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Friday, 28 September 2012

'Little Engines' 'Mountain Mystery' hit iTunes Australia

Two Australian DVDs have been digitally transferred for places onto iTunes' respective Thomas & Friends library.

Little Engines Big Days Out is first on the update which is known to fill a gathering of episodes from the Ninth Series.

Thomas and the Birthday Picnic, Tuneful Toots, Flour Power, The Magic Lamp, Thomas Tries His Best and Keeping Up With James complete the near hour-long asset.

The definition reads; It's a fun day out with Thomas & Friends, with over 50 minutes of stories from famous Sodor sights.

Now recognised as a golden entry to the modern era of the show is Blue Mountain Mystery: The Movie.

The full 61 minutes of the recently released special was brought onto iTunes five days after the DVD was issued for purchase by the public.
The blurb states; Discover the mystery of the lost engine and be introduced to the exciting new destination Blue Mountain Quarry!


In this action-packed adventure, Thomas discovers a new engine hiding in the tunnels, and sets off to uncover the truth and get to the bottom of the mystery.


Along the way he meets four new engines bought to Sodor from faraway lands... Will Thomas piece together the story and convince his new friend there's no reason to hide?

Little Engines Big Days Out and Blue Mountain Mystery: The Movie are now available to buy on iTunes in Australia for $7.99 and $9.99 respectively. Episodes from Little Engines can be purchased individually for $1.49.



Thanks to NWR1991 for the alert.

Athanassiou publishes rough character designs online

Dino Athanassiou has revealed more character designs that were used during the production of the Twelfth Series.

The Season Eleven and Twelve animation director was responsible for the auspices of the CGI manipulation for the 2008 season.

Launching his own website, the Stardust Pictures helmer backgrounded on his contribution towards Shark Tale, Attack the Block, Space Jam and Thomas & Friends, as he explains below.

I was initially asked to consult with executives at Hit Entertainment to find out if it was possible to include CG elements to the existing look of Thomas and Friends.

I consulted with my friends at Nitrogen Studios and had them produce two pilots. I was then asked to direct the shows and was able to work with Nitrogen Studios.

As well as direction, I was also asked to re-design all of the human characters in the series.

Unearthed sketches show the original perceptions made for most of the human characters eventually transitioned onto screen. Two of the younger generation were revealed to be given the names Pansy and Patrick.
Less successfully was the unheard of idea to give Annie and Clarabel grey faces in order to mix in with the majority of machine lifeforms present on Sodor.

The problem with the current design is the face is stuck on and has no real edge in which to match to. Making this Annie will allow for a full range of facial expressions.

Also added is CGI builds for some of the humans and animals, giving glimpses for their front, side and reverse positions. Athanassiou's preview videos for the animation tests are too linked.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

'Blue Mountain Quarry' set become Toys R Us property

Blue Mountain Mystery's introductory location has gained recognition to be realised as a Take-n-Play product.

The Blue Mountain Quarry Snow Adventure was found to be in existence via Fisher Price's latest Thomas & Friends Take-n-Play booklet.

Toys R Us have released the above mentioned stock exclusively to their stores, especially in the UK. Using Diesel and Thomas, the two engines navigate their way round by going down several flights of slopes and track.

With a shed confinement to store an engine and billed as a snow adventure, no seasonal decorations and patterns appear. The set is thought to be partly based on the Christmas Tree Express episode.

Take-n-Play Blue Mountain Quarry Snow Adventure from Fisher Price is available to buy at Toys R Us stores worldwide.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Shale follows Degas' footsteps for role in 'Red Dwarf X'

Another Thomas & Friends voice actor is due to appear in a popular British science-fiction sitcom.

Kerry Shale known to UK and US audiences as the voice of Diesel, Arry and Bert is to show up in a guest role for the new Red Dwarf X.

In the second episode titled, Fathers and Suns due to air on October 11th in the UK, Shale will play the duo part of Medi-Bot/Taiwan Tony.

A teaser pic on Dave's Red Dwarf news blog sees Shale sharing a scene with Chris Barrie's Rimmer. The actor also starred opposite Matt Smith's Doctor Who as Doctor Renfrew in 2011's Day of the Moon.

Rupert Degas was previously confirmed to join the sitcom's cast for guest stints in a few stories.

Red Dwarf X premieres on Dave in the UK on Thursday October 4th 2012 at 9pm.

Stanley launched in space for successful YouTube video

A YouTube clip featuring a Thomas Wooden Railway model has become a literal global hit.

A Toy Train in Space sees a son's father attaching a model of Stanley the Silver Tank Engine onto a balloon, leading to the two, coupled with a high-definition camera, to be floated into outer space.

The out of this world move dedicated to his son was made by Ron Fugelseth who works as a creative video director in California, USA.

The clip uploaded on September 20th has since made a massive impact on audiences with the real life experiment clocking up an astonishing excess of 900,000 views on YouTube within a few days of release.

Publicity has also been mounting with The Huffington Post, Thomas & Friends and PIXAR and Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich all tweeting about the video.

I love these videos SO much. @RonFugelseth goes right to the front of the awesome dad line, @leeunkrich said.


We love this video featuring Stanley traveling to space. The video was highlighted in this morning's USA Today, @TrueBlueEngine followed.


Friday, 21 September 2012

2010 and 2011 seasons form 'Sticky Situations' US DVD

Seasons Fourteen and Fifteen are to re-appear again on US DVD as a mixed season release.

Rather than be announced by Hit Entertainment, press service Andrea Blain Public Relations have been the first to reveal the new, Sticky Situations title.

Serving as the third American disc to hold episodes from the 2010 and 2011 series, a mixed bag of stories are incorporated in the 50 minute feature.

The detailing tells; The engines on the Island of Sodor find themselves in some sticky and slippery situations!

Thomas and Butch are stuck in a bind when they don’t fully listen to directions. Spencer gets lost in the fog but learns he can actually be Spencer the Helpful.

Gordon must swallow his pride after dropping the Lion of Sodor in the mucky, muddy river and Edward shows Charlie there’s a time to be Really Fun and a time to be Really Useful. 

All aboard for fun-filled tales as friends help each other through all kinds of sticky situations!

Episodes include;
Stuck on You
Spencer the Grand
Gordon and Ferdinand
Charlie and Eddie

Extras include;
Biff Bash Bosh Game
Guess Who? Puzzles
Go Go Thomas! Karaoke Music Video

Revived character Butch and Thomas are depicted on the front cover having fun with Butch's magnet attachment.

Sticky Situations from Lionsgate Entertainment hits US DVD shelves on December 11th 2012.


Wednesday, 19 September 2012

2013 DVD teased on US 'Blue Mountain Mystery' release

The first Thomas & Friends DVD for the year of 2013 has been confirmed on a recent US release.

Teased on the American Blue Mountain Mystery DVD, a still advertisement for Go Go Thomas! can be seen. A tagline on the advert reads; Racing onto DVD Spring 2013.

Speculation has mounted that Season Sixteen episodes will feature on the disc. While this has yet to be confirmed, a book spinoff using the story, Flash Bang Wallop!, is due for a January rollout.

Appearing on the teaser is a new promo shot of Thomas, where a visual difference is noticeable. Because of this, fans have gone as far to contemplate that Season Seventeen stories will premiere exclusively.

Despite the theories, the new series is still in production at Arc Productions, under the auspices of Kallan Kagan, Rob Silvestri and head writer, Andrew Brenner.

Go Go Thomas! is coming soon to US DVD shelves in the Spring of 2013.

September and October DVDs due for Japan audiences

Japan is to witness the releases of six new DVDs, three of which are due out on the same day later this month.

The first two are to feature five stories each from the Fourteenth Series while the third focuses on the differences between The Railway Series and their prospected TV versions. All are due on September 26th.

トーマスキリン stars the first quarter of Season Fourteen in a 51 minute collection with an altered shot from the starter episode serving as the front cover.

Episodes include;
Thomas' Tall Friend
James in the Dark
Pingy Pongy Pick Up
Charlie and Eddie
Toby and the Whistling Woods

トーマスおてほん on the other hand compiles the second quarter of the series with a specially composed cover based on one of the available episodes.

Episodes include;
Henry's Health and Safety
Diesel's Special Delivery
Pop Goes Thomas
Victor Says Yes
Thomas' Crazy Day
Moving on from the format is だいかつやくきかんしゃたち!. The commemorative title shows the differences between Railway Series tales adapted for the small screen.

