Thomas & Friends: Tale of the Brave is the cute new feature-length animation for Thomas fans, now showing in cinemas nationwide and starring everyone’s favourite tank engine, loads of his locomotive friends and, of course, the Fat Controller.
The movie has been made very much in the same vein as the popular children’s TV series, based on Rev Awdry’s books and set in the land of Sodor. It features a little conflict, a big adventure and a nice resolution.
But here are 4 things you may want to know before taking your children to see it…
1 It helps if your child’s watched the TV series (but it’s not crucial)
A basic knowledge of the main characters is assumed by the makers of this film, so the individual trains (and their different personalities) are not specifically introduced to you. Having said that, it’s not too difficult, even for quite small ones, to grasