All parent member reviews for Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends

Parents say

(out of 22 reviews)
age 3+
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Parent of a 2 and 4 year old Written byreedsmom March 20, 2009

What's up with the RUDE Thomas Shows?

My son has been watching Thomas since he was 2, he has an obsession with Thomas the Tank toys, shows, movies, anything to do with it. At a certain point I had to take away all the video watching as it came to my attention that the engines are all very RUDE to each other most of the time. Occasionally there is a decent message, but the focus is mostly on the rude behavior and my son started imitating it!!!! Recently I brought the shows back out, this time trying to fast forward through the unacceptable episodes, but I had to cut it off when an episode from the Halloween DVD featuring the "trouble trucks" (my son's favorite!) the first word of the show is "Shut Up!" and the engine named Duck bashes into a bunch of trouble trucks! I was shocked and turned it off immediately! What a horrible thing for a children's show! They blame each other for things, I'm so disappointed. Why is there not more talk about this? What's more is that while he was playing with his trains yesterday he acted out the scene and I heard him say "shut up!". Now I have to explain to him that that is not a nice thing to say and he is confused as to why..."but Duck said that" he looks at my confused. Argh!@#!
Adult Written bylorildixon April 9, 2008

An excellent series for children

Currently Thomas only comes on PBS, in my area, once a week. Thankfully we own several videos also. With all of the junk shows out there, we are so glad to have Thomas available. My two year old and my five year old both love Thomas. They also love to 'read' the books and play with the trains. It is fine that the trains get cross with one another and such. We protect our children from being around mean or rude people and this is a great opportunity to explain to our children that not everyone is always nice. Some are grumpy and trouble makers. On Thomas, they work it out. Sometimes the trains persevere difficult things to get the job done. Sometimes they say something rude to someone then end up having to rely on that train to help them out. This series shows children how to get along with others (even when its tough) and many other social situations.
Parent of a 2 year old Written byShawnaLanne January 24, 2009

Behavioral Modeling - Yeah it models all the bad things

I began watching this with my son just before he turned 2 and quickly turned it off. Yes, there is behavioral modeling, and trains who are acting 'badly' always get it in the end and learn a lesson, but along with the lesson they learn, I believe it's also teaches bad behavior with examples of jealousy and envy and plain old mean spiritidness. I know this has a big following, and it is age appropriate, but I don't want my son modeling his behavior on these trains.
Adult Written byMayra16SP April 9, 2008

My son's favorite train!

Ever since my son has gotten his hands on a Thomas train set, he hasn't looked back. He has the DVD's, PC programs and many additions to the train set and only because he loves the stories behind this friendly train and the Island of Sodor. It's a wonderful program. Very educational in which it teaches children the lessons of being polite and having manners among other educational lessons. There are very few programs out there which can keep my son's attention for such a long time but this show has managed to that and much more. I recommend any little child to enjoy the wonders of this entertaining Train and his friends.
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 "Shut up" to Thomas. It's not a bad word, not really language my kids can't use. But It's just kind of rude to say to somebody. Anyway I used to love trains when I was a kid so I am glad they made a show with trains that talk and go on amazing adventures, All characters are good role models even though they are sometimes grumpy, cranky and mean like Cranky the Crane. It's not just the trains that talk. All kinds of machines like cranes, trains, cars, buses, planes, boats and helicopters talk because they have faces on any part of the object that has a lot of space. Some trains get into exploasions, accidents or crashes which is the only thing to watch out for. Anyway. It has a really good messgage and it's educational. Love It!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Parent Written byJohnD 4 May 13, 2015

In praise of Thomas

I don't agree with the 'liberal parents' view at all. You could just as well say that the stories celebrate the useful results of working class solidarity and communality, quite often triumphing over oppression and misfortune. The stories are stimulating and positive, and their basic morality is not to be sneered at unless there is something seriously wrong with you.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent Written bywowirmie November 1, 2013

Can teach them negative behaviours

While there is a lot to learn, the stories are generally about the engines deciding to not do what they are told, getting into trouble, then deciding to do what they were told in the first place. The biggest lesson my son got from this show was that people get 'cross' and he now uses that term instead of 'mad'.
Parent of a 2 and 6 year old Written bydebflinch January 16, 2012

The toys are great, the show leaves a lot of be desired

It is not educational. The trains are whiny, bossy, and mostly cross. There are positive messages but kids are not going to get it because of the negativity. The trains are nasty to each other and consistently make poor choices. The language is rough and rude. Only occasionally do my kids watch this and typically they walk away mid-show. The toys are fantastic though and they have lots of fun playing with them. They use their imaginations and have a great time playing with the trains and tracks.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Adult Written byRockoWallaby September 9, 2011

How reliable is the Sodor Railway?

