Thomas & Friends: Hero of the Rails

  • Review Date: September 3, 2009
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2009
  • Running Time: 60 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Typical Thomas tale with mild peril; fun for fans.
  • Review Date: September 3, 2009
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2009
  • Running Time: 60 minutes

Age(i)

2
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5
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8
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10
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids learn about the value of honesty and compassion.

Positive messages

 The movie is all about helping those in need, cooperating with friends, and dealing with bullies.

Positive role models

The characters are all basically well-intentioned, with the exception of Spencer, who comes around by the end. Thomas and his friends don't always make the right behavior choice initially -- Thomas tries to keep Hiro a secret at first -- but they learn to help and support each other.

Violence & scariness

Thomas gets lost on an abandoned train track after his brakes fail during a race with Spencer. He’s frightened when he first encounters Hiro.

Consumerism

Thomas the Tank Engine has a wide range of books, toys, clothes, and other merchandise. This film introduces three new characters, which will no doubt be available in stores soon.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the latest Thomas & Friends movie will not disappoint aficionados of the industrious tank engine. The franchise mostly sticks to its formula of good-natured yet sometimes squabbling engines performing their daily tasks. But action and intrigue figure prominently, also, resulting in some mildly intense scenes; for example, Thomas careens onto the wrong track and gets lost in the woods. Another engine gets in trouble when he helps Thomas keep a secret from the others. In typical Thomas fashion, though, the action is pretty tame, and by the end, the engines learn important messages about honesty, compassion, and friendship. This movie introduces several new characters to the Island of Sodor -- Hiro, Kevin, and Victor -- so don’t be surprised when your kids want to add to their toy collection.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

After high-tech private engine Spencer bullies him into a contest, Thomas’ brakes fail and he winds up lost on an unfamiliar track in the woods. He’s shocked to discover an old, strange engine named Hiro, who’s been rusting in the forest, afraid to come out for fear of being scrapped. Thomas vows to restore Hiro to his former glory as “Master of the Railway,” but he’s foiled at each turn by Spencer, who’s determined to figure out what he’s up to. Only when Thomas asks for help and support from his friends can he accomplish his task, and get Hiro back on the rails.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The movie follows the classic Thomas format: Thomas and his engine buddies have a problem to solve, and they go about it much as kids themselves would -- with a few mistakes, misunderstandings, and confrontations along the way. Thomas’ relationship with Hiro, the aging engine who was once a superstar, is touching, and demonstrates how younger children admire their older heroes.

The action sequences are fun to watch; when Thomas’ brakes fail while he’s racing Spencer, kids will be on the edge of their seats. The movie broaches subjects that will resonate with young kids: Thomas and his friends all feel intimidated by bigger, faster Spencer, but by the movie’s end they realize that each of them has their own special talents. By working together to rescue Hiro, they all become heroes. 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how telling the truth is almost always better than keeping a secret.

  • Spencer is pretty mean to the other engines. How does it feel to be bullied, and why do people (or engines) bully others? What should you do if someone is mean to you?

  • Why is it important to help someone in need?

  • How do Thomas & Friends movies help to sell other products?

Movie details

DVD release date:September 8, 2009
Cast:Kerry Shale, Martin Sherman, William Hope
Director:Greg Tiernan
Studio:Lionsgate
Genre:Family and Kids
Run time:60 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of Thomas & Friends: Hero of the Rails was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 3 year old Written byPoppayo December 27, 2010
AGE
3
QUALITY
 

Just as good the 328th time...

My son loves this movie, it's his first cult favorite.
Kid, 10 years old September 30, 2010
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

this movie is awesome

I like this movie.
What other families should know
Great messages
Adult Written bywisconsingirl10 October 13, 2009
AGE
10
QUALITY
 
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models

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