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Thomas and the Magic Railroad

3.7 out of 5 stars 350 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, Peter Fonda, Mara Wilson, Cody McMains
  • Directors: Britt Allcroft
  • Producers: Britt Allcroft, Phil Fehrle
  • 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: 86 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (350 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004XPPF
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,828 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Thomas and the Magic Railroad" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: DVD
I just saw this movie last Wednesday with a friend since my mom had a meeting and,Pierce,Paige,Christa,Greg,and I loved every minute of it.All the people in the audience(including us)started laughing whenever Diesel 10[Neil Crone] showed up because we just couldn't help laughing when he said something funny like"Nice day for a cruise"when he's stuck on a boat.Everybody in the audience also laughed at Jr. conductor[Michael Rodgers]in the scene when he was on the shell phone and the scene where he did that thing with his hands.Go see this movie with your family.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I purchased this DVD through Amazon.com in preparation for a trip I recently took with my 2 1/2 year old. He loves Thomas and I thought he'd like this video. I had read that purist Thomas fans didn't care for it, but since we don't have any of the regular videos, I figured it would be okay. What I didn't realize is that there are relatively few scenes of the trains in this video, and my son found the extended dialog between the "real" people to be completely uninteresting. He would actually walk away from the TV, he was so bored.
As an adult, I found the plot to be overly complicated with too many sub elements. The boy and girl characters appear to have been shoe-horned in for a little human interest, but are tedious to watch. Alec Baldwin provides a perfomance that is so bad, I couldn't look at the screen. Peter Fonda didn't do so well either.
This video may entertain an older child, but I highly suggest renting it or checkign it out from the library before purchasing it.
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Format: VHS Tape
Our 3yr old boy loves Thomas. We have all the videos and trains, etc. He wants to watch this thing every day. He repeats lines from the movie and acts them out all day. It was great for him. We took him to the movies to see it together. He loved that, too. For him, we would do it all again in a minute.
As parents, we could have done without the "mean-ness" of Diesel #10 and the fact that he wants to "dominate and destroy". He also uses the word "stupid" several times. Not nice.
As adult movie critics, we saw laughably poor acting (with the exception of "Mr. Conductor" and "Junior". (Notice that even some of the 5-star reviewers agree.) Britt Alcroft directed and wrote it, and it is obvious that she should have asked for help from someone who knew what they were doing. If you pay attention, expect to be confused. We expected more because we actually enjoy watching all of the other videos, and they are really well done.
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Format: VHS Tape
It seems that many of the reviews here are out-of-context, because the reviewers may not be familiar with the "Shining Time Station" series. Shining Time Station is the program which introduced Thomas and his friends to many folks. But after STS left PBS for Nickelodian, PBS was left with just Thomas.

In Shining Time Station, the role of Mr Conductor is fairly important. He is constantly interacting with folks like Stacey Jones (who is in this movie for a few scenes), Billy Two-Feathers (also in the movie and drives the 'real' train), and the infamous Schemer (notably absent). He is also the central figure for telling the children who hang around the station about Thomas and the Land of Sodor. Depending on season, Mr C was played by either Ringo Starr or George Carlin. It is supposed to be a somewhat responsible - yet somewhat wacky - role, as is everything about Shining Time Station. Alec Balwin clearly studied this role closely based on his predecessors, and I thought did an outstanding job.

OTOH, words can not describe how dreadful Peter Fondas performance was. He seemed to be completely lost in every scene he was in. He seemed to have no concept of Shining Time Station at all. It dragged down the entire movie.

As has been noted in other reviews, small kids won't be able to figure out the plot. By the time kids start figuring it out (say, age 9) they are starting to get too old for some of the movie.

The musical interludes are wonderful. Check out some of the samples from the Amazon page for the Sound Tracks CD. (And yes, Locomotion did appear in the movie - during the credits.)

To a rail buff, such as myself, there were some wonderful shots of the steam train taking Lily (Mara Wilson) to Shining Time Station.
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