Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Movie Review: Hero of The Rails

2009 saw a new change in the Thomas world. After Season 12 that had a CGI/Model hybrid, 'Thomas & Friends' have gone full CGI as HIT Entertainment went through some budget cuts. To start off the new era, the first movie came out, entitled, 'Hero of The Rails' and for the first time since 2000, there is voices for the characters that in my opinion give more character. It even shows another character from a different country, Hiro, from Japan, the first was Hank from the USA. But now, let's get through, 'Hero of The Rails'. But, you know, the usual:


Written by
Sharon Miller

Directed by
Greg Tiernan

Release Date:


In 2008, Sodor Island have announced that HIT Entertainment will turn Thomas into a CGI show due to budget cuts. Now at first I was angry, excited and worried at the thought, why would you turn such a classic TV series into CGI? But by the time I watched Season 12 on ABC and seeing Nitrogen's Thomas on their website, I thought it was actually great work and it turned out that Greg Tiernan, who is now former director of the show, knows about the show's history and that he's a fan of the Railway Series and is a railway person himself.

The movie provided a jazzed up theme of 'Engine Roll Call' and shows a bit of Disney Pixar kind of 2D animation. I like the intro's now from the Nitrogen era, it makes it more like a movie then a TV episode with the original intro.

The story just shows Thomas restoring Hiro to his natural state as he was abandoned due to his parts not arriving from his home country, Japan. Spencer, who is spending the summer on Sodor with the Duke and Duchess of Boxford and working their new summer house, was wondering what Thomas is up to and decided to track him down. So Thomas had asked his friends to do his jobs while he's away. Hiro was also worried that the Fat Controller would scrap him as he felt he's beyond repaired. As Hiro started to work again, Spencer was near and as the two engines were running away from him, Hiro began to fall apart and he was sure he was to be scrapped.

Thomas told the Fat Controller about Hiro and to his surprise, the Fat Controller and the Duke and Duchess knew who he was and the Fat Controller had told Thomas that he will be restored at the Sodor Steamworks, home of the other two characters, Victor and Kevin. Spencer had made amends with Thomas and Hiro and the three engines worked on the summer house until it was finally done. But Hiro was homesick and in the end, the engine farewelled him and hope he would come back someday (until Season 13 starts the next year.)

The movie is OK, but it has some flaws, mainly the big one is, why is Thomas worried that the Fat Controller would scrap Hiro? Really? The Fat Controller runs a steam railway, why would he scrap a steam engine? I don't know. The speed of James and Toby and the other engines are just unrealistic and the scene were Thomas, James and Toby trapped Spencer with Percy's mail vans would end up being an accident and when Hiro wanted to get away from Spencer, why can't he slow down so he won't be caught? Another thing is the ages of Thomas and Hiro as they claimed Hiro is one of the oldest engines. Thomas was built in 1915 and Hiro's basis the D51 is made in 1936. Which means Hiro is a young engine.

But despite the flaws this movie had excellent CGI and it was a great start for Nitrogen Studio. The story is OK, but it has its flaws.

Rating: 3/5