As a kid I loved Thomas the Tank Engine, and now as a daddy I love the fact that two of my three children also love it. This DVD contains episodes which span the full TV history of Thomas and as my kids watch and enjoy the episodes I get a good pang of nostalgia as I hear Ringo Starr narrating some of the earlier episodes.
This DVD contains twenty episodes and starts from the very beginning with the very first episode of Thomas The Tank Engine And Friends - "Thomas and Gordon" (and I actually remember it!). The episodes are shown in chronological order and it's interesting to see how the series have changed over time. More characters have been introduced, Ringo Starr passed the narrator baton onto Michael Angelis, episode durations have altered, and perhaps most obvious: as technology has progressed the series became filmed in widescreen and is now fully CGI. The move to CGI was an evolutionary one and in later episodes you can see some CGI elements such as smoke and moving faces - and by the last few episodes the series is fully CGI.
Personally I think it's a shame as using models gave the series a certain charm, it certainly didn't look poor and it also gave children the chance to believe that they could do the same with their model trains. I was always against the idea of Thomas being fully computer generated and although I prefer the traditionally animated series I have to say that the new episodes still manage to capture the spirit of Thomas and Friends and the computer effects have been done very well.
At two and a half hours in duration this is clearly excellent value for money, although I love the Thomas theme tunes they do tend to grate a bit when they seem to be playing every few minutes - they tire my son out though as he insists on dancing to it every time! The DVD does contain an advert for Thomas Land at the beginning which can be a bit annoying when all you want to do is start the episodes playing, the picture quality of the advert is poor too and it looks more like a video taken from YouTube! Thankfully though the picture quality of the actual episodes are good, the older ones are a bit grainy but it's nothing you don't expect.
In a nutshell: If you have Thomas DVDs already then chances are you'll already have some of these episodes - however, if you don't own any then this is a great addition to any child's DVD collection as it brings to your telly the magic of Thomas from the mid-eighties through to the present.
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