Thursday, 10 October 2013

DVD Review: Santa's Little Engine



Written by
Andrew Brenner
Paul Larson & Laura Beaumont 
Alan Hescott

Directed by
David Baas (Arc)
Greg Tiernan (Nitrogen) 

Produced by
Robert Anderson (Arc)
Ian McCue and Halim Jabbour (HIT)


Special Features
- Sir Topham Hatt's Frosty Friend
- Guess Who?

Release Date

Distributed by
HIT Entertainment/Lionsgate

Another exciting release for the American Thomas fans this year with another S17 DVD release with 'Railway Mischief' being the first in April this year. Plus with the positive reaction that S17 had been in June, with the first ten episodes of S17 aired in the UK, this DVD release of unseen Christmas episodes, minus one, of the new and improved series has made it very exciting to see. So are these stories good? Well then let's find out. 

First off, I don't know why they put 'Snow Tracks' on the DVD? They must be less amount of episodes focusing on either winter and Christmas and even though Mark Moraghan re-narrated the episode, there is no improvement on the episode either, the script is still there from 2010, as for the other episodes, I won't go into too much detail, as I'm awaiting the air dates for the UK so I can keep them in chronicle order, but the S17 episodes are great and recommendable to watch. All written and animated well and it's a great Christmas present for the young and old Thomas fan. 

The Mr. Perkins segments are very different now and very enjoyable too. Instead of him doing something for the Fat Controller or Sir Topham Hatt as he's known in America or something for the other engine drivers such as a magic show or treasure hunt, we see him on the mainland, a heritage railway in the UK, getting all warmed up as a signal man was getting some coal. Instead of the things he needs for a party, he sat down and is telling a story towards the young audience, the story is 'The Flying Kipper' with some newly made illustrations by Loarine Marshall, which recapture C. Reginald Dalby's work very well, along with Dalby's art work as well. It's great to see that Andrew Brenner, who also writes the Perkins segments, is bringing the Railway Series towards a brand new audience and as well as showing the illustrations, hope they stick with this in future DVDs. Another segment of his shows us him reading some mail, which is fan mail from the audience according to sources, one letter is about the history of Sodor, with footage from 'King of The Railway'. There are two activities from the Fat Controller and the Earl of Sodor, one, the Fat Controller's segment, has specially made footage of Percy and the other, the Earl of Sodor, is a quiz from S13 episodes, 'Toby's New Whistle' and 'Tickled Pink'. 

I should also note that at the beginning of the DVD menu, they have the Christmas theme from the Season three episode, 'Thomas and Percy's Christmas Adventure' as well. As with the games, it's pretty much for kids and it has a difficulty level, it looks as though it was made for the Apple products or various mobile products, but it's not bad really and the 'Guess Who?' puzzles are Rocky, the Fat Controller and Thomas.

With such good written episodes, minus one, this definitely a great DVD to have in your collection. The four episodes from S17 are great to watch and I will have more info on them as soon as the UK dates are set. The segments are fun and enjoyable and I highly recommend this DVD as a Christmas present this year. Well all we do now is await the next S17 DVD, 'The Thomas Way' in December. 

Rating: 4.5/5