Episodes include;
Thomas and the Breakdown Train
Henry and the Elephant
Bulgy
Bulldog

Following on from a successful theatrical release, きかんしゃトーマス ディーゼル10の逆襲 will hit retailers on October 19th.

Serving as an alternative tour guide to the popular Thomas Land theme park, こんにちは日本の鉄道 ~トーマスといく富士急行線~ will be out on the same day as another title.

October 24th sees きみはどれだけっているかな? test Thomas fans on their knowledge of the Island of Sodor and the series.

The six new titles hit Japanese DVD shelves from September 26th 2012.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

'Pop Goes Thomas' joins longer 'Curious Cargo' Australia

Season Fourteen and Fifteen DVD, Curious Cargo is to be transferred for audiences Down Under.

The new version of the 2012 disc will instead of holding four stories, will contain a mix of six.

Two episodes from the UK's Pop Goes Thomas title join Australia's home video product.

The extension is to also be increased by placing an extra three episodes from another Hit Entertainment property, Mike the Knight.

The summary reads; All aboard for a wild ride on the Island of Sodor as Thomas and his engine friends deliver some Curious Cargo - from giraffes and cows to birds and bunnies and more!


Thomas meets a tall challenge while taking a giraffe to the Sodor Wildlife Center, Percy learns to be gentle with the animals of Sodor, and Belle and Toby discover the importance of listening to others.


Episodes include;
Thomas' Tall Friend
Pop Goes Thomas
Pingy Pongy Pick Up
Toby and Bash
Percy's New Friends
Big Belle

Extras include;
Three Mike the Knight episodes

Curious Cargo hits Australian DVD shelves on November 7th 2012.


Thanks to Jim522 for the alert.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Feature: 'Blue Mountain Mystery: The Movie' Review

Blue Mountain Mystery: The Movie rolled into the UK's Vue cinemas during the weekend of September 1st 2012 and has just been released on DVD.

After the unanimous disappointment of the Fifteenth Series, the slight resurgence of interest in Day of the Diesels and the promises held in Season Sixteen, would we ever see a new beginning for Thomas & Friends?

The few who were given the many chances to see it early in Australasian and United States theatres, the Thomas fanbase would be left pondering, Is it a good?, Was it better than the last one?, Is it a promising future for Thomas?

The individuals who did see it would come out in open arms afterwards to appreciate the new film product. But were they right to do that? Here, Roll Along Thomas answers those questions with the Blue Mountain Mystery review.

WARNING:
THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS.
IF YOU DON'T WANT TO BE SPOILED,
LOOK AWAY NOW.

The seventh film in the series (counting Thomas and the Magic Railroad) starts off rather differently with a pre-credits sequence. It sees the Narrow Gauge Engines hard at work at the Blue Mountain Quarry. Already, this interests the viewer with the introduction of the new location, the many activities happening and the impressive but even more snazzy visuals from the much loved Nitrogen Studios, who sadly depart animation duties in this story.

We get more introductions with the appearances of Owen and Merrick working friendly with the little 'uns. Then suddenly we find Paxton speaking for the first time. This already fills us with the many promises that this film would eventually deliver. Paxton gains an important role by serving as a worrisome antagonist which would be elaborated further on into the story.
With the small presence of Sharon Miller's usual writing structure, this is soon banished rather quickly and would only crop up a few times later on. Reminiscent of a typical James Bond film, this moves to a thrilling but suspenseful action sequence, which has nothing to do with the story. A slight breath of fresh air. Rheneas finds himself in trouble owing to parts of the substituted Blondin' Bridge tumbled down to the ground. 

The line of the upper terrace immediately educates a young child to be tought a few words, this is a good sign. While a warning signal is swiftly held up by a worker, the viewer would notice that the flag is green, signalling the engine to go. While at first this may seem wrong, it is the right thing to do when you think about it.

If you are involved in an emergency, you have to act fast with no time to lose. So long as the lifeform in danger gets an explanation, the person responsible for the act knows what he or she is doing. Rheneas struggles to get past the bridge but manages to clear the scene as it falls to pieces. Robert Hartshorne provides a believeably stressful soundtrack during the action which makes you either want to hold onto your seat or put your hands on your mouth.

