Wednesday, 6 June 2018

NWR Editorial: Big World Big Adventure: The Movie Trailer




When 'Journey Beyond Sodor' had its trailer released on May 12th 2017, Christopher Keenan, the executive producer behind Thomas & Friends, had revealed in an interview with Kidscreens that Thomas was going up for a revamp. Many fans were concerned about this news thinking it might be a spin-off to the show, I thought so too. However that was all shot down later on in the year when it was announced that the new show was to be shown at MIPJunior and the idea of the show was to take Thomas on an international trip around the world meeting friends from 'The Great Race'. With fans thinking that this is a 'reboot' resulting into fear and anger despite that the series beforehand, in their perspective, was doing fine. 

However SiF had stated that Thomas has a decline in ratings thanks to the ever increasing popularity of Nickelodeon's Paw Patrol and a lack of toy sales and so Mattel decided to revamp the show with more humour, music and fast paced storylines to make it more interesting and relevant to today's generation of kids. This also resulted into having two new female characters, Nia and Rebecca, replacing Edward and Henry at the sheds, although the latter two are fine and will still be in the show. The new female characters were added for gender equality and because the viewership from girls is increasing, that subject however will be discussed at a later date.

However despite fans criticism of the new changes, it had been reported that the new revamped series had been met with positive reception from the crowd at MIPJunior in Cannes, France in 2017.

More clips had been revealed for the new show through a Toy Fair presentation earlier this year, but my opinions of the show will be posted at a later date when the new revamped series had made its debut on television. Now in May 2018, we finally have the trailer for the 2018 DVD special and here are my thoughts on the trailer that was posted by the official Thomas & Friends UK YouTube channel, although it was posted 10 days ago on IMDB.


The trailer opens up with Thomas pulling into Vicarstown, probably him pulling the local again and would most likely be bored of doing the same job and seeing the same sites again and again and that motivates Thomas wanting to see the world, it's my belief on what that scene would most likely to be played out.

We then meet our new character Ace, a race car who is racing around the world. I wonder how his character would play out? The synopsis mentioned that he is mischievous, so I believe will see him getting into a few scrapes with Thomas on their world travels. Also I like the fact that Ace is from Australia, considering he said 'G'Day' in the trailer and that word is mostly common towards people in Australia and New Zealand as well, his accent is even different towards the UK voices from the other characters.

We also see Nia, the character that will be joining the 'steam team' replacing Edward, who by the way was seen in the trailer along with Henry and Toby in the teaser that was released last week, so he's not gone as some fans thought, him and Henry are still being used but their roles won't be as big as they use to be and Toby is safe as well.

Other newbies are shown in the trailer such as the African Garratt and I love it that they are finally introducing one! It's quite common back in the days of steam that Africa had used Garratt locomotives and it adds a nice bit of railway accuracy, eh? So despite that railway practice is not going to be used at times, its not entirely thrown out of the window. Although I do still see the potential of educating kids about different railway operations in different countries.

We even see characters that were once in 'The Great Race' such as Yong Bao, as of course Mattel want to increase Thomas' popularity over in China since it was broadcasted over there 10 years ago. Another little fun fact is that steam engines from China are still in commercial use in China, although Yong Bao's basis had been withdrawn and most of the remaining Chinese steam engines work in mines.

The trailer had also shown some unrealistic stuff. Now I know a few years ago I had criticised past episodes that were unrealistic, but over the years my mood over that issue had started to decrease and I'm becoming more accepting to this stuff. Sure some people will say that Rev.W.Awdry would not like this movie and I can see that as he didn't like 'Henry's Forest'. But there are some episodes and movies that I like that are unrealistic such as 'Thomas the Jet Engine', 'Tale of the Brave' and 'Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure'. The 360 degree scene though is ridiculous yes and I have a feeling it would be like the bridge jump in 'The Great Race'. Not just because it's unrealistic but because it could be pointless filler.

One thing that I love from the trailer is how amazing the lighting is! I know this is an unpopular opinion as most older fans don't like it, my belief way it looks bright and saturated is to make it more appealing to younger kids, studies show that young kids do get attracted by the bright colours. The sun setting in Africa looks spectacular too. Considering that this is Jam Filled's first Thomas special that they've entirely animated, it shows. 'Journey Beyond Sodor' was produced by Arc Productions until they were bankrupted thanks to 'Blazing Saddles', don't believe everything you hear on the internet, like how TGR was the cause of Arc's downfall.

Although the new changes may not appeal to some of the older fans, I have a feeling that this special might be a hit as Mattel are going all out on this special to meet with the toy sales  


 IN FALL 2018


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