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4.6 out of 5 stars76
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 29 December 2009
I bought this as a christmas present for my twin boys who are 1 1/2 and I am really glad I did. The new animation is brilliant and I was worried that the thomas I remember would be ruined but it has really updated a classic. This story is an hour long and will keep them watching all the way through, The story itself is about hiro who is an abandoned engine who thomas finds and then helps fix him.There are a couple of extras but they are not really worth watching one of them being a song. This dvd is worth buying for any thomas fan and they will watch it again and again.
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on 25 October 2009
As the father of a 3-year old Thomas addict, my entire basis for reviewing this DVD was my son's reaction to this film. In short, he loved it. I mean he really loved it.

As good as the original Brit Allcroft Thomas videos are, there is something a little cold about them. In introducing a full CGI effect so that the engine's faces come to life with expressions and voices like never before, Thomas and his friends have a charm that totally captivates. Indeed, this improved animation technique adds much greater greater emotional depth and character to engines making the story visually more interesting and engaging. I also found that the CGI animation colouration was much truer to the illustrations in the original books, which was a nice surprise.

I liked the story. I liked the voices and narration. It was perfect. Even my 7 and 8 year old daughters joined my son when he watched it.

I found myself watching it too.

And I think the Rev Awdry would have approved of this very much too. So thank you HIT Entertainment. Well done and thank you for producing a brilliant movie that bears repeat watching. (My son has watched it 20 times and he has never done this with any of the others.) More please.
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on 29 August 2010
I was given this dvd as a gift for my three year old son. He absolutely loves it and so do I! The story is very good. Even I found it interesting and I'm 32! My son is now a Thomas fan. He never gets fed up of this dvd and he watches it almost every day. I'm sure my other son will love it when he's old enough, too.
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on 24 April 2010
Thomas & Friends - Hero Of The Rails [DVD] [2009]

A really good film for all the family, girls, boys, young or old. Kept us all entertained for the duration which is no mean feat for a two and three year old with minimal attention spans.
In this feature length film, Thomas stumbles across a new friend 'Hiro' who needs his help - Thomas enlists the help of his trusted friends back at Tidmouth sheds to get Hiro back on the rails after years rusting in a siding all alone. The problem is they must not let nosey old Spencer find out as he will tell the fat controller and Hiro might get scrapped! Fun and games ensue as they all work together to get the parts, narrowly escaping run-ins with both Spencer and the Fat Contoller too. Percy even manages to lose his mail trucks in all the drama.
Guaranteed to be watched over and over again until little Thomas runs out of steam!
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on 8 January 2016
A strong story, great characters and beautiful visuals. But... the teething troubles are easily spotted in Thomas first fully animated outing. The transition from models to animation was done cleverly by having a mix of the two in series 12. So the kids and nostalgic adults should be ready and accepting instead off sulky and angry like I was when I first heard about the transition.
I watched this with my daughter and she loved the whole show. Seeing as its newly transition there wasn't a bombardment of loads of characters old and new this strictly focuses on the main cast as the heroes, Spencer as the baddie and Hiro as the plot. The visuals are beautiful, but it doesn't have the stand out magic and physical, reach out and touch feeling of the old model environments. The trains also seem less realistic which has always been a corner stone of Thomas and his creator Rev W Awdry. This is to be expected though, the hardest part for me was the new voices for the trains. Before we could all visualise what each characters voice was like but now we've had it done for us and frankly some of them are a little disappointed. Toby sounds like a fat guy heavy smoking, Percy sounds like child with speech issues talking through his nose, Henry sounds like whining coward and Thomas is a bland, emotionless child. But I suppose each to ones own, others may like the voices. Gordons and Spencers is ok.
Despite this niggley negatives the story itself is quite strong and Spencer makes a fresh and convincing villain who finally get Knocked down a peg. The story also has some much needed suspense and action not seen since the Thomas Movie, as Hiro flees from Spencer while shedding train parts, brilliant.
Id like to finish on a positive and a message to the few older guys still out there that enjoy Thomas, but wont give the show any time now its animated. I've even heard comments like Rev W Awdry would turn in his grave if he could see what has been done to his creation. My message to them is shut up and grow up. Thomas is a children's show. That is what it is. And kids still love it in the form its in now, worldwide millions of children love Thomas, the show was becoming out dated and stale and Hit have done a brilliant job of revamping it and breathing life back into it. Rev W Awrdy wanted to entertain and educate children, that still happens today.
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Thomas & Friends – Hero of the Rails (New CGI Thomas)
Hero of the Rails is a 2009 CGI feature-length special and film spin-off of the TV series Thomas & Friends. The film introduces full CGI animation, replacing model work and the addition of a voice cast for the characters alongside the narration to the TV series. The film features the voice of Ben Small and Martin Sherman as Thomas the Tank Engine. It was released on September 8, 2009

