THESE ARE SOLEY MY OPINIONS AND NOT FROM THE THOMAS & FRIENDS FAN BASE
きかんしゃトーマスに挑戦！ きみはどれだけ知っているかな？ ～ソドー島の謎をあばけ！~
(Thomas the Tank Engine Challenge! Do you know how much you? Uncover the mystery of the island - Sodor! ~)
Thomas & The Treasure
Sony Creative Productions Inc.
Another Japanese DVD for 2012. I find Japan to be the most creative people when it comes to their Thomas DVDs. Unlike here in Australia, America and the UK, we have the CGI DVDs with four, five or six episodes of badly written stories with no value for money. In Japan, when you see their content, they have CGI DVDs, but they mostly release DVDs filled with classic episodes from the early years right up until 2008, with the classic episodes being in their respective remastered state, I've been buying a few before the UK had released the Series 1 - 3 compilation DVDs.
The DVD shows us many things on the Island of Sodor like the main line, Thomas' branch line, Edward's branch line, the Little Western and so on. Including the Culdee Fell Mountain Railway, which was never featured in the television series before, maybe one day Andrew Brenner might fit them in the series one day? But hey, a man can dream can he? They showed the Sodor Island map but not HIT's version's like in the opening segments but in its Railway Series form, with some added locations from the new series.
Great Waterton is located near the Skarloey Railway and the Sodor Airport is located near Kellsthorphe Road, much like the one on the 'Standard Gauge and Narrow Gauge' video on the 'Blue Mountain Mystery' DVD. One thing, I'm glad they showed Duck's line, good to know that they haven't forgotten him or any of the classic characters. That's another thing I like about Japan, no matter what with the new Thomas series showing characters being bombarded into the series to sell toys and playsets, they never forget the Awdry characters such as Duck, the Culdee Fell engines and more.
The DVD is filled with some great photographs by Terry Permane, who've worked on the show as 'Director of Photography' between 1984-2008 and his pictures were used for Thomas tie-in products such as books, magazines, video and DVD covers etc. making him one of the longest Thomas crew members when the show was in model form. There was some rare pictures too like from 'One Good Turn' we see Ben scowling at Bill on the turntable, either that might be a deleted scene or just a promo shot:
With engines like Spencer, they showed a picture of Mallard. I believe they were talking about Spencer and his respective basis, the A4's and they showed Arthur showing where he came from with his letters 'L.M.S' on the side tanks. The DVD comes with a bonus episode, 'Thomas and The Treasure' narrated by Jon Kabria along with various voice actors. The episode sounds nice in the Japanese language despite the three strikes formula.
I've enjoyed this DVD very much. It shows all the lines across the Island of Sodor including one that was not featured in the television series and only in the books. It's one of the best creative DVDs that I've laid my eyes on and I wish HIT does something like these for their audiences in Australia, America and the UK instead of the four episodes of the CGI series DVDs. If you're interested in buying DVDs from Japan, I recommend buying from Amazon JP, though I only get it through express delivery and it gets hefty with the price, I heard from various Thomas users, that you can get them on FromJapan, which what I used to get the TUGS merchandise from Yahoo! Japan. They are another great site to get your Japanese goods from. However, if you're wondering about the region codes, they're in Region 2 so you might want to check your DVD region and I suggest getting a region free DVD player for your computer. But some might not play all regions, don't know why :P