Sharon Miller's writing tenure had ended, the show's repetitive formula cropped up for the last time and we bidded a fond farewell to the beloved animation of Nitrogen Studios.
Originally scheduled to be Season Sixteen's eighteenth show, The Christmas Tree Express was pushed back till the festive event. Though the US had seen it first on DVD, the day marked the debut UK and Australian televised showing.
It started with Rheneas contemplating to have the best Christmas tree ever. Toby is then made to take Rheneas to Misty Island to find one. But Toby is reluctant to be in Bash, Dash, Ferdinand and the island's surroundings.
The latter five played central roles while Thomas, Skarloey and Rusty delivered a few lines each. Merrick, Sir Handel, Peter Sam and Owen cameod along with Captain, Ol' Wheezy, Hee-Haw and Victor.
The episode finished with an overwhelming negative response, primarily criticising the long wait of one formulaic ten minute episode for the sake of a Christmas themed transmission.
A resurgence of repetition and Ferdinand's that's right! were also let downs. A major continuity error arose when it was realised that despite Toby's fright, he had been in Misty Island and the engines' company before in Toby and Bash.
Criticism continued with the return of The Shake Shake Bridge, Toby's personality drifting away and closing his eyes while travelling fast which was deemed a selfish and dangerous act.
Minor positives came about, mainly directed at Nitrogen's expansive CGI and having a different standard gauge engine interact with the narrow gauge, namely Toby who hadn't done so since a brief scene in 1998's Toby's Discovery.
Another highlight was a showcase for Ben Small who voiced four out of five of his known characters all in the same story. For whatever it seemed, long term fans knew that the end is only just the beginning...
TheTopHatts gives The Christmas Tree Express...
THOMAS & FRIENDS WILL RETURN IN
FALL 2013For a full list of scheduling, visit the Dieselworks Turntable Roundhouse on the right hand sidebar for more details.
Thanks to Thomas & Friends Wikia for information.
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