Thursday, 16 July 2015

Ladies & Gentlemen, Engines & Excavators May We Present A Review Of 'Thomas & Friends: Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure'

So what could make writing a review about a 'Thomas & Friends' Film a tough gig? Well for one, this particular invite was one I had to keep top secret from my two sons until the very last moment, like the time we didn't tell eldest it was his birthday until the day arrived. Because of the terrifying impatience & eye-watering excitement that would have consumed both boys, removing any motivation to go to sleep or function on any normal level whatsoever. I considered it my moral duty to avoid any sobs over the fullness of time leading up the event, to keep this trip firmly under wraps.

I was quite successful. It wasn't until leading them into Leicester Square and them hearing a rousing rendition of the 'Thomas & Friends' theme tune that erupted from the mezzanine of the Odeon cinema, courtesy of the Royal Philharmonic orchestra no less, that they suddenly realised we weren't here just to look at a fountain (I know, no originality demonstrated on my part whatsoever)

As we walked into cinema, my children were already quite satisfied just to view the 9ft model of Thomas positioned outside. I tore them away to point out the Fat Controller greeting everyone at the door but then stopped myself. Was he still called the Fat Controller, or had he been re-branded into something more, well PC: the non-specifically shaped Controller perhaps? Either way he was very friendly and after being swiftly armed with balloon model swords, by a friendly pirate, we took our seats for the film.

At the tender age of 35, I have clear memories of Thomas the Tank Engine back in the days of Ringo Starr as the narrator, over gentle stop-frame animation, based on the book series written by the Reverend Wilbert Awdry, which he wrote for his son, over 70 years ago. Subsequently I have always been somewhat dubious of it's CGI makeover since it's rebranding to 'Thomas & Friends'. However, on the big screen this did not disappoint and didn't feel fake or 'Hollywood' unlike Postman Pat's escapades with a TV Talent Show, on his trip to the box office last year.  The 60-minute trip to Sodor Island sawThomas and his friends embark on a spectacular adventure scouring Sodor for lost treasure with the 'help' of a devious Pirate and a few catchy musical numbers thrown in for good measure, which were an utter delight.  

The cast included some new characters with voices of Oscar winning actor Eddie Redmayne, Sir John Hurt and Jamie Campbell Bower. Whilst Thomas once again didn't fail to disappoint, the star of the show was easily Olivia Coleman as Marion the Digger with her brilliant catch phrase of 'guess what's in my bucket’. Although the best piece of information that I can share with you were my son’s words, just a few minutes into the beginning of the film, when he leaned in towards me and whispered ‘mummy, it’s just sooooooo good’. There you have it. Trains and pirates, what's not to like. 

'Thomas & Friends: Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure' will air across cinemas in the UK from the 17th July until 1st August. For full listings visit click HERE. You can also watch the new Thomas & Friends movie, with music from the soundtrack performed live by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at Cadogan Hall Wed 26th& Thurs 27th August. For tickets click HERE. Don't worry if you can't make it to the cinema any time soon as the DVD will be released on 28th September 2015.  

Mumsnet Hackney received a complimentary ticket to attend this event in exchange for an honest review.

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