Friday, 18 July 2014

Movie Reviews Revisited: Day of The Diesels (2011)


Written by
Sharon Miller

Directed by
Greg Tiernan

Produced by
Nicole Stinn

1/09/11 (AUS)
6/09/11 (US)
26/09/11 (UK)

Percy feels left out as Thomas was spending more time with Belle and Flynn, Sodor's two new fire fighting engines. Diesel knew this would be a good idea to trick Percy into luring him to the Dieselworks at Vicarstown. 

An old farm house was on fire and so Thomas and Percy were to fight it with their amount of water. However it was not too much and so Belle came in to save the day, she's fitted with water cannons. 
Belle's a new engine that've arrived on the Island of Sodor as part of the search and rescue centre team. To be honest the design of Belle was just ridiculous, I know that the animators want to have unique designed engines as characters, but why give a 4MT tank engine water cannons? I remember hearing a locomotive in America had water cannons fitted to its tender once, though I don't recall the type of engine. But it's illogical and the show had shown us that engines run out of water. However they did show that in the movie that she'd run out of water and she couldn't move. Although I do like the characterisation of Belle, she's brave, strong, have a big heart and nice. Something good for the female fans of the show. 
After she ran out of water, Thomas and Percy took her to the Steamworks. The Fat Controller was there too telling her that they must need another fire engine, which where Flynn is brought in, which will be later on. However Belle gives a nice moral towards Kevin telling him that all engines on Sodor are heroes, which is good for kids to tell us that everyone is a hero. However I think this special is forcefully telling us that Thomas and Percy are 'best friends', which gets really annoying. I'm sure kids would already know by now that they are best friends. As Thomas was showing Belle around Sodor, Diesel came up to Percy, who thought it'll be a good to tease Percy.
Diesel is now shown in his devious self again, yes it looks like bullying of course but that's an immoral thing and in the devious category. Belle questioned Diesel that if his kind have a workshop. Diesel told her that they have the Dieselworks but it's not grand like the Steamwork, now we have more superirority from the main protagonist, Thomas, saying the Dieselworks is 'Filled with Diesels, Diesels can be devious!'
Again, steam engines and diesel engines have their rivalry in this show, yes Rev.W.Awdry did make his characters think of the stereotype such as Gordon in 'Main Line Engines' think that all diesels are smelly and oily but after seeing BoCo he thought him as a wonderful diesel, telling us that not all are what they think. But here, Thomas being the main protagonist just doesn't care and it seems that writer have forgotten the other diesel engines that are nice and kind like Rusty, Mavis or Salty for example?
Percy was to take Flynn's hose to the rescue centre and after being rejected again by Thomas, Percy decided to go to the Dieselworks, as Diesel said he'd be a very special visitor there. This is very out of character for Percy, he should know better then not listen to Diesel because of behaviour, which I know they're trying to say don't listen to what others are saying. It could've worked better if it were a new diesel feeling rejected by the other steam engines because of what he is and Diesel was telling him nonsense but Thomas and Percy and the nice diesels help him and tell him that the steam engines do respect diesels, it's just that engines like Diesel give them a bad reputation. It's almost what this movie is but replace Percy and don't make Thomas too judgement about Diesels because of a stereotype. 
So as Percy arrived at the Vicarstown Dieselworks as he was taking Flynn's hose to the rescue centre, he was greeted by Diesel 10, who've we last seen in 'Misty Island Rescue' at the end of the credits. I like it here that he's more like the other diesels on Sodor rather then being a psychopathic engine who wants to destroy engines, his Hollywood persona. However I was surprised that D10 said to Percy, 'It's been a long time!' despite that I hate 'Thomas and the Magic Railroad' it's a bit of a surprise that there is some continuation, plus there is 'Calling All Engines!' 

So inside the Dieselworks we meet Paxton, Norman and Sidney, who would be treated better in two years to come, for Paxton one year. I remember during the promotional advertising of this special, they've given Paxton, Norman and Sidney persona details, toys etc. they were treated as mute background characters. Den and Dart are also there, I'm kinda glad they gave them reason but it's not too much, all we know that Percy never seen them before.

Den and Dart are OK characters and not as annoying as Bash, Dash and Ferdinand. The interior of the broken down Dieselworks is spot on by Nitrogen Studios though with the grimy and grimy detail. Percy noticed how rundown the Dieselworks is and Diesel 10 told him that they've asked the Fat Controller but he only listens to steam engines. That's another plot hole, in previous episodes we see the Fat Controller listening to Diesels such Diesel or Mavis. 
So Percy decided to ask Thomas to ask the Fat Controller to give the diesels a new Dieselworks. I'm going to nitpick here, why ask Thomas to ask the Fat Controller? Wouldn't it be better if Percy go and ask the Fat Controller himself? I guess they need Thomas in the picture as he's the main character. 

Flynn arrived on the Island of Sodor and all the engines admire him already. I like it how he's a road/rail hybrid vehicle, as they are really seen on the railway line. It was also strange to hear his American accent in the UK dub, but I think it's to make him sound heroic but it's also nice to bring some cultural diversity on the Island as well. As of his characterisation, he was more heroic in this then in S15-16 where he is shown as wimpy and inexperienced, some might say 'But that's how Thomas was like when we first saw him.' well minus the wimpy part, but Flynn was already been implied that he's a hero and in S15-16 he was pathetic. S17 was a much more better improvement of him. 
Despite that Thomas ignored Percy, Diesel 10 was cross and they're also in need of a new crane too. Back at the Steamworks, Percy thought of taking Kevin to the Dieselworks as there new crane, later Thomas came to look for Percy and told him that Flynn's hose is not at the rescue centre for him to pick up, as it was hidden by Dart. Another nitpick moment, wasn't the purpose of the hose's deliver for the rescue centre, were Flynn is residing? No explanation. So later that day, after feeling being rejected by Thomas again, as Flynn was in his berth (Percy), he took Kevin to the Dieselworks. One part of the scene was Dart's pointless dialogue 'Dizzy Diesels!' he only says that out of frustration and there was nothing to be frustrated about. 
After spending the night at the Dieselworks, Thomas was worried for Percy and the other engines were shocked the learn that Kevin was missing, although Percy told them that he took him to the Dieselworks. Although Kevin was having fun at the Dieselworks by bashing steel rubbish everywhere, a bit of a bad sign for kids about playing in a hazardous area. Although I do admit the shot were Diesel 10 grabbed the tyre was really good work from Nitrogen. 
So Thomas is to go to the Dieselworks to collect Kevin and Victor went off to tell the Fat Controller, resulting the Steamworks to be unguarded and so the Diesels are to take over the Steamworks so the Fat Controller will listen to the Diesels and Percy is to lead them, bit of a hypocrite for helping the Diesels but the writing made Percy more a mind numbing moronic engine, while Thomas was in the back shed, with Kevin, held by Den and Dart. So Diesel 10 and the diesels took over the Steamworks by bashing into buffers and go crazy, though before that I was surprised that they've followed the Railway Series map, starting from Vicarstown, then through Henry's tunnel and then to Crovans Gate's Sodor Steamworks. However the 'take over' is more dimwitted and immature, it would be more better if it were Diesel 10 telling all of the workmen that the steamworks is under Diesel power now. Plus Percy was somehow shocked that Diesel 10 will never give it back despite that he was the one leading them, it would be better if the Diesels were bullying him and telling him what to do and that he stands up against them, what part of 'take over' doesn't Percy understand? So Percy returned to the Dieselworks to help Thomas, he noticed it was on fire, thanks to the sparks on Diesel 10's claw. Percy got Flynn and Belle and made their way to fight the fire and saving Thomas.
After saving the Dieselworks from certain destruction, Thomas was saved and now he and his friends raced to take back the Steamworks from the Diesels. However the Fat Controller arrived and told off Diesel 10, despite that Diesel 10 wants the Fat Controller to listen to him and his fellow diesels, was a wimp about his presences. Thomas and Percy explained about the state of the Dieselworks and it turns out that the Fat Controller has plans for the Dieselworks to be restored, but things like restoring a work facility takes time, a good moral for kids about waiting there turn. So in the end, the Dieselworks was restored and the Fat Controller tells us that steam engines and diesel engines are equal when they work together and Thomas and Percy's friendship is made up in the end. 

UPDATE 14/06/15: Looking back at the special, it's atrocious. First off it's Percy. While it's great that he got a lead character role it was poorly done. He came off as little cry baby wanting attention from Thomas as he was interacting with Belle and Flynn. Sure it's there for story but it doesn't work, Percy would at least be more accepting towards the friendship between Thomas, Belle and Flynn. The special could've worked better if it were about a new diesel, maybe Paxton his persona was written out in the guide book in 2011, who had come from the mainland and had been hearing false stories that the steam engines hate diesels. It could've worked with Paxton's character development, taught young children about equality and not listening to false stories and I do like the moral from this special as well and it could've worked in the story that I've made up. I said that this was OK at first and despite some characterisation of Belle and Flynn, it is still terrible and it's a shame that it was released the same year as what it would've been Rev.W.Awdry's centenary. It's there with the likes of Magic Railroad and Misty Island Rescue.