The causality kick starts a memory re-emerging from the fans' mind of a previous danger scene occuring from an episode of the Classic Series which also teaches you the actions and capabilities that you should take. Some have compared the tidbit to the Fifth Series. A shot of Rheneas going down a slope at one point convinced me that this was a live-action depiction. Top marks to Nitrogen on that brief image.
After the success of Rheneas escape, we get moments of humour from Paxton who is near buried in the heap of rubble. Confused and bewildered, the diesel is hit by a stone and mutters, Ow... Steven Kynman's calm tone and comic timing gives the message for some laughter to respond. We are treated to a minute long title sequence where the animation moves to the basics of sharp cartoon artworks. It, in a way, tells you to sit back, relax and enjoy the show.

The plot then starts properly with leaves hanging from a tree opening a camera pan down to Thomas, Annie and Clarabel swimmingly having fun chattering about in the beautiful countryside, complete with the country atmosphere of a forest and some cows, grazing. The wonderful opening shot of the tree looks almost life like and is the start of a big send-off for the Nitrogen animators. The scene truly is, enchanting.

Annie and Clarabel speak for the first time since the Eleventh Series and are voiced by the ever reliable, Teresa Gallagher who gives the insufferable aids to Thomas smooth vocals and well spoken posh accents which is just fitting. The fun stops there as we are given a lesson on the railways; Slow down! The signal is red, warns Clarabel. I always stop at a red signal, replies Thomas. Only because we tell you to!, Annie jokes.

The importance of the message is none to say the least, a welcome return from the series' early days and a nod to the hard working railway people who know all about the life of trains. It is also where Blue Mountain's script editor, now head writer, Andrew Brenner's writing comes into place. Winston appears as a jester to The Fat Controller who are both used in an embarassing but comedic way. A better introduction to the car would have been ideal.
During Topham's notice about the disastrous day at the quarry, he notes to Thomas that he must take his passengers to their destinations first before proceeding to replace Paxton at Blue Mountain. It is something we haven't heard for a long time but is nonetheless a strict piece of talk from a railway controller. Paxton gains a short scene with Emily afterwards, improving his screen time.

A few moments of repitition crop up with the narrow gauge engines greeting Thomas. In a surprise turn-around since The Great Discovery, a musical montage of the Blue Mountain Quarry song is presented. Though not as the actual music video, a gathering of working hard scenes fill in the void and somehow fits perfectly with the story, complete with industrial sound effects. Hartshorne even creates a soundtrack version straight after the montage ends.

Moving onto the voices. Dissatisfaction arose when Sir Handel utilized a squeaky voice but after watching this film twice, I feel that it suits his character. He used to be a devious little steamer and with age has matured into a wiser engine, but at the same time, still maintains some of his youth. Skarloey's age is represented by a deep Welsh sound while Rheneas, Peter Sam and Rusty recieve the perfect mix of young, old and cheerful.

Owen gets a tough sound, so as if to say that, he knows what he is doing and he is strong. Merrick and Winston's somehow cheeky personalities share almost the same voice, but with one mature and the other a bothersome youngster who is a trainee at his job. It's just a shame that the two don't add much to the story and are purely there for the basis of humour. But the voice actors I will say, know what they are doing.
Perhaps the most worthy voice added to the cast is Michael Legge as Luke. Michael donates his Irish background to give young Luke a vulnerable but heriocally brave and smooth vocals. The portrayal certainly matches with his character and adds more hints of different cultures living on Sodor. Back to the film, Luke is seen for the first time coming out of hiding.

This leads to a helpful game of hide-and-seek with the narrow gaugers trying desperately hard to hide Luke fast and away from Thomas. It is not exactly made clear as to why the engines wouldn't trust their friend Thomas to find out an eventually undisclosed secret that was tucked away a long time ago and in some respects may seem slightly out of character from the first four narrow gaugers.

The secret of Luke's actions adds some drama and keeps the viewer engaged as you want to know what will happen to Luke and you want to care for him but at the same time, you want to care for Thomas as he's responsible to keep schtum. It is a matter that goes on in life. What do you do when you find out someone's secret? Should you tell anyone? Should you not? You must care for the victim no matter at what cost it makes.

Thomas asks his buds at Tidmouth Sheds, What do you all think is the worst thing an engine could do? This is where the old days of the show return for three great glimpses of nostalgia from arguably some of the best episodes in the program's history. These are re-imagined with Nitrogen's CGI and fulfills Greg Tiernan's ambition to re-create older tales for present day. It is nothing but a real crowd pleaser for the people who grew up with the olden days.
Despite some inconsistencies in visual differences, it doesn't really matter. We get some powerful references to the show's past and we loved those moments. The Sad Story of Henry is probably the superior out of the three. We see a chief of an island punishing one of his engines in a brutal way. Bricking him up in a tunnel, which is something of a worse nightmare or maybe a form of claustrophobia. It can relate to the mountain mystery and its outcome.

A near accident between Skarloey and Rocky is prevented by Thomas which ultimately persuades Luke to believe in him. Skarloey delcares, You saved me from losing my cab. The line makes you wonder what would've happend to Skarloey's driver and fireman. An injured crew or possible fatalities could've arised if no warning was called out. 

To take matters in your own hands to save some lives is an important factor of safety and this is shown in a Thomas & Friends episode! Brenner's research harkens back to 80s and 90s Thomas. Thomas reminds Luke that he steamed past a danger sign, and fell into a mine. Joking, and I'm still here!. Perfect mix of comedy and nostalgia.

Paxton returns in our sights for another role, listening in on Luke's very bad secret. The mystery unravels a backdrop for the then identified Victor and sounds like something that Miller may have saved since his inception in Hero of the Rails, a good idea. Though the shocking image of an engine landing in the sea may scare some kids. they would need to wait for a plausible explanation.

Victor breaks new ground for the show as a different language is heard, Spanish. Not only are the little bits of foreign dialogue surprising to hear, the basic sentences can teach children a new language. I was gutted that Matt Wilkinson did not voice Victor for this special. He gave Victor such an ideal sound but alas is replaced by the US' David Bedella. Though disappointing, you don't really notice this change and David actually does well to mimic the Cuban.

While on his branch line (hooray!), Thomas runs past a red signal but this time realizes his mistake, and reverses. This shows that Thomas' character is slowly returning and is once more a regulation that all drivers or in this case steam engines refer to in real life. Perhaps a reference to Toby Feels Left Out, Toby helps the true blue by pulling Annie and Clarabel to work.

The three have a good working relationship as evident by the chatter and shows that they have known each other for so long. Entering the Dieselworks to find the yellow engine, a scrapped Marklin engine is seen in a panning shot. Those who are clever trainspotters will have noticed this engine in parts of the First Series. It is another easter egg that Tiernan added for the more mature fanbase.

Thomas hears Paxton divulging Luke's secret to Diesel. This is the part where Diesel reverts back to his devious Season Two character instead of his Season Six portrayal. It is a joy to hear what trickery Diesel has up his cab but the fact that Hartshorne's slow and evil music cue signals back to the early days of the character, is just a pleasing win.

However, because of Thomas' thorough search for the yellow engine, this is where the film starts to lose pace. Upon leaving the quarry, our little engine asks four of his friends to give him the answer which goes on for too long. He then questions it to Edward, then Cranky in a lengthy but humorous scene at the Docks and a has a brief exchange with James. Though relevant, pace is lost up until the plot goes back on track with a discovery at the Steamworks.

In a very sombre interaction with Victor, the Cuban locomotive reveals to Thomas the true story about himself, the yellow engine and what occured on that fateful day. We get a simple explanation that the wheel chains snapping off Victor were the reasoning behind the horrifying fall at the Docks, and so, Luke's supposed act of physical contact is out of the game. Victor's perspective is played so well and adds more drama, leading to the film's final act.

Later, Thomas encounters Diesel at a junction being provoked at by The Fat Controller to take a broken down Mavis away. Diesel's determination to label Luke a baddie is rich coming from the devious oiler. Here combined with Hartshorne's reprise of his theme makes you feel that the Diesel we used to know is back and more evil than ever. The resurgence of the character's original personality really fits in with the feel that this story takes on.


