Five years have passed since the flop of 'Thomas and The Magic Railroad'. Britt Allcroft stand down her position as chairman and director and the company renamed into 'Gullane Entertainment' and were in production of Series six under the new label. By 2002, HIT Entertainment, the owners of Bob the Builder, Angelina Ballerina and Barney, have successfully bought the rights to the show. In 2005, it was the year of celebration for the Railway Series as the books have turned sixty years old and in celebration, a special DVD feature have been produced entitled, 'Calling All Engines!' which has the return of Diesel 10 and Lady, but not focused from the first film. But first, the usual:
THESE ARE SOLEY MY OWN OPINIONS AND NOT FROM THE THOMAS & FRIENDS FAN BASE
CALLING ALL ENGINES!
2005, I was in my second year of high school at the time and the only news source to know about new Thomas things was Sodor Island and a little site called 'TV Tome', which is now 'TV.com'. I remember first hearing about this back in late 2004 when they said a new feature length special is in the works and by October 2005, I got myself a copy of this movie from 'EzyDVD', which came with free Thomas cards and it was the first Thomas DVD to have the new handle cases.
When HIT took over Thomas, many DVDs with separate episodes were never sold in Australia and the only S8 DVD that came out with episodes was 'All Aboard With The Steam Team' which came out earlier the same year. To me, 'Calling All Engines!' seems like an extended Thomas episode a little, I don't hate it though, but it just seem that way. But it is still an OK special. Its great to see Diesel 10 and Lady again and yes I know about Diesel 10 being nice at the end, but over the years many people can change their personality, I know a few people outside the internet who are pain to me in my younger years, but with many years passing by, I begin to be friends with them and I see them as nice people. In the RWS, you don't see Gordon bragging on about trucks all the time, minus in his own book, as he has been matured about it and as well him being OK with Pip and Emma taking his usual express in the recent RWS book 'Thomas and His Friends'.
It was also good to see Lady and the Season 4 model of Rusty, even though the narrator says that they were shunting trucks. How could they be shunting trucks? They both run on different gauges. I also like the dream sequence that the engines had, it was heartbroken to think what will happen to them if they aren't really useful, but these things can happen to an engine, minus Percy being a roller-coaster. There was also the return cameo of Derek and Daisy, its a shame that Daisy hasn't got a role, but at least she was mentioned in the learning segment.
But there are some downsides towards this special. Not the story, it's great, it shows a great moral about working together no matter what the differences are, something that many of the recent Thomas episodes are missing out on or repeating over and over again, depends on what you choose really. But the downside is the learning segments. I know they're just for kids, but they're just a complete waste of time and sometimes, they could be obvious and the songs being put into the movie. There were some goods songs actually and some were quite catchy, the 'Busy' and 'Try To Do Things Better' songs are my favourites, but I'm glad they decided to leave them out (the learning segments) out of the next special DVD. Why was Daisy annoyed when they met up with the steam engines? Daisy is one of the diesels that like them. Heck, she works with Thomas, Percy and Toby on the Ffarquahr branch line in the RWS and the early years of the Thomas TV series. Its lucky that the recents writer didn't put her in the recent, imagine her new persona if they did.
The movie has a great story, moral and characters that older and younger fans would enjoy. But the learning segments are OK for kids, but they can be a waste of time and it has a bit of a feeling as an extended Thomas episode, I don't watch the special that much now, but it is certainly enjoyable.