Thomas and Friends: Lion of Sodor

Movie review by
Tracy Moore, Common Sense Media
Thomas and Friends: Lion of Sodor Movie Poster Image
Cute stories model great behavior for preschoolers.
  • NR
  • 2010
  • 48 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

Viewers are exposed to the workings of different types of trains, their sources of energy and the types of loads they carry, and the general mechanics of a railway.

Positive Messages

Thomas & Friends: The Lion of Sodor offers many positive messages about listening, following instructions, working hard, and fixing your mistakes.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Thomas and his friends are well-meaning and try to help each other.

Violence & Scariness

Very minor peril in a scene where Thomas races along the track too quickly over a section under repair and wrecks in the countryside. 

Language
Consumerism

Nothing in particular is promoted for purchase in the film, but Thomas the Tank Engine is a popular and beloved character with books, toys, and other movies and TV shows widely available for consumption.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Thomas & Friends: The Lion of Sodor is a collection of four episodes from the Thomas series. "The Lion of Sodor," "Thomas and the Pigs," "Time for a Story," and "Hiro Helps Out" impart valuable lessons about listening, following instructions, waiting, and asking questions. There's some very brief, minor peril when a train speeds off-track, but no one is hurt. 

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What's the story?

In this collection of four episodes from the Thomas series, Thomas and friends are faced with a variety of special deliveries. In "The Lion of Sodor," Thomas must haul a special crate to the mayor -- only it isn't quite the item he thinks it is. In "Thomas and the Pigs," he's sent to pick up soft straw for some soon-to-be-born piglets, only to learn it's not as easy as it seems. In "Time for a Story," Thomas' excitement to deliver school books to children creates some problems en route. In "Hiro Helps Out," Hiro receives his assignment without all the information and has to learn how to fill in the pieces.

Is it any good?

THOMAS & FRIENDS: THE LION OF SODOR is chock-full of good messages that are valuable to preschoolers. The stories are simple, the animation is fun and expressive, and the trains are fascinating yet relatable. The episodes offer a setup familiar to Thomas fans: Thomas or his friends are set with a task that seems simple enough, only to discover that the little details are sometimes far more important than they realized. But, through making mistakes, the friends learn better approaches to carrying out tasks that model good behavior, honesty, integrity, admitting mistakes, and doing what it takes to fix mistakes. 

Kids who love trains and Thomas will find a familiar, informative set of episodes here, and parents can rest assured that this is problem-free, values-packed viewing.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about listening. Have you ever gotten into trouble for not listening? What happened? Why is it so important to listen?

  • What does it mean to follow instructions? How does it help?

  • Have you had trouble waiting to do something that was fun because you were too excited? What helped you calm down and be more patient?

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