After seeing Thomas emerging from hiding, Paxton's confusion is displayed to such an extent that you feel sorry for him to decide, what are you going to do when your stuck in the middle?. His frustration wracks his mind when he has to choose the side of good or bad. Thomas blurts out to the narrow gauge engines that he spoke to Victor about the very matter, leaving them to reject Thomas in anger.
The sign of neglection is a thing that goes on in life and normally would affect friendships, relationships and also families. Its a strong matter. But relating to this and this is noticeable, when you base stuff in real life for adaptations like this, they tend to be successful to audiences when they react to it, thoughtfully but in a good way and the move that this product takes is well thought out and uses the major participants strongly to develop characterisations.

Now I have been hearing from various fans who have argued that the next procedure is silly, but, it almost isn't. To save his dying friendship with Luke, Thomas elects to go up the incline with the help of Rocky and Owen. The sheer lunacy that is realised when Thomas staggers around the narrow gauge tracks has a reason. Thomas is determined not to lose a friend and will take any risk for an engine or indeed engines to believe in him.

Unable to stop, Thomas bursts through the buffers and dangles on the end of the cliff tops. The expressions that the engines show combined with the sudden pause of music and the cries for Help! had me on the edge of my seat. Has Thomas just made the biggest mistake of his life? Yes, and no. He took a risk and ultimately needs saving himself. The orchestration adds heroism, especially when Luke pulls him to safety. Its a passable dramatic sequence.

I will admit however that I didn't like the fast trail down Owen. Though gripping, I would have believed it more if this was tried in the model era of the show. I'm not saying I hate the animation, I absolutely adore it 100%. But I just wasn't sure if this was believable enough, writing wise. The whole thing is finished quickly luckily and landing on the deck, Luke and Thomas are safe. Look out for a nod to the models.
Upon trying unsuccessfully to brainwash Luke and Paxton about Thomas, Paxton re-enters the quarry with Victor. Resolving the situation, Victor forgives Luke and the two are the best of friends. It is a touching scene and is helped by the performances of Legge and Bedella. And so, the film ends and fades to black... almost. Sam Blewitt returns to sing the Blue Mountain Mystery song, now a popular contender for the best of the modern Thomas songs.

Half way through, the music video breaks to provide a filler scene as to what happened days after the events. The relationship between Victor and Luke is explained that they are close in contact with both of them together at the Steamworks. In a nod to Victor's past and as a culmination of a running gag, Rheneas emerges as the yellow engine and is finally given his repaint.

The scene is merely meant to be an amusing joke and doesn't mean that Rheneas will remain like this forever. Even so as Blue Mountain is set before the events of Season Sixteen. Returning to the song, sombre tones are played out to the music perhaps signalling the tearful farewell to Nitrogen Studios and their wonderful CGI. This is evident by the use of a reprise of Thomas going over the camera to a fade in of their logo. It made me sad.

I speak for all of the fans and followers of the show and their work to say that I am sorry to see them go, but their swansong went out on a high note. Arc Productions certainly have a hard act to follow.

Blue Mountain Mystery lived up to its hype, served many surprises and has almost the right ingredients to making a Thomas & Friends production. The return of popular characters, the greater focus on personalities, the back story, the research, the education it gives, the nods to the past, the nods to the The Railway Series, and so on.
The film truly is a near return to form of our beloved program and from the little nuggets of information I have been informed about the next Series Seventeen, and with the professional Andrew Brenner at the helm, I truly believe that the little engine and his friends are coming home, to a much better place.

TheTopHatts gives the Blue Mountain Mystery an...
8/10

THOMAS & FRIENDS WILL RETURN
IN
SEASON SEVENTEEN
FALL 2013

Rupert Degas lends supporting voices for 'Red Dwarf X'

Voice actor Rupert Degas is to appear in another televised project, as several voices in a returning science-fiction series.

Degas is credited as Various Voices for the new season of classic sitcom, Red Dwarf called, Red Dwarf X.

The Dart, Flynn and Bertie star recorded his lines back in December 2011 for some of the stories including the first titled, Trojan.

First confirmed on his Spotlight page and now on The British Comedy Guide, Degas tweeted at the time of his commitment.


Off to Shepperton to do some smegging voices on 'Red Dwarf' today - "Oh, spin my nipple nuts and send me to Alaska!".

Red Dwarf X premieres on Dave in the UK on Thursday October 4th 2012 at 9pm.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Sir Topham Hatt makes appearance on US daytime show

Sir Topham Hatt made a special appearance on NBC's news station, WCNC this week in America.

