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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Children can learn about all the jobs trains do, about the many sounds associated with trains, and the Thomas franchise's specialty: responsibility and teamwork.
Thomas and all the other engines work hard, obey authority, and try their best to be "really useful engines." They learn from their mistakes and their travails assure children that mistakes are made by us all.
Positive Role Models
Thomas and his friends Percy, Caitlin, Paxton, Millie, and others all stumble in their efforts to please Sir Topham Hat. But they try to work hard, and they try to be loyal, considerate, and responsible, even when being silly and losing focus would be more fun. At the same time, while Topham Hat is strict and scolding, he also is kind and forgiving when his engines show remorse and do good work.
Violence & Scariness
Some trains go off the rails, bump into each other, or carry overlarge loads too high and wide for tunnels. No one gets seriously hurt.
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Products & Purchases
Thomas & Friends is a commercial franchise offering toys, clothing, books, and videos.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Thomas & Friends: The Thomas Way is another entry in the Thomas series for young children. The earnest, hardworking, and fun-loving trains have adventures and learn lessons about responsibility, teamwork, loyalty, keeping promises, and helping those in need. Their highest goal is to qualify as "really useful engines," a favorite accolade offered by their boss, Sir Topham Hat. Some trains go off the rails, bump into each other, or carry overlarge loads too high and wide for tunnels, but no one gets seriously hurt. The DVD is part of a large commercial enterprise including children's clothing, toys, and books. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
The narrator and most of the characters speak extremely slowly so small ears can understand every word in this enjoyable collection of Thomas & Friends stories. The Thomas franchise has been teaching small children about consideration, responsibility, and obeying authority figures successfully for a long time. Children who identify with the friendly Thomas and his cohorts are warned against carelessness, silliness, and "causing confusion and delay," as Sir Topham Hat likes to put it. The engines grin with pride when told they are "really useful." To gain that accolade, they do their best to follow rules and get permission, which is just what most parents want their toddlers to do before launching into any adventures of their own. Children are reassured as the engines make mistakes in every episode. As they learn from those missteps, the stern but benevolent Sir Topham Hat -- the parental stand-in -- always forgives the errant engines.
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.