Thomas & Friends: All Engines Go – a new, vibrantly refreshed, 2D animated series following the iconic Thomas the Tank Engine – is pulling into Channel 5’s Milkshake on Monday, November 8th this year.
Produced by Mattel Television in partnership with Corus Entertainment’s Nelvana Studio, the new series is a major reimagining of the classic Thomas & Friends franchise and the fourth ever major revamp for the world famous kids’ animated show in its 75 year history.
The new series follows Thomas, more playful and relatable than ever before, as the hero of his own adventure. Thomas strives to be the Number One Tank Engine through trial and error, all while just enjoying being a kid.
According to Mattel, highlights of Thomas & Friends: All Engines Go include a greater range of character expressiveness, more physical comedy and music, and core characters that are now kids themselves and voiced by British child actors. The show has been ‘crafted to appeal to contemporary audiences’ sensibilities while maintaining Thomas’ core message about the value of friendship.’
Thomas & Friends: All Engines Go incorporates 26 social-emotional, cognitive, and physical life lessons throughout the series, including friendship, taking turns, teamwork, self-help, and empathy.
Four additional engines make up the core cast of characters:
•Percy – Thomas’ best friend who loves telling silly jokes, Percy has a lot of hidden courage (that not even he’s aware of!) and will do anything to help his friends.
•Nia – Nia is an engine who loves a good plan, offering both creative and practical solutions. Because Nia is so well travelled, she often has valuable insight into things the other engines haven’t seen before.
•Diesel – Diesel is always trying to one-up Thomas and inadvertently causes trouble for everyone in his quest to be “the real Number One Tank Engine.”
•Kana – An all-new electric high-speed rail train, she is fast talking, loves to race and creates gusts of wind that blow windmills and bend trees in her wake.
Fred Soulie, senior vice president and general manager, Mattel Television, said: “This new creative direction for the classic Thomas & Friends franchise is crafted to appeal to contemporary audiences, yet still maintain the beloved characters’ core ethos: the value of friendship. Thomas & Friends: All Engines Go features stories that are both timeless and timely, with themes that will resonate with children, parents and caregivers alike.”
Christopher Keenan, senior vice president, global content and executive producer, Mattel Television, added: “We can’t wait for the next generation of fans to meet Thomas and his friends. In Thomas & Friends: All Engines Go, we aim for audiences to have fun as we expand the world of Sodor in new and exciting ways. For the better part of the last decade, I’ve had the privilege of working on the Thomas & Friends television series and I’ve seen first-hand how Thomas and his core message about the value of friendship inspire a broad audience – children, parents and caregivers alike. These stories are both timeless and timely, with themes that continue to resonate with kids today.”
Kelly Philp, director of marketing, Mattel UK, said: “Thomas & Friends has 92 per cent brand awareness in the UK, so we are looking forward to exciting our Thomas fans new and old with all the fun and adventure of the show’s new approach.
“The singable songs and endless laughs have already tested well with our pre-school audience and Thomas & Friends: All Engines Go will be a great tool for parents and caregivers too, due to the integrated life lessons and values that are incorporated within the content.”
Thomas & Friends: All Engines Go will premiere on Channel 5 Milkshake on November 8th. In the UK, the series will be preceded by a new 60-minute animated motion picture, Thomas & Friends: Race for the Sodor Cup™, showing at Vue and Odeon cinemas throughout the UK from Friday, September 17th, which will be the first time that children and parents can see the new-look and feel Thomas & Friends before it hits television screens later in the year.