Friday, 24 October 2014

DVD Review: Engines to the Rescue


Written by
Andrew Brenner
Paul Larson and Laura Beaumont 
Davey Moore

Directed by
David Baas

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


Special Features
Hey, Hey Thomas! Music video
Working Together Again Music video
Guess Who? puzzle

DVD Intervals:
Mr. Perkins Storytime - Thomas and the Breakdown Train
Mr. Perkins Postcard - The Steamworks
The Earl's Quiz - Pingy Pongy Pick Up and Double Trouble
Really Useful Engine - Edward and Emily

Distributed by
HIT Entertainment/Universal

I'm back with my DVD reviews, after five months. This time I'm reviewing another Wal*Mart exclusive and the first release from Universal, who are now the new distributors of Thomas DVDs as well as others of HIT's brands, which is 'Engines To The Rescue' featuring five S17 episodes. The DVD comes with the 2014 DVD special 'Tale of The Brave' only at Wal*Mart stores across America and Canada. Where do I get these DVDs you ask? Well from a seller by the name 'a.c entertainment for all', which is where I got my 'Trouble on The Tracks' DVD back in April, on Amazon US, credit to them.

My views of the episodes are provided under episodes beneath the DVD cover. Like previous Season 17 DVDs, 'Engines to the Rescue' provides more good episodes. 'Too Many Fire Engines' shows us the importance of fires and how having more then one is very important when it comes to situations like fires. 

'The Phantom Express' shows us that teasing isn't fun and that we can get scared of our own tall tales. 

'Bill or Ben?' shows us the return of the china clay twins in full CGI with a moral like 'The Phantom Express' that teasing isn't fun, plus it has that feeling of an Andrew Brenner magazine story, which has much similarity of 'Diesel's Race', which I own and it's on the TTTE Wikia if you want a look. 

'Henry's Hero' gives us the moralisation that we must keep on going despite some flaws along the way. 

'Not Now, Charlie!' showcase us the infamous purple engine, though in this episode he's more likeable then the previous episodes, literally. Telling us that if we tell jokes all the time and when you come to circumstances', no one would believe us, though in Charlie's case, 'Old habits die hard.' 

I think the stories that stood out from this DVD would have to be 'Not Now, Charlie!' and 'Henry's Hero'.  Both of these episodes shows great amount of writing and some likeable features, particularly the former, even if those writers have their own flaws.   

I wasn't really expecting any changes to the songs, they were just like 'Railway Mischief' at Wal*Mart last year, they just put some random features in to fill up the disc space. Though I was rather surprised that the two music videos provided were slowed down, like in the cinema runs here in Australia and as well in the UK. The puzzles

I wasn't surprised that the Railway Series story chosen for this DVD was 'Thomas and the Breakdown Train', as I think they were chosen to fit the DVD's theme: 

  • Santa's Little Engine (US: 2013/ UK: 2014): The Flying Kipper
  • Spills and Thrills (US/UK: 2014): Thomas and Gordon (UK) / Trucks (US)
  • Railway Mischief (US: 2014/ UK: 2015): Pop Goes The Diesel
  • Tale of The Brave (US/UK/AUS: 2014): Thomas and the Breakdown Train (UK/AUS)
  • Engines to the Rescue (US: 2014): Thomas and the Breakdown Train 
I know 'The Thomas Way' in the UK provided 'Trucks' in early 2014, but it really didn't fit the DVD's theme, they should've chosen a story like 'Duck Takes Charge'. However, Mr. Perkins (Ben Forster) provided great enthusiasm during his storytelling and Lorraine Marshall's little illustration edits were good too, it's understandable why she would paint James red as that's how kids know James, plus the first series of the television series were like that too 30 years ago. We also have the Postcard segment about the Sodor Steamworks, good backstory about it, despite the use of 'Kevin the Steamie' and 'Wonky Whistle'. The Earl's quiz is again as usual, knowing the shape or size of things and for 'Really Useful Engines' or 'Calling All Engines!' we have Emily and Edward, I always enjoy these as they give us the backstory of these engines. Of course it's the usual bio that you see on the internet or merchandise, but it's a good way to introduce the young audience who are watching Thomas for the first time. 

The DVD has a good batch of episode that fit well into the theme of the DVD with great morals for kids to learn adding some value to their entertainment. The special features and intervals will be entertaining for them too, but I do hope they add more videos rather then rehashing the same ones that were seen on previous DVDs beforehand, then again 'Railway Mischief' had a special feature of a game with Michael Brandon narrating that was seen in a previous DVD. The DVD menu, while good, wasn't really amazing. Would be good if Universal provided moving footage like in TOTB. But the menu didn't hurt the greatness of this exclusive DVD, on sale only at Wal*Mart

Rating: 9/10