Thomas & Friends: Big World! Big Adventures! The Movie

*1/2

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Thomas And Friends: Big World! Big Adventures! The Movie
"This isn't the Thomas we loved when there was nothing else to watch"

With a title like this what do you say to your five-year-old?

"Lets go and see Big World! Big Adventures! The Movie."

Copy picture

"Why?"

"It's Thomas the Tank Engine."

"I've seen that."

"Not the new one. You haven't seen Big World."

"What's big about it?"

"It's a road movie. I mean, a train movie."

"Is Thomas a tank?"

"He has adventures in the big world."

"How?"

Kids these days, they know. This isn't the Thomas we loved when there was nothing else to watch and then thought naff because he didn't run on diesel. He's had an animation makeover and he's not the tank engine in your Nostalgia Drawer, he's something else, shiny and stupid.

The new Thomas completely misses the point, like Postman Pat working for FedEx, or Thunderbirds in CGI. He doesn't need to go global. His popularity is based on staying local. He's not a hero, not all the time. He's smaller than the others in the yard but has a big heart, just as big as Big World, in fact bigger.

Thomas meets an Aussie racing car, called Ace, who tells him that he hasn't lived unless he takes risks, like travelling the world and having fun. Thomas points out he needs rails, durrr!

No problem, mate!

They go to Africa where they meet Nia, a black train of exceptional beauty and charm. All she wants is to help and be Thomas' friend. He keeps telling her he doesn't need help, hers or anyone's. He's so grumpy and inconsiderate and negative about the trip you wonder why she hangs around. Of course, this isn't the Ringo Starr Thomas. This is a paranoid, insecure imposter.

Ace and Thomas and Nia go to five continents. You stop questioning the business of rails and what happens when they have a crash in the middle of nowhere and who's paying for their tickets and how can The Fat Controller take time off to spend months chasing them. You have a more immediate problem.

"I want to go home?"

"Don't you like Thomas?"

"I don't like the car."

"It's not about the car?"

"What's it about?"

Pause.

You leave.

Reviewed on: 13 Jul 2018
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A shiny new tank engine goes on a journey through five continents with an Australian racing car and a friendly African train

Director: David Stoten

Writer: Andrew Brenner

Starring: voices of John Hasler, Peter Andre, Yvonne Grundy, Teresa Gallagher, Rufus Jones, Nigel Pilkington, Rob Rackstraw, Kerry Shale, Keith Wickham, Matt Wilkinson

Year: 2018

Runtime: 85 minutes

BBFC: U - Universal

Country: UK

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