Monday, 31 December 2012

A Retrospective of Thomas & Friends DVDs of 2012


As 2012 is drawing to a close, we will now take a look back at all the DVD releases of 2012 of Thomas & Friends:

きかんしゃトーマス ようこそソドー島へ たのしいなかま初登場編
(Hen first appearance fun companion to the island Sodor Welcome Thomas the Tank Engine)
(English translation by Google)
REVIEW DATE: 23/03/12
I believe every Thomas DVD from Japan have great content, this is one of the first DVDs that I've owned that has remastered episodes from the 1st - 3rd season of the show. The DVD gives us six episodes, one from S2 being remastered and a nice documentary showing us all the engines on Sodor that first arrived, though strangely they put 'City of Truro' in, when really its a preserved engine from the UK. But the DVD has great content. 
Rating: 5/5

きかんしゃトーマス じょうきはディーゼルにまけないぞ!!
(Thomas the Tank Engine above'll not lose to Diesel!)
(English translation by Google)
REVIEW DATE: 25/05/12

Once again, another great DVD for the Japanese audience. The classic episodes are all remastered and its good value with many episodes of the steam vs. diesel rivalry from the classic era of the show remastered.

Rating: 5/5

いつもなかよし ふたごのきかんし
REVIEW DATE: 29/05/12

Another great DVD from the country of Japan. Much like the Australian compilation DVD series, 'My First Thomas' but with remastered episodes. Their is an English/Japanese audio selection with the UK narration and the episodes are once again remastered. 
Rating: 5/5

The Best of Thomas & Friends Vol. 1
REVIEW DATE: 25/03/12

Even though this was known for release in 2011 and strangely in 2010 in Australia, but was never advertised, I bought the DVD this year at Toys 'R' Us. All 26 episodes and a few of the classic ones being restored. The DVD has great entertainment for kids of all the classic selected stories 
between S1-6 
Rating: 5/5

Up, Up and Away!
REVIEW DATE: 28/03/12

The UK's third DVD release with 'The Birthday Express' being delayed and 'Thomas In Charge'. The DVD to me considered one of the worst that the UK has released with four poorly written episodes, especially 'Wonky Whistle' from the dreaded fifteenth season, I'm pretty sure every Thomas fan knows by now that many people don't like that episode or any episode on this DVD. However the special features are OK and Mr. Perkins is always enjoyable to watch. But with the episodes it is really not an entertaining DVD. 
Rating: 1/5

Rescue on The Rails
REVIEW DATE: 1/06/12

It's not better then the previous. I'm not much of a fan of 'Stop That Bus' really, minus Bertie's full CGI appearance. Not many of the episodes have a moral issue to deal with minus 'Edward The Hero'. The DVD is OK with the special features and Mr. Perkins. 
Rating: 3/5

Blue Mountain Mystery
REVIEW DATE: 8/09/12

Out of all the CGI specials, this one has to be the best since 'Hero of The Rails'. Andrew Brenner really made the script more entertaining then Sharon Miller's 'Day of The Diesels', even though I find it OK, and the dreadful 'Misty Island Rescue' special. Characters like Skarloey, Annie and Clarabel were in perfect character. Shame that this was Nitrogen Studios' last contribution to the Thomas world, but I wish them all the best in their other projects and that the Thomas fans who've supported them for nearly five years would never forget them. 
Rating: 5/5

The Classic Collection (S1 -3)
REVIEW DATE: 23/10/12
I thought these were re-releases of the classic collection from the 65th anniversary box set, but thanks to Chris Tomson on Twitter, the first three seasons were remastered. Many other copies such as promotional DVDs or compilation themed DVDs, like 'The Best Of' series that were released in the UK in 2010 and '12, have the remastered episodes but not as a series collection. With the classic story lines by Rev.W.Awdry and Christopher Awdry from the books, Britt Allcroft, David Mitton and Andrew Brenner and the nostalgic narration of Ringo Starr and Michael Angelis, they are worth the money. The DVDs between 4-7 are no different minus the logo change, but they will be a great addition to introduce the classic Thomas to a new generation. I believe that throughout the course of 2012, these DVDs were the best release in the Thomas franchise for the UK, along with 'Blue Mountain Mystery'.
Rating: 5/5

Merry Winter Wish
REVIEW DATE: 02/11/12 

I thought the DVD was OK and it tried its best. The DVD was suppose to be released in 2011, however due to the Christmas/Winter Holiday PC issue by British Newspapers, Church groups, older fans and Hilary Awdry from the 2006 DVD 'Little Engines, Big Days Out' learning segment about a Christmas tree not being mentioned and Christmas being called 'Winter Holiday'. So this release was postponed until October 2012 with two additional episodes from 'Merry Christmas Thomas' and having an audio change by saying 'Christmas'. But HIT should at least make more episodes that have other celebrations from different religions. 
Rating: 3/5

A Very Thomas Christmas 
REVIEW DATE: 5/11/12
I find 'Emily's Winter Party Special' and 'Salty's Surprise' the most decent episodes and 'Ho Ho Snowman' and 'The Christmas Tree Express' the not worth watching episodes in this DVD from the US. The special features were fun, especially 'Thomas' Christmas Journey Game' which I find more fun then any other game on US releases, to be honest. Like 'Merry Winter Wish', it tried its best and I find it OK. 
Rating: 3/5

Curious Cargo
REVIEW DATE: 7/11/12

I bought the UK version of the DVD at HMV while I was in Liverpool, England, home to the first narrator of 'Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends' and the drummer of The Beatles, during my european trip between August/September. The UK version has no entertaining episodes and are from the dreadful S14 & S15. But the only episode I find decent is in this version, Australia, is 'Pingy Pongy Pick Up' even though the episode is unrealistic. But it was strange how ABC and EzyDVD have said that three episodes of 'Mike The Knight' are on the DVD and it turns out it wasn't.  
Rating: 2/5

Engine Friends
REVIEW DATE: 8/11/12
I find this a great DVD, it had some great episodes with the remastered classics but I also find the special features dull and the only thing I find entertaining is 'Sir Topham Hatt's Scrap Book'. But it gives a younger Thomas fan's introduction to the classic era Thomas. I find this one of the US' greatest release for 2012.
Rating: 5/5

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! ~)
REVIEW DATE: 19/11/12
Probably one of the best creative DVDs I've seen this year from Japan. The DVD shows the many routes on the Island of Sodor with remastered clips from the first three seasons and rare pictures by Terry Permane. The best DVD for Japan for 2012, if only HIT does DVDs like this for its Australian, American and UK audiences despite that a different company in Japan does its own DVDs alone. The DVD also features 'Thomas and The Treasure' narrated by Jon Kabria along with various voice actors.
Rating: 5/5

Sticky Situations
REVIEW DATE: 14/12/12
I had doubts when the DVD was announced. Some episodes were written in a poor state, though I find 'Sticky Situations' OK and a few others. But what really impressed me is the 2012 version of 'Go Go Thomas'. At first I thought it was a rehash of the one from the 2009 special, but it turns out the lyrics had changed and added new scenes from the sixteenth season. The 'Biff Bash Bosh' game was OK but it got really boring and annoying quickly. I think the DVD had tried its best to be good again and it's an OK release. 

Rating: 3/5

There were other DVDs I bought this year but had no time or interest to review them. But as of now, it's nearing 2013 and so I'll be reviewing more new DVDs during the course of the new year and as well as others such as the S6-12 episode reviews and the new written episodes of the 17th series by Andrew Brenner as well. But now I like to wish everyone a happy and safe new year and be looking forward to be making more reviews in the new year.