Plugging event info for the North Carolina Transportation Museum, The Fat Controller was greeted by anchor Larry Sprinkle in a segment of Larry's Look.

Mark Brown, a staff member from the museum, did most of the talking to publicise Thomas the Tank Engine's visit later this month.

Sprinkle ended the interview by joking, Tank you very much!, much to the groans of the production crew.

Thomas the Tank Engine and Sir Topham Hatt will attend the N.C. Transportation Museum on September 21st to 23rd and on 28th to 30th 2012.



Thanks to SI3DFilms for the alert.

Friday, 7 September 2012

'Blue Mountain Mystery: The Movie' a UK DVD bestseller

Blue Mountain Mystery: The Movie is en route to becoming the most successful Thomas & Friends film to date.

The special which has pulled in more favourable reviews since Hero of the Rails has also exceeded expectations at the cinemas and on DVD in the UK.

On its first week of release, the DVD has charted in 3rd place on Sainsbury's DVD Bestsellers list.

Though beaten by Salmon Fishing in the Yemen and The Hunger Games, Mystery has pulled off stiff competition from the likes of The Big Bang Theory, Boardwalk Empire and Piranha 3DD amongst others.

In Tesco's nationwide stores, not only has the special been awarded 5th place in their DVD Film Chart, but also being the 12th most recommended title in the New This Week section.

Over on amazon.co.uk, Mystery is currently at the 19th position in the Bestsellers in Film & TV column after falling a few places down from its pre-ordering status.
Lastly on hmv's Best Sellers list, 58th place has been donated to the DVD in a grudging popularity stake with other new and existing releases.

Owing to popular demand and ticket sales, Vue cinemas is to screen the movie again this weekend in all their screenings nationwide for the second week running.

Blue Mountain Mystery returns to UK Vue cinemas nationwide this weekend on Saturday September 8th and Sunday 9th at 10:15am. The DVD is available to buy in shops now.


Wednesday, 5 September 2012

'Blue Mountain Mystery' gains second weekend at Vue

Blue Mountain Mystery: The Movie is to be shown again to the public in Vue cinemas this weekend.

The news, announced by Thomas & Friends UK's official Twitter, comes after the successful reception received for the film in the country and in the United States and Australasia.

It is the only time that a Thomas & Friends movie has taken an encore with the cinema chain for more screenings.

Blue Mountain Mystery was celebrated in Leicester Square for a VIP premiere with such figures turning up to the event including Jo WoodMo Farah and The Fat Controller.

Fan reception has been generally positive with some hailing it as the best Thomas feature film to have existed. Others mostly have praised the visuals made by the departed Nitrogen Studios.


Blue Mountain Mystery returns to UK Vue cinemas nationwide this weekend on Saturday September 8th and Sunday 9th at 10:15am. The DVD is available to buy in shops now.


'Christmas Tree Express' teaser uploaded onto YouTube

Lionsgate have uploaded a clip from the Season Sixteen finale, Christmas Tree Express onto YouTube.

The preview showing the opening two minutes of the episode sees the narrow gauge engines hard at work at the Blue Mountain Quarry.

This then leads to a conversation between Rheneas, Toby and Thomas at night, setting up the plot of the story.
Michael Brandon narrates while Ben Small, William Hope and Martin Sherman voice the characters.

The clip itself was used to promote the American DVD release, A Very Thomas Christmas which features four Christmas themed tales from the Sixteenth Series.
The latest series will return for one more day in Australia, the United Kingdom and America on ABC2, Channel 5 and PBS stations respectively, with the Christmas Tree Express in Christmas 2012.

For a full list of the scheduling, visit the Dieselworks Turntable Roundhouse on the right hand sidebar for more details.
 
A Very Thomas Christmas from Lionsgate Entertainment hits US DVD shelves on October 9th 2012.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Four movie tales form Smyths' 'Ultimate Movie Box Set'

Children's UK entertainment retailer, Smyths have created a DVD boxset, specially composed for the store giant.

The Ultimate Movie Box Set which carries four Thomas & Friends specials is an exclusive, only available to buy in Smyths' many shops in Britain and Ireland.

