committee. My daughter, who worships the short videos, was soon fiddling with a case of milk instead of watching the story, while I was nearly reduced to making a flow chart to try and figure out what the heck was happening and why. And I'm not really ready to accept Peter Fonda as "grandpa" - especially this Fonda who spent most of the time looking like he had Post-Traumatic-Stress disorder or was having trouble remembering his lines or perhaps where he had put the keys to the car. Alex Baldwin seemed to connect better to the story simply because he's narrated them before. But the rest is an unholy mess. Plus, Mr. Diesel seemed unnecessarily cruel and almost spiteful with a hyena-like laugh. Such typically cruel meanness is a normal facet of badly made American cartoons but it was never a part of the original U.K. series. Ugh all the way around.
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