Monday, 27 May 2013

DVD Review: Thomas the Tank Engine Character Encyclopaedia




Written and Produced by
Britt Allcroft and David Mitton 

Directed by
David Mitton 

Special Features:

Distributed by
Sony Creative Products Inc. 

Release Date:

Thomas the Tank Engine is no stranger to the people of Japan. With its success with its marketing in that country, the show has a big following and has its own fan site called 'Puff Puff Thomas', which is on the links box on the right side of the page. I've reviewed many of their DVDs and they're very different comparing to other countries like Australia, America and even the United Kingdom. They have their DVDs containing episodes, with four coming out in July this year from both the classic series and CGI series. But they also have DVDs containing special programmes such as like the popularity of Thomas in Japan and as well as Hiro's popularity in Japan and one DVD containing about the engines and routes of the Island of Sodor. In this review, I take a look at, one of my favourites so far, the 'Thomas the Tank Engine Character Encyclopaedia':

The DVD opens up with Harold the Helicopter, using footage from the classic and new series of the show, flying around the Island of Sodor telling us the many different things and facts about the characters of the show. The one thing that amazed me about the DVD is the use of pictures showing us the differences of a tank engine and tender engine and for the narrow gauge engines, the differences of gauges of the NG engines, TFC's engines and the railway gauge in Japan. In some scenes of the classic episodes, you can still hear some of the sound effects that were put in the episode, even though the new series music was over it, so you can't use it for video projects on YouTube unfortunately. 

To end the DVD, we're given a bonus episode which was 'Rusty and The Boulder' which is 'Boulder Rock', the Japanese title of the show. I still find that episode to be unrealistic with the boulder running around on flat surface, on a viaduct that can easily break with its weight, going up a hill towards a shed that was blown up for no reason whatsoever. But there are some ditties in the episode that can be only heard on the American and Japanese version of the episode that didn't make it to the final cut of the UK version. 

All I can say is that the DVD is interesting to watch, it teaches kids about the differences about tank engines and tender engines as well diesels, vehicles, rolling stock and people. If you speak or understand the Japanese language, I recommend watching it.  I still find the Japanese releases to be the most creative and so far, the DVD is certainly a favourite of mine. 

Rating: 5/5