A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Lots of trains for train lovers. Shows the difference between diesel and other trains.
With the power of belief, in yourself and those around you, it's possible to accomplish many great things. Themes also include courage and responsibility.
Positive Role Models
Grandpa Burnett learns to overcome his sadness to help save the day. Mr. Conductor is unafraid of the mean diesel trains and is always working to come up with solutions. The good trains like to be useful and work hard.
Violence & Scariness
A conductor is thrown from a bad diesel train up in the air and many feet away, but he lands safely on sandbags. A good train is nearly pushed into a furnace by a bad train, with an assistant conductor riding on top. The bad trains are mean and could be scary for very young/sensitive kids.
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Products & Purchases
Inherent tie-in to the TV show Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends and the many Thomas products, games, apps, toys, etc.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Thomas and the Magic Railroad is a wholesome train movie for the entire family, with messages about the power of believing in yourself and those around you. However, younger and more sensitive viewers might be scared of the mean diesel trains, and there's one scene in which one of the good trains is nearly pushed into a fiery furnace. But like the other films in the Thomas series, it's clearly intended for younger viewers, especially those who like trains. For parents, this is probably the only time anyone will get to see Peter Fonda and Alec Baldwin working together. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
The beloved PBS series about the little blue train and his friends moves to the big screen with a story that will please its many fans, though they might find it a little hard to follow. Even adults may scratch their heads at the plot. Series regulars Didi Conn and Russell Means appear briefly, but the filmmakers brought in some real Hollywood talent for the main characters to add star quality. Baldwin, Fonda, and Wilson all give great, sincere performances that help make the story seem real. And the producers wisely stay away from high-tech special effects, so that the trains look just as they do on television.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.