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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
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.
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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?
Find more TV shows that help kids build character.
Themes & Topics
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