The main film is just under 1 hour long, plus Go Go Thomas Song, Engine Quiz, and Down At The Station: Passengers, as extras. The film also includes full subtitles.
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on 8 February 2011
My daughter won this in a parcel the parcel back in October and has not stopped watching it since! In fact we got Misty Island Rescue Thomas & Friends - Misty Island Rescue (includes book) [DVD] for Christmas just to have a bit of variety. The CGI animation, and individual voices for all the characters really brings the world of Thomas to life, and Hiro is so lovely at seeing the best in everyone (so great story for children!). It is just the right length for her (she's nearly 4), and her older cousins are happy watching it too. I find I don't mind watching the film repeatedly either as it is beautifully produced and has a good storyline. If your child is a Thomas fan they will love this film.
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My two-year-old loves Thomas and Friends so naturally I tend to rent him the newest stories on DVD. This hour long feature length edition features Thomas and all of his Tidmouth Shed based friends plus Hiro, an old Japanese engine he finds whilst lost on one of Sodor's older tracks. Spencer, the Duke and Duchess of Boxford's personal express engine and one of Thomas's old adversaries is on hand to play the baddie. Thus the scene is set and our favourite tank engine and his faithful friends battle to rebuild Hiro so that he can also join the ranks of The Fat Controller's happy band of `really useful engines'.

As I'm used to seeing the previous Thomas stories which are portrayed via a series of models and feature Michael Angelis's excellent narration and interpretation of each character, I was a bit sceptical of the new CGI adventures as the engines' entire faces move and each train has a different voice, however it's very well done. I do slightly miss the clunky nature of some of the scenes though, but it does show that classic stories stand the test of time. Unlike some of the previous feature length Thomas stories, the activities are contained within the `extras' on the DVD and are not interspersed within the story, but I think this format would suit slightly older children with greater attention spans.
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VINE VOICEon 2 January 2010
I don't suppose there could be anyone unfamiliar with Thomas The tank engine, but there are probably some who may not be aware that since the days of Ringo Stars narratives, Thomas has moved on and the stories have gained new engines, and a lovely island paradise for steam train story lovers.

This tale sees Thomas at work with his friends on Sodor, whereupon he finds a new engine, Hiro whom Thomas decides to help return to his former glory, from his distant, deserted siding.

My 2 year old absolutely loves this film, it has lots of excitement, colour and depth that allows all ages to sit through a fast paced hour of entertainment. Thomas and the other engines gain full mobility thanks to the CGI effects, which, for this film, have replaced the models of the channel 5 series. And for me, that is the problem. It left me rather cold, wishing to see the sway and clatter of model trains chuffing around the model island. It hasn't really bothered my daughter, but for me, it has lost a lot of its charm...... but I guess it's not really aimed at a 42 year old...
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on 20 May 2015
Great film for youngsters!

Gordon is often described as the fastest engine on the railway, but Spencer is obviously an A4, the fastest steam loco ever. I thought you should be told. I told my young nephew about this, he had no idea what I was on about. 2 Year Olds, eh!
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