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"THOMAS AND THE MAGIC RAILROAD"
(2000) (Alec Baldwin, Peter Fonda) (G)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
None None Moderate *Moderate None
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Minor None Moderate None None
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
None None Minor Mild Minor


QUICK TAKE:
Children's: As a real world, miniature conductor and his similarly sized cousin try to regain their magical powers, a small steam engine and his friends of another land try to thwart the efforts of an evil diesel engine who's determined to destroy a legendary, lost steam engine and thus disrupt the magic and innocence of both worlds
PLOT:
In a land where humans live in a town called Shining Time and animated, talking trains exist and operate on the Island of Sodor, one man, Mr. Conductor (ALEC BALDWIN), regularly travels between the two, using his magical, dust-powered "sparkle" as a means of doing so. The innocence and bliss of both lands becomes threatened, however, when Diesel 10 (voice of NEIL CRONE), a mean spirited diesel train engine, decides it's time to find a lost and magical steam engine named Lady and destroy her and a legendary magic railway once and for all.

This greatly upsets the other steam engines including Gordon (voice of NEIL CRONE)), James (voice of SUSAN ROMAN) and Thomas (voice of EDDIE GLEN), who all work for the monopolistic owner, Mr. Topham Hat (who's never seen but is occasionally heard grumbling on the phone). As Diesel 10 and his two engine cronies, Splatter (voice of NEIL CRONE) and Dodge (KEVIN FRANK), set out to find Lady, little do they know she's hidden away in Muffle Mountain, just outside Shining Time.

There, a lonely old grandpa, Burnett Stone (PETER FONDA), cares for her and not only laments that he didn't protect her from Diesel 10 in the past when he and his wife-to-be were kids, but also that he currently can't find any coal that will make Lady run once again. At the same time, Mr. Conductor begins to worry as he realizes that his supply of magic dust has run out and left him on Sodor with no way to return.

Thus, he call his slacker cousin, Junior (MICHAEL E. RODGERS), to bring him some. Junior, however, meets Stone's granddaughter, Lily (MARA WILSON), and uses up his last "sparkle" to transport the two of them to Sodor. With Diesel 10 continuing his quest to find and destroy Lady, it's up to Thomas, Lily and her new human friend, Patch (CODY McMAINS), along with Mr. Conductor and Junior, to thwart the diesel's efforts, find more magic dust, and restore peace and harmony to both worlds.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of the original TV series, its related toys, or have seen commercials for this film, they probably will.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: G
For not containing material to warrant a higher rating.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • ALEC BALDWIN plays a genial railroad conductor who uses magic dust to travel between the real world and the island of Sodor.
  • MICHAEL E. RODGERS plays his slacker cousin who initially only wants to hang out and/or return to the beach, but eventually helps the others in their various quests.
  • PETER FONDA plays an old and lonely widower who laments the past and is basically depressed until the very end of the film.
  • MARA WILSON plays his 12-year-old granddaughter who helps the various characters in their various quests.
  • CODY McMAINS plays her young human friend who likewise helps.
  • THOMAS is a small steam engine who shows courage in helping the others.
  • DIESEL 10 is a mean and nasty diesel engine who dislikes the steam engines and wishes to find and destroy a legendary, but lost steam engine.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a quick look at the content found in this G-rated film. A few scenes have the potential to be unsettling, suspenseful or even scary to the youngest of kids, but that all depends on their age, level of maturity and tolerance for such material. That said, such scenes are far tamer than what often occurs in many of Disney's G-rated animated features. It does include some moments - accompanied by a moderate amount of suspenseful music -- where a Diesel engine acts menacingly toward or chases after other train engines or humans.

    Beyond that, the Diesel engine's bad attitudes (along with those of his goofy sidekicks) and some minor damage inflicted on a building, along with a few imitable phrases and anyone's objections to the use of "magic dust" (for traveling from one land to the next), the rest of the film is void of any other objectionable content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • None.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • None.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Diesel 10 and his sidekicks, Splatter and Dodge, have both for being mean and demeaning toward the various steam engines, trying to harm Thomas, Mr. Conductor and Junior, and wishing to destroy Lady once and for all.
  • If certain viewers are against the use of any sort of "magic," they may not like the idea/use of such magic dust that Mr. Conductor and Junior use to travel between the lands.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • It's possible that Diesel 10's occasionally menacing appearance, as well as scenes listed below could be unsettling/scary to the youngest of kids (all depending on their age, level of maturity and tolerance for such material).
  • Mr. Conductor has a nightmare where he sees Stacy wandering the litter-strewn streets wondering where the magic has gone (the youngest of kids might find it a bit unsettling).
  • Diesel 10 chases Mr. Conductor and reaches out his large and menacing looking, mechanical claw after him. He eventually catches him in it, drives to the middle of a bridge, and threatens to drop Mr. Conductor if he doesn't say where Lady's located (and even includes a countdown to do so). Mr. Conductor manages to cut one of the claw's lines, however, and is then inadvertently tossed a long way through the air (but lands safely).
  • Thomas briefly runs out of control down a grassy hill (off the railroad tracks).
  • Diesel 10 menacingly approaches Junior and the steam engine he's on (in a scene that's bathed in red and thus dangerous looking lighting).
  • Diesel 10 chases Lady (and Stone) and Thomas across a viaduct that begins to crumble away beneath them. Thomas barely makes it across and Diesel 10 tries to stop, but then falls off the bridge (and lands in a barge traveling below him).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Buzz off," "Shut up," "Say it, don't spray it" (a response to a train engine sneezing) and "You rattletrap."
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A moderate amount of suspenseful music plays during certain scenes in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • None.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • None.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • There's some brief talk about Burnett missing his wife who's died sometime in the past.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • How the various characters work together to help out each other and solve their various problems.
  • That real railroad trains aren't toys or "friendly," and can be dangerous if approached on their tracks.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Diesel 10 uses the large mechanical claw mounted on his roof to tear down part of a building and what looks like some scaffolding beside it.
  • Diesel 10's claw accidentally causes a railway roof to fall on him, Splatter and Dodge.
  • Mr. Conductor somewhat gently uses his shoulder to knock Junior to the ground to keep him away from the "phone" that Mr. Conductor is using.
  • On a few occasions, Diesel 10 acts menacing toward others (and even chases two steam engines) but doesn't do any harm to them.



  • Reviewed July 22, 2000 / Posted July 26, 2000

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