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Thomas & Friends: Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Thomas & Friends: Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure is an hour-long movie from the popular series in which Thomas encounters a brand-new "rival" steam engine, a legendary pirate ship, and a greedy treasure hunter. At the very same time, the little engine must learn to deal with feelings of jealousy and a fear of losing his special place on Sodor Island. Not as toddler-friendly as the usual Thomas fare, this story includes more action than others: crashes, explosions, train derailments, a cackling villain, the threat of dynamite, and falling trains. Though there are no injuries, and no train damage is permanent, for kids who are not yet comfortable with cartoon danger vs. real peril there are many suspenseful and perhaps frightening moments. In addition, the story is complex, containing several threads and plot elements, which may be confusing for the very young. This entry in the vast merchandising franchise introduces Ryan, a new toy steam engine, voiced by Oscar-winning actor Eddie Redmayne, and Sailor John, voiced by Sir John Hurt.
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What's the story?
Just as Controller Sir Topham Hatt builds a brand-new branch line on Sodor Island, Thomas (Joseph Hay) is his most mischievous self in THOMAS & FRIENDS: SODOR'S LEGEND OF THE LOST TREASURE. Though he knows Sir Topham Hatt (Keith Wickham) is counting on him, Thomas races Bertie at top speed, causes a train to derail, shows up late for work, and gets huffy and jealous when the Controller introduces him to Ryan (Eddie Redmayne), a shiny new steam engine. When one of Thomas' naughty deeds uncovers a long-lost pirate ship and destabilizes the land, all of Sir Topham Hatt's new branch construction plans go awry. To make matters worse, Sailor John (Sir John Hurt), a greedy treasure hunter, sneaks onto the island hoping to find the legendary riches from the lost ship. Finally realizing that he's made some pretty serious mistakes, Thomas comes to his senses and sets out to fix all the damage he has caused.
Is it any good?
Too many story elements and an excessive number of suspenseful and action-filled scenes will make this Thomas entry less satisfying than most for very young kids. Gentleness and simplicity, usual trademarks of the franchise, have given way to more jeopardy and even some complex emotions. Though Thomas is often mischievous and gets into trouble, in this story he's jealous, a braggart, and quite destructive. Production values are solid, on a par with Thomas' always appealing animation and characterizations.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why Thomas behaved so badly when Ryan, the new engine, came to work on the island. What was Thomas afraid of? How did Thomas' actions make matters worse for everyone?
The long-buried pirate ship was attached to a legendary story. What is a "legend"? In this tale, did the legend turn out to be true?
Why is it important for parents and kids to be aware of marketing strategies when toy companies make movies to help sell their products, and vice versa? How does the introduction of new characters in this movie (such as Ryan and Sailor John) give the Thomas toy franchise a boost?
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For kids who love preschool fun
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.