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Parent reviews for Thomas and the Magic Railroad

Common Sense says

Will please its many fans, but plot might confuse kids.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 4+
Based on 12 reviews

Kids say

age 3+
Based on 11 reviews
Parent of a 2 year old Written bymomboys2 March 24, 2010

My son loves this and I do to

I really like this movie. My son loves Thomas and this is our favorite. Diesel can be a little scary and there is one scene where Percy gets scared in the dark. It did not bother my son who usually scares very easily. I love the people in this movie, I actually remember when Shining Town was on PBS and wish they would rerelease those shows.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Adult Written byCozymonster Bigman January 12, 2018

I thought it was my personal guilty pleasure. Just saying.

I do not care what the other people say about this movie. I thought, looking back at this movie, it was amazing, due to the fact that it pays homage to the "Thomas" series that I grew up with, not the cheap cash-grab CGI look of the "Thomas" series. Little kid me was like "I love this movie", and I still love it today. So yeah, you guys can rant about this movie all you want. But for me, I enjoyed it a lot, for nostalgic reasons. 5/5, is my rating.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Parent of a 3 year old Written byhgreenuk January 16, 2010


This movie is awful. It is so absolutely bad, I can't even begin to describe it. Alec Baldwin is completely miscast. Peter Fonda is terrible. It's just complete rubbish.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Adult Written byMartin G. September 8, 2017
Parent of a 9 and 14 year old Written bylioness57 April 9, 2008

Scarier than you might expect

My 4 year old loves to play with the Thomas trains and so I took him to see this movie. It was way too scary. Diesel has a menacing, chomping steam shovel to chase Thomas and his friends with. He's also got a really scary laugh. Too much emphasis on scary bullying and there isn't really a clear lesson or message from the story. Definitely don't make this among the first feature films for your preschooler to see.
Parent of a 1 year old Written byhelenek April 9, 2008
Parent of a 1 and 4 year old Written byCountryMom27 April 9, 2008

A hit with my 3 yr old

It's a cute movie for the family. The only "scary" part is with Diesel chasing down some of the trains with his claw, but my 3 year old handled it surprisingly well. He said that Diesel is a mean train, and that in the end he winds up in a ditch. It has some cute moral lessons about responsibility, families sticking together, and Peter Fonda is wonderful as the gruff, reluctant grandfather. The little girl is adorable, and all of the human characters are cute. My son had no trouble following the plot - and I welcomed a slightly complex plot from a kids' movie. Fine for 3 +.
Adult Written byPixarYesDoraNo L. January 2, 2018


This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Parent Written byJaimes H. June 14, 2017

Good with some lackluster acting

I quite enjoyed seeing Thomas the Tank Engine brought to the live action screen. My children are huge fans of Thomas and this just brought it to life for them. I did feel, however, that Peter Fonda's acting was somewhat lackluster and that it was overshadowed even by Didi Conn who's character played a much smaller role.
Parent of a 2 year old Written byDan D. May 14, 2017

Oscar worthy film

Peter Fonda and Alec Baldwin give performances of there lives in the cinematic masterpiece how neither revived at least a nomination is beyond me one of the best written scripts since karate kid 3 you will be swept away in the magic and greatness of the film 5 stars all the way

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Parent of a 1 and 3 year old Written byPaulinaP June 5, 2014


I had a hard time keeping up with the story line, my almost 4 year old likes it but each time we watch it he has a dozen questions about the plot that are hard to explain, they should have kept it simpler. My son is uber sensitive to scary bits and was scared the first time he saw it but after we see all turns out well he is now able to watch without getting scared. Overall is good entertainment and it has funny bits.
Adult Written bymarinmichelle March 28, 2012

Learning about sadness

One of the themes is sadness - and how to respond to it with kindness. This provides an opportunity for parents to talk with their preschoolers about this emotion. The mean behavior displayed by Diesel isn't over-the-top. It's helpful for children this age to know that "bad guys" exist on the planet.