Thomas & Friends: Calling All Engines!
By Tracy Moore,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Thomas and friends adventure offers lessons in cooperation.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Kids learn specifically about the different types of engines and the fuel they use, and there are cartoon breaks throughout the film where they solve problems, such as which type of building materials should be routed to help construct the airport.
Offers extremely positive messages about cooperation and teamwork in getting a job done. It discourages petty squabbles and focusing on distractions that don't make the work go easier.
Positive Role Models
While the characters have different personality traits, and varying to degrees of grumpiness and enthusiasm, they all have a desire to be useful, and to get the job done. Mostly male characters.
Products & Purchases
Thomas and his friends are well-established characters featured in a variety of products, but nothing is advertised within the show specifically.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Thomas and Friends: Calling All Engines! is an animated train adventure heavily targeted at little boys. It features largely male characters, and focuses on engines, fuel, construction work, and other stereotypically masculine pursuits. But its messages of community, hard work, and cooperation are gender neutral.
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Where to Watch
Based on 2 parent reviews
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What's the Story?
It's summertime on the island of Sodor, and an airport must be built and completed in order to bring more vacationers to the island. Will Thomas and his friends learn to cooperate to get the job done, or be tripped up in petty pranks and disagreements over their differences?
Is It Any Good?
This is extremely family-friendly fare and offers some realistically kid-like challenges -- sharing, working together, and working out your differences. Thomas and Friends are classic boy-centric tales of trains and their adventures in the English countryside. Calling All Engines! offers adventure and problem-solving, folded in with solid messages about cooperation, teamwork, and the idea that everyone's part is important to the whole.
Kids who like trains will find the action fascinating, and aside from the obvious gender routing, parents can be assured the overall takeaway here is a good one. However, the shortage of female characters leaves this world a little lacking on the kind of full-scale cooperation more programs are moving toward these days.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Familes can talk about the differences in the steam and diesels in the movie, and how the types learned to work together in spite of those differences.
Sometimes the engines pulled pranks on other engines to make their work harder, or take longer. What happened when they did this? Were there consequences for their actions?
- On DVD or streaming: September 6, 2005
- Cast: Michael Brandon
- Director: Steve Asquith
- Studio: Lyons Group
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Adventures, Book Characters, Great Boy Role Models, Trains
- Run time: 60 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: October 8, 2022
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