I'll admit I was a fan of the show but looking at most of the episodes from then to present day, there is one thing that irks me: the constant violence. Nearly one train per episode comes off the rails or has an accident and EVERY time, and I quote, "luckily no one was hurt". What gives? Sir Topham Hatt is not at his best, seeing as how nothing is done to prevent accidents. Come to think of it, what about the engineers? Sure they perform their usual duties but ultimately fail to keep their engine on the tracks. How large is the Island of Sodor anyway? Nearly every new special that comes out expands the territory and adds yet another "forgotten" engine to the show's cast that eventually becomes forgotten again after a few years.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent of a 5 year old Written byomommie June 9, 2009
Sons fave show since he was 2 1/2.
Adult Written bychellemomof2 April 9, 2008

My son LOVES this show!

My son is in love with trains and this show gives him the chance to learn about what a train really does. The only problem is they only show it on the weekends!
Parent Written byKSRB3114 July 17, 2015


I never liked this blue engine or any of the engines for that matter. My daughter gets bored after watching this for more than a few minutes. Not a lot of singing, except the British kids and a song stuck in the middle of the episodes. The engines are really crappy to each other and always seem to mess things up, with only a scolding from Toppham Hatt. Speaking of which, I have always wondered why he is still in charge of the railways...its good if your kids are into trains and slow moving shows, but dont expect to learn many life lessons.
Adult Written byLowe's man October 5, 2014

Teaches life lessons to the very young; highly recommended.

I will admit that I haven't seen this show since the 90s, when it was part of SHINING TIME STATION. Even then, I only watched occasionally- just enough to get a feel for the characters. Having said that, this is a cut above many other shows for preschoolers. For one thing, all the trains have facial expressions, allowing kids to see what various emotions look like. Moreover, Sir Topham Hat rewards good behavior and scolds- and if I remember right, punishes- bad behavior. He expects nothing but the best from each train. This series teaches life lessons, such as teamwork, cooperation and getting along, to the very young, and does so in an age-appropriate manner. For the sake of children, complete seasons need to be on DVD. As for what you said about this being a male-centric series, it is true that all the trains were initially male while all the passenger cars were female. One parent rightly felt that this gave girls the message that they're less important than boys and complained about it. In response female trains were added, which was a good thing. This shows how much more responsive the producers of this show were and are to complaints, compared to the producers of many other shows.
Parent Written by1GBMOMMY May 5, 2014


I honestly can't see the good in Thomas the train. All the trains are rude & cross all the thanks. I prefer Chuggington more positive and not so rude.
What other families should know
Too much consumerism
Parent Written byalay13 January 4, 2013

Thomas is a Poor Role Model

Awful awful role models. Lots of nasty competitiveness between the trains, Thomas (and others) frequently shirk their responsibilities to compete against each other or to show off. Thomas never seems to learn a single lesson.
Adult Written byTimTheTVGuy October 22, 2012

Good for little kids,but boring as math.

Even when I was little,I never liked Thomas the Tank Engine.I would always roll my eyes when I watched it.It bored me a lot.
Parent Written bygarsham March 20, 2011
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 5 and 5 year old Written bymc7 November 11, 2010
Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends is very soothing at the end of the day. My girls love to wind down in front of the show listening to the narrator and watching the trains engage in their daily lives, helping each other out when in trouble...
Parent of a 3 year old Written bySachertorte October 26, 2010
I absolutely despise Thomas. To me, every show is nothing but one long commercial for Thomas stuff. The engines are rude, and the entire show is slow moving and uninteresting.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Adult Written byZoso September 8, 2010

5 and up for the RWS. No one for the current series.

Listen reedsmom Did you actually watch the bit and get the message, Duck was defending a character he did not get along with from abuse, you should have watched the scene, and understood the reasons for this. Now you have basically told your son to ingore another person's suffering for the sake of self preservation. Anyway the current series in my opinion is an insult to the brand. It promote's bullying (The action's of the Logging loco's on misty island), and and a sense of defiance to authorty figure's. It's also massively unrelistic. Don't let your kid's watch this, instead buy them a Season 1-5 DVD or some of the Railway series book's written by The rev w awdry. They are far more edcutional and carry better value's.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much consumerism
Safety and privacy concerns