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

Movie review by
Jennifer Green, Common Sense Media
Thomas & Friends: Big World! Big Adventures! The Movie Movie Poster Image
Teamwork, diversity, mild peril greet engine on global trip.
  • NR
  • 2018
  • 85 minutes

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Kids say

age 8+
Based on 3 reviews

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

Educational Value

Positive social skills, world geography, diverse cultures, languages, and accents.

Positive Messages

Teamwork pays off, and it's okay to rely on your friends because everybody needs help sometimes. Friends watch out for each other and apologize when they should. People from all parts of the world deserve the same respect and friendly treatment. In order to enjoy a true adventure, you must stay open and optimistic about encountering new people, places, and experiences.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Thomas learns that friends help each other and watch out for each other. Following race-car rules of every individual for himself, Ace behaves selfishly and encourages Thomas to do the same, contrary to other friends Thomas makes on his adventures, like Nia. Ace has to learn a little humility when he, too, needs help from his friends. Sir Topham Hatt sets his own interests aside to search wide and far for his missing engine.

Violence & Scariness

Some mild scares, out of which characters always emerge unscathed. For example, Ace driving on the wrong side of the tracks, Sir Topham Hatt being lifted over the sea by a crane and running out of water in the desert, train cars sliding backwards down hills and mountains and nearly falling into water or off a cliff, a monkey jumping on Ace when he's upside down following an unseen accident, Thomas flying off the tracks and crashing when he goes too fast. Thomas is far from home.

Sexy Stuff

The Thomas the Tank Engine brand, made by Fisher-Price/Mattel.  

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Thomas & Friends: Big World! Big Adventures! The Movie has enough positive messages to outweigh the few mild scares. Thomas travels far from home on this global adventure, and he and his new friends get into some sticky situations. Some of these are mildly frightening, like when a bridge collapses under them and train cars are in danger of sliding into a raging river, or when Thomas flies off the tracks and lands in the desert, potentially to be stuck there for eternity. The trains always emerge unscathed from their accidents and near-misses, and learn the importance of helping each other in the process.

User Reviews

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  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Teen, 15 years old Written byTaylor-Kun July 15, 2020

This is by far the worst Thomas movie ever made

Thomas & Friends: Big World! Big Adventures! is a horrible movie for these reasons:
1. Thomas abandons his friends, his jobs and, his coaches and isn... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old May 8, 2020

What's the story?

Inspired by a cool race car, Thomas decides to leave the Island of Sodor to become the first train engine to travel around the world in THOMAS & FRIENDS: BIG WORLD! BIG ADVENTURES! THE MOVIE. On his journey across five continents, he makes lifelong friendships and learns the value of teamwork, resilience, and a positive attitude. He transports goods across Africa, gets lost in the jungles of Brazil, and helps a friend escape an avalanche in the mountains of China. Sir Topham Hatt follows close behind, trying to find Thomas and bring him home. When Thomas lets the race car Ace convince him to prioritize individualism and winning above friendship and teamwork, Thomas gets himself into serious trouble and loses his new best friend Nia. Realizing his mistake, he vows to find her and apologize.

Is it any good?

This installment in the popular series has all the charm and trackside adventure generations of fans (and their parents) have come to expect. Thomas & Friends: Big World! Big Adventures! The Movie has an added layer of teaching kids a little bit about world geography and a diversity of countries and cultures. Hand-drawn maps situate viewers as Thomas moves from one place to the next, and the filmmakers have done a decent job of respectfully incorporating a few key cultural touchstones and accents from each region that will be easy to understand and memorable for the youngest audiences. Musical numbers are silly and fun, teaching Thomas lessons about not being grumpy, making good choices, and treating friends with kindness. Thomas is the little engine that could, in this case, travel the world.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Thomas & Friends: Big World! Big Adventures! The Movie is different from or similar to other Thomas shows and movies they've seen.

  • Of all the places Thomas travels on his adventures, which would you most like to visit? Why?

  • The trains Thomas meets represent different cultures -- what different values and behaviors did they display?

  • Have you ever needed a friend's help? Have you ever helped a friend?

Movie details

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