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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Briefly, and in simple terms, describes the early history of railroads and the transition from horse-drawn to steam engines.
Stresses the importance of teamwork, helpfulness, and keeping confidences. A character states, "Asking is a good way to learn new things."
Positive Role Models
Thomas and his friends are hardworking, loyal, honest, brave, and sometimes competitive. Thomas learns an important lesson about not betraying a trust. The trains speak in a variety of dialects, indicating that they are multicultural. Female trains are included, but, in this story, none has a major role.
Violence & Scariness
Mild suspense when Thomas and Percy careen down a hillside and when Stephen (an antique train introduced in this episode) is trapped in a mine tunnel. A daring rescue causes a rockslide, but there are no injuries.
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Products & Purchases
Thomas & Friends is part of a large merchandising franchise, which includes books, toys, clothing, and other kid-targeted products.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that all the familiar trains are back in a new preschooler-appropriate adventure. Thomas & Friends: King of the Railway is intended for very young viewers and delivers a simple story and easy-to-understand messages about teamwork and keeping one's word. There are a few mildly scary scenes (runaway trains on a steep hill, an engine trapped in a mine), but the movie is mainly lighthearted (no villains here) and, as always, upbeat and positive in tone and resolution as well as the music that comes along with the ride. Thomas & Friends is part of a vast franchise of books, videos, toys, clothing, and children's accessories, so expect an interest in those, too. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Kids who love Thomas will not be disappointed. Simple concepts and language ensure that this episode is accessible even for the very youngest viewers. Positive messages about behavior have an organic role in the story, and kids will relate to the values that Thomas and his friends represent.
Occasionally, scenes jump from one to another more often than seems necessary, and there are a few story elements that appear and then disappear, never to be resolved (for example, Hero's return from the mainland, and a burst safety valve). Still, generally, the movie is a pleasant addition to the Thomas video series.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.