Thomas & Friends

TV review by
Joly Herman, Common Sense Media
Thomas & Friends TV Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
Thomas and his train friends huff and chuff around.

Parents say

age 4+
Based on 34 reviews

Kids say

age 4+
Based on 53 reviews

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We think this TV show stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Educational Value

Kids will learn positive social lessons about teamwork and cooperation; they'll also be exposed to vocabulary words like "reliable," "determined," and "useful."

Positive Messages

Though Thomas and his friends sometimes feel "cross" with one another, they rely on one another for help and support. Themes include perseverance and compassion.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The characters work well together and are good friends. On the (relative) downsite, there aren't many female characters.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

There are lots of tie-in Thomas products available, but there's no brand placement within the show itself.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Thomas & Friends is told through the voice of a single narrator and is compelling even for the youngest viewers, without overstimulating young children's sensitive field of perception. It is generally a male-centric series, though a few females do make appearances.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 1, 9, 10, 14, and 14-year-old Written bycharmsmatuts August 15, 2011

Thomas The Tank Engine

This show is still good for my 1 year old, I wish I could rate it ON for kids 1 & up. In one episode this is a little superising but in Diesel said... Continue reading
Parent Written byDigiGoggleHeadBoy September 10, 2018
For kids 2-10. I love that it teaches great social and emotional skills, that kids would be facing. The characters are relatable and interesting. The only prob... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byZoeyLovesUnicorns101 December 11, 2018

This is my favorite shows ever!!!

I love Thomas and friends because i always think that this show is realistic like the crashes and vehicles' basis! Even though im getting older (I'm 1... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byCarmichael Mauricio December 8, 2018

Best TV show ever!!!

This is definitely the greatest kids show of all time. I adore Thomas And Friends for many reasons. One reason is for nostalgia obviously. The second reason is... Continue reading

What's the story?

In THOMAS & FRIENDS, on the fictional island of Sodor, Thomas the Tank Engine and his other engine friends are kept busy porting loads of steel, food, and passenger cars to meet the demands of their human counterparts. Model engines with expressive faces are the media with which this tale is told, creating a fascinating fictional world that many young viewers will enjoy. By staying true to the single-voice narration, the storybook aspect of the show has been well maintained.

Is it any good?

Parents can be assured that this series has educational aspects as well as behavioral modeling. The Thomas the Tank Engine stories were conceived by a young British boy early in the 20th century, who would listen to the trains as they chuffed through the countryside. The stories he told his son -- who has consequently passed them on to his own son -- have been documented in books and toy train models. Since the series was introduced to television viewers in the 1980s, Thomas & Friends has seen a healthy fan base sprout worldwide. Some of the expressions on the train's faces can be a tiny bit creepy, but the intention behind the animation is good, as follows the tradition of a well-told story.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the role that Thomas and his friends play in the Sodor community in Thomas & Friends. How do they help their community and each other?

  • Do you think the various train characters enjoy their jobs or not? Why aren't there more female trains?

  • How do the characters in Thomas & Friends demonstrate perseverance and compassion? Why are those important character strengths?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love vehicles

Character Strengths

Find more TV shows that help kids build character.

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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