Monday, 30 May 2016

DVD Review: Whale of a Tale & Other Sodor Adventures


Toad and The Whale
Who's Geoffrey? 
The Truth About Toby
Lost Property
Henry Spots Trouble
Salty All at Sea (UK only)

Written by
Lee Pressman
Davey Moore
Helen Farrall 

Special Features
Really Useful Engines 
Mr. Perkins' Postcard
Mr. Perkins Storytime
Who's That Engine?

Produced by
Ian McCue (HIT)

Distributed by
HIT Entertainment (UK)

Release Date

Yes I know I have reviewed this DVD last year when it was released over in the USA as a Wal Mart exclusive and that it was on iTunes US too. But there are differences between the two and I think it's worth reviewing for the sake of it. So anyway, here we see the UK's second DVD release of S19 episodes after the release of 'Start Your Engines' back in March 2016. Featuring episodes that were praised by fans. 


The episodes are consist with the first five that were seen on the US release when it was a Wal*Mart exclusive last year. However one additional episode was added and that is 'Salty All at Sea'. So there is some little differences in comparison towards the US DVD. If it were the same then it's somewhat pointless, despite the dub differences, to keep them a year apart and as I said in my review for 'Start Your Engines!' HIT really needs to consider of changing there release schedules when it comes to generic episodic releases like these. They do it with the DVD themed releases and the yearly specials and so many other countries like Japan have manage to release their items like Nintendo with Pokemon around the same time. Considering that Nintendo are releasing their upcoming game 'Pokemon Sun' & 'Pokemon Moon' on November 18th with the Europe getting the release a few days later. They did it with their previous one 'Pokemon X' & 'Pokemon Y' in 2013 and it's one of the highest selling games to this day for the 3DS.

Many of these episodes are either online like YouTube from recordings by fans after their TV run or are on Demand streaming websites. The internet is rapidly changing as time goes on and HIT needs to step up their game by releasing these generic releases around the same time frame. As of the release, it's really not that bad, the episodes are entertaining and likeable, although for me, as I've stated this before, I am not a fan of 'The Truth About Toby' considering that the episode made the characters have a lack of common sense about Toby. Sure it's there to give the moral about jumping to conclusons, but I much prefer 'Goodbye Fat Controller' despite that it had the same message, the episode does give the characters a much need of worry considering that if the Fat Controller was going to be replaced they might have a different one with a different view point. 

As of the flowing of the DVD, it's the same as 'Start Your Engines!' the episode starts with the intro, plays episode, Engine Roll Call, then credits and then an interval. It feels a bit awkward seeing it like that. The US still uses the original ERC intro, plays episodes and then intervals and then ERC and then credits. It feels a lot more natural like that, despite the outdated use of the original ERC theme. Hopefully HIT does something about it for their future releases.


There were some new features like 'Really Useful Engines' showcasing Edward and Emily, showcasing their biography and purpose. Despite that Edward's bio stated that his branch line is at Brendam it doesn't really hold that meaning now considering that all the engines go their. But maybe one day the production team might consider of creating a new harbour for the mainline? 

'The Earl's Quiz' is another new thing showcasing 'Pingy Pongy Pick Up' and 'Double Trouble' and I like them, but they are really something for kids to enjoy. However I don't know why that in this release they decided to release Mr. Perkins' segments on the DVD considering that they are from 'The Thomas Way'? I understand that the possible reason is because the ones from the US release were on the UK version of 'Trouble on the Tracks' and that was the Railway Series story 'Toby's Tightrope' and the postcard segment Ffarquhar Quarry. Although why couldn't they hold them back for this release? I had said before that those segments do fit in with the theme of the DVD (Trouble on the Tracks), despite that Ffarquhar Quarry's postcard was more about the engines that work their then about them.

Even though that many kids are new fans and are watching these for the first time, I do think their parents might as well buy the previous releases in their local shops or online like Amazon or even when they are out maybe at heritage railways during Thomas days. If they don't have any new segments why not have say another 'Landmarks of Sodor'? But in the end we get what we got and we can't change it now. 

Another special feature before the DVD menu is the trailer for 'The Great Race' which out in UK cinemas. Judging from what I heard from many fans, the movie was good but not as good as last year's special. But I'll wait and see until August 20th, the cinema release date for 'The Great Race' here in Australia, and see and will give my impression about the movie when it's out on DVD around Spring, Australia's spring.


I think the long year delay for the generic releases are quite pointless. These episodes were already released on websites for free after their TV run and still on their today. The DVDs would sell of course as always but maybe not too well as I said before it was a long year wait. The episodes would've been done with their voice recording already and were given to the TV stations around the globe, so I think having these generic releases released at the same time won't hurt.

However the title is pretty good, they kind of remind me of the old US releases like 'Thomas and his Friends Help Out & Other stories'. I think it is worth getting for the episodes really. 

Rating: 6.5/10