Friday, 29 March 2013

DVD Review: Thomas and The Really Brave Engine and Other Adventures


Written by
Jan Page
Jenny McDade
George Tarry
Paul Larson


Directed by
David Mitton 

'Troublesome Trucks' 
Written and Composed by
Mike O' Donnell and Junior Campbell 

Bonus Features:
Sodor Spelling Game
Picture Puzzle Fun 
Character Gallery
Computer Fun - Coloring Fun 
The Midnight Ride of Thomas the Tank Engine read along

Release Date:

Distributed by
HIT Entertainment/Anchor Bay Entertainment

I didn't buy the DVD this year, I bought it back in the year 2011. Around this time the US were given more of classic episodes during the time of the new series under the HIT Entertainment banner and at the time Series 10 was about to be broadcasted later on that year (2006). So let's take a look shall we?

The episodes are all from the seventh series and no they're not in CGI, I think the DVD cover and release date can show you that. I only had one con with the episode and that is when Fergus didn't have any roles after 'Thomas and The Search For Fergus' or 'Fergus Breaks The Rules' if you're from the UK or Australia. I would say that Fergus didn't break any rules, but I think there is, not following orders, even though it was a trick made by Diesel. 'Bad Day at Castle Loch' is good but in my opinion, not strong comparing to other episodes focusing on Donald and Douglas, but it was nice to show their scottish heritage but its a shame that they argue like Bill and Ben, a bit of character reversals. As for Michael Brandon's 'scottish' voice, there's more about it in my review of the episode. 'Toby and The Windmill' half and half for me, not bad but not perfect, it was of course Toby's driver's fault to ram into the trucks after all the engines on Sodor, before S9-16, had a crew on board. 

'The Runaway Elephant' was unrealistic but certainly shows why a brake van is in need of place on a train. 'James and the Queen of Sodor' I like the grunts at the end and the story is simple and nice, but I think James should've known about the barges' existence, but if he have that then no plot :P 'Oliver the Snow Engine' or 'Snow Engine' in the UK/AUS, is just filled with flaws and I think it's better if you read my review. But again MB's Oliver voice was just horrid and bland, I know he was trying to give him a western accent like a cowboy, but it really didn't suit him.

The episodes are good choices, but they don't have perfection but not everything needs that. You can read more of my views about them by clicking on the links of the episodes.

The episode is filled with music by Robert Hartshrone and Ed Welch, who are now separated since the show transformed to CGI. So the only thing you'll hear from the classic series, with music, is the 'Troublesome Trucks' music video. It's a fun song and it tell us about the trucks' tricks obviously. I still find a shame that they didn't keep the old music for the DVD releases, but with the new series on board at the time this was released, I think they don't want kids to be confused with the music?

It's got two fun games for kids, like the spelling and puzzle, teaches kids to spell the names of the engines and learn from the shape of the picture. Kids can be taught with these games before starting school. There's also the character gallery and of course the read-along, but this is where I find the narration by Robin Smith bland and uninteresting as well as his voices for the characters on the DVD's games, his Fergus voice was awful. 

The DVD is OK. Kids from the target range would like these stories, but the narration of Michael Brandon as well as the S8-12 music makes the classic episode seem off for some of the fans who grew up with the classic series with the Mike O' Donnell and Junior Campbell music and ditty's. The stories have some flaws in them, but I think they're OK and good. If you like entertaining stories for your kids, I suggest buying a copy of this DVD. 

Rating: 3/5