A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Simple train-related information: names and functions of trains, description of train sheds, some interactive comprehension questions.
Five stories with straightforward messages. Values expressed: teamwork, dedication to task, being useful, importance of positive attitude, taking responsibility, and admitting mistakes. And: "Sometimes everyone has to do a job they don't like." "Nothing goes to waste."
Positive Role Models
Some characters exemplify positive traits: empathy, courage, determination, resourcefulness, generosity, cheery demeanor, satisfaction with jobs. Other characters learn lessons that make them better members of the engine team: taking responsibility for errors in judgment, not jumping to conclusions without all the facts, and finding the positive even when faced with difficult situations. No stories involve female characters in this collection.
Violence & Scariness
A few trains bump into one another with no damage or injury.
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Products & Purchases
Part of the extensive Thomas & Friends marketing phenomenon.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Thomas & Friends: The Christmas Engines is a DVD collection that includes five episodes aired on television in 2014. These stories have been chosen for their holiday/wintertime settings, and have very little suspense or cartoon action. Other than a few trains bumping into each other with no injuries or major damage, there's nothing to scare even the youngest audiences. The tales all have simply-presented, positive messages about teamwork, doing a good job on assigned tasks, friendship, and the values of being useful, cheerful, and generous. Separating the animated installments are four very short sequences, two of which deliver understandable information about trains; one with an adult reading a Thomas story from a book, and, finally, one interactive session that helps with comprehension of the presented material. Best for little kids. 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 Island of Sodor is covered by snow; it's holiday time; and this gentle collection brings sweet happy endings, plainspoken messages, and tot-friendly fun with popular, hard-working trains. Young fans of the little steam engine and his companions don't expect clever; they don't expect complexity; they don't expect real scares. So, Thomas & Friends: The Christmas Engines delivers stories with simple plots, distinctive train-characters, and likeable humans who interact with them. A nice, wholesome addition to holiday viewing for the very youngest viewers.
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.