In reverse order, Day of the Diesels, Misty Island Rescue, Hero of the Rails and The Great Discovery are billed as The Best 4 x 60 Minute Movie Adventures! as the description reads.
Thomas the Tank Engine 4 DVD Boxset includes the following DVDs: Day of the Diesels; There's a fire on Sodor and two new firefighting engines Flynn and Belle arrive to help Thomas and Percy save the day!

When Thomas starts spending all of histime with Sodor's newest heroes, Percy is drawn to the Dieselworks, where he is made to feel special by the master of mischief himself, Diesel 10!

But Percy doesn't know that he is part of Diesel 10's master plan to take over the Steamworks. The Steam Team rallies for sure-fire excitement in this unforgettable movie from Thomas & Friends!
Misty Island Rescue; The engines are hard at work to build a new Search and Rescue Centre. When Thomas helps a friend in need, he is rewarded with an exciting trip to the mainland.

Along the way, he gets lost at sea and finds himself on the mysterious Misty Island, where he meets new friends Bash, Dash, and Ferdinand.

Together they discover secret hideouts and try to help Thomas find his way home. Will The Fat Controller's search party ever find Thomas?
Hero of the Rails; During a daring race with boastful Spencer, Thomas discovers an abandoned engine from a far off place. Fearing Hiro will be sent to the Smelters, Thomas enlists his trusty engine friends to help repair him.

But will sneaky Spencer foil their plans? Jump on board for adventure and excitement in Hero of the Rails!

The Great Discovery; When Thomas discovers the long-lost town of Great Waterton, The Fat Controller declares that the town will be restored to mark Sodor Day.
Stanley, a bigger and stronger engine, arrives to help but Thomas feels under threat and plays a trick on him.

When the plan backfires, Thomas finds himself lost and alone with the whole island hunting for him. Will Thomas be found and make it back to restore Great Waterton in time for Sodor Day?

Ultimate Movie Box Set is available to buy in Smyths stores in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.


Thanks to SI3DFilms for the alert.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Stars in attendance for Vue's 'Blue Mountain' premiere

Blue Mountain Mystery: The Movie made its debut in the United Kingdom in Vue cinema screens nationwide.

Played in cities across the country, the sixth feature-length special was also celebrated in a VIP premiere at the Vue's Leciester Square.

The event held on September 1st saw recognisable figures in Britain attend the celebratory screening.
Perhaps the most famous person to join the party was Olympic champion, Mo Farah. The Somalian athlete, who brought his daughter Rihanna to see the film, posed for a photo with The Fat Controller, both doing his Mobot symbol.

Another known figure was television personality and ex-wife of The Rolling Stones' Ronnie Wood, Jo Wood. The former model was aided by her grandchildren to the prestigious show.
Others who turned out for the fun included cricketer James Anderson, Eastenders' Jo Joyner, model Danielle O' Hara, presenter Kate Garraway and Iranian-born British comedienne Shappi Khorsandi.

More so were singer Stacey Solomon, actor Shaun Dooley, comedienne Katherine Ryan and milkshake! presenters Olivia Birchenough and Kemi Majeks.

Thomas & Friends UK's Twitter were on hand promote the special day and to thank the attendees.

Blue Mountain Mystery: The Movie hits UK DVD shelves tomorrow on Monday September 3rd 2012.

FULL COVERAGE

Butch and Harold star in MEGA BLOKS' Rescue Center

MEGA BLOKS have released a brand new playset based on one of the Island of Sodor's locations.

The appropriately named, Rescue Center concerns the activity and functions of the health and response facility.

Available in a total of 32 buildable pieces, Classic Series characters, Butch and Harold collaborate in the product as a team.
The explanation tells; Help Harold the good-hearted helicopter keep a watchful eye on the rails of Sodor with the Thomas & Friends Rescue Center from Mega Bloks.

When Harold teams up with Butch, the powerful breakdown truck, there’s nothing they can’t do! Together, they work hard at Sodor’s Search and Rescue Center.

Build and re-build Butch’s garage and Harold’s landing pad for a new Thomas and Friends adventure every day. The Rescue Center from Mega Bloks is a heroic addition to any Thomas fan’s collection!

Rescue Center from MEGA BLOKS hits toy shelves worldwide now.


Thanks to GeebMachine for the alert.