Sunday, 28 August 2016

DVD Review: Wild Water Rescue & Other Engine Adventures


Wild Water Rescue
Thomas and The Sounds of Sodor
Percy and The Calliope
Happy Birthday Sir!
Percy and the Monster of Brendam
Bust My Buffers!

Special Features
Calling All Engines! 
The Earl's Quiz 
Who's That Engine
Mr. Perkins Storytime
Mr. Perkins Postcard
Guess Who? Puzzle
Fun With Driver Perkins
'Determination' sing-a-long video

Written by
Becky Overton
Gerard Foster
Max Allen
Sharon Miller

Directed by
Greg Tiernan
Don Spencer 

Produced by
Ian McCue (HIT)
Nicole Stinn (Nitrogen)
Jennifer Hill (Arc)

Distributed by

Release Date

I know I reviewed this in my overall DVD post that I make every New Years eve in 2015, but I decided to give its own review since I'd bought the iTunes release at the time and plus I felt I had placed it there for no reason. Released in 2015 as a Target exclusive for a Trackmaster train set focused on Percy, the United States were given another S19 exclusive despite that this is filled with episodes from S16's 'Big Bang Surprise' that was released in the UK alongside with 'Merry Christmas Thomas' in 2013. Was this actually worth it despite one episode from a more recent season? Let's find out!


The DVD consists six episodes. One from Season 19 and the others from the 16th season. To be honest now looking at Wild Water Rescue, it was a pretty bland episode. It was good to see Percy in his naive and cheery personality once again after being developed in 'Tale of The Brave' but the episode does seem to lack some logic into Percy when it comes to Diesel. Diesel had always been depicted as a bad guy towards the engines and you think Percy would be smart enough to know about Diesel's tricks. Yes Percy is naive but he's not stupid.

As for Diesel I do like how develop his character from feeling bad about his trickery but was too proud of who he is and finds it hard to apologise. However the episode lacked some conflict, what could've been better if it were Diesel wanting to be a hero and get in front of the newspaper and lured Percy to the old quarry and Diesel came to his rescue. Then Percy discovered why Diesel did it and was angry because of it. It would bring some conflict towards Diesel and he tried to put it right until he got into trouble and was rescued and apologised to Percy. 

As of the other episodes, they are nothing but from the 'dark era' that older fans label them as. As I said in my Season 16 DVD review, once you see one you seen them all. The episodes suffer the worst writing from a previous team who would've treated Thomas as just another kids show despite its long history. Yes this stuff is aimed at children but children are smarter than you think and they deserve some quality as well. The terrible writing include some rhyming, alliteration, wooden acting from both dubs and a three strike formula that doesn't feel like a story at all. Heck in comparison, 'Wild Water Rescue' has the best quality of all the episodes on this DVD. This was also the first time Michael Brandon was on a Thomas DVD release since his departure towards the series and I think it would be quite distracting now considering that the US has Mark Moraghan from the UK as their narrator now as well as some US voice actor who had either changed roles or left the series.


Some of the segments at the time of its release were brand new for the American audience. Such as 'Calling All Engines!', the segments are still good with the description of the characters for the young audience to understand and to know them and its a good way to introduce them to kids who are being introduced towards the show. Although it is strange that they used Kerry Shale's voice for the Fat Controller considering they now use Keith Wickham. 

The Earl's Quiz is good too for kids for their learning skills too when it comes to the episodes, the episodes that were used were 'Thomas and The Emergency Cable' and 'James to The Rescue'. 

Of course there's also Mr. Perkins' Storytime with the Railway Series story 'Thomas and Gordon' which was featured in the UK's 'Spills and Thrills' DVD and Australia's cinema run with great illustrations by Lorraine Marshall and the Postcard segment about Knapford station. The Guess Who? Puzzle is pretty much the same standard and good for kids and the character was Samson. We were also given a Fun with Driver Perkins segment which I think is the most interesting feature of all considering that they have footage of actual steam locomotives from the UK. The film was nice and the segment are good for kids to understand how an engine works, much better than the 'Down at The Station' segment. 

It's also strange that the DVD feature a model era music video, not a bad thing but you think HIT and Mattel would release a CGI styled music video considering that there is one in their archives and that kids see Thomas in the form now.


This Target exclusive release is just...pointless. Why? Because it's based one episode for a Trackmaster train set. They could've just released 'Big Bang Surprise' instead as that is DVD but with just one Season 19 episode and even that episode wasn't that great but in comparison it's probably the only bearable episode to watch rather then to sit through and watch five terrible Season 16 episodes. But I don't think fans would want to have a whole S16 DVD.

The Wal*Mart releases, despite not one released this year, are far more better than the ones released by Target over in the United States, heck they released 'Animals Aboard' a DVD filled with S13-15 episodes and they released this year as a generic release, it's on Amazon US. I think the better way to promote this DVD would've been with the Trackmaster set with just the one episode that they're aiming at and maybe two special features such as the trailer for the 2015 special and maybe a Guess Who? puzzle. Yeah that's a barebones release but at least it we know what they are promoting.

It's not a terrible release I think it does have some interesting intervals and pretty good segment about how an engine works and the 'Determination' music video can be quite nostalgic for people who grew up with the model era. Plus the animation from the two companies had done a fantastic job at bringing Thomas to life in CGI despite that Nitrogen Studios are in hot water right now over the animator's treatment during the production of 'Sausage Party'. But the whole idea of releasing a DVD for just one episode's trackmaster set was just pointless and not really worth the money.