Thomas & Friends: Day of the Diesels

Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
Thomas & Friends: Day of the Diesels Movie Poster Image
The engines learn how to handle hurt feelings.
  • NR
  • 2011
  • 58 minutes

Parents say

age 4+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 4 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

While there's no academic component, there are social lessons about learning to work together, recognizing and correcting mistakes, and knowing the right way to ask for what you need.

Positive Messages

Percy finds out that letting hurt feelings get in the way of fulfilling responsibility and doing the right thing leads to trouble. He learns valuable lessons about trust, friendship, working together toward a common goal, and the dangers of being manipulated by others who don't have his best interests in mind.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Thomas and most of the steam engines are cooperative, hardworking, and honest. Though Percy uses poor judgment when he feels left out and wants to be special, he learns an important lesson about the true meaning of friendship and the value of following through on an assigned task. The villainous diesel engines are deceitful, manipulative, and mean-spirited until they, too, learn an important lesson about appropriate ways to have their needs met. Female engines play more important roles in this adventure than they have in other Thomas adventures.

Violence & Scariness

Two fires threaten buildings on Sodor Island, but they're both extinguished in short order by brave steamers. A gang of disgruntled diesel engines, led by the treacherous "Diesel 10," captures Thomas and Kevin, a hardworking crane. They're held in a dark warehouse until their friends rescue them.

Sexy Stuff

Lots of promotional material included with the DVD and in previews before the film: more Thomas adventures, Thomas toys, Angelina Ballerina, and LeapFrog products.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that very young kids will be entertained by this simple tale told using easy-to-understand language, familiar characters, and conflicts which are resolved comfortably. There are a few mildly suspenseful scenes -- including two threatening fires, some menacing behavior by a gang of diesel engines, and Thomas being held captive until Percy can rescue him. Even the villains learn important lessons and change their behavior. Promotional material included with the DVD, as well as previews before the feature, advertise Thomas products, along with LeapFrog, Angelina Ballerina, etc.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 1, 5, and 5-year-old Written byKira M. November 18, 2016
My twins love it, all other Thomas movies they have seen.
Parent of a 1 and 3-year-old Written bybrinoni July 6, 2013

Probably skip this one

This movie is ok, not the best of the Thomas franchise. The diesel engines trick Percy into thinking he is their friend to manipulate him. They lie, steal and t... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byChristianSoldier May 2, 2020

Better than Calling All Engines, same topic

I don't know why they reverted to the steam engines vs. diesels plot line, but this movie also has a good message about discernment when it comes to who yo... Continue reading
Kid, 7 years old February 28, 2020

What's the story?

Percy feels left out when Thomas makes friends with Belle and Flynn, two new fire-fighting steamers. The Diesels, jealous of all the "luxuries" that the Steam Engines seem to have, are happy to use Percy's hurt feelings and his desire to be special to trick him into helping them take over The Steam Works. In the end, everyone learns important lessons about being special, how to be a good friend, and the value of working together.

Is it any good?

DAY OF THE DIESELS offers standard Thomas fare, this time with Percy in the forefront. There are more characters (including actual villains) in this story, as well more than the usual number of incidents and some surprisingly complex motives. Still, the likable steam engines "gasp" and "huff" their way to an expected happy ending.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Percy's behavior in this story. What are some of the choices that he makes? How does he feel when he realizes what he has done? Have you been in a situation similar to Percy's?

  • Why were the Diesels trying to take over The Steam Works? What did they really want?

  • Percy felt left out when Thomas made new friends. Should he have told Thomas that his feelings were hurt? What would you do if that happened to you?

Movie details

For kids who love preschool fun

Our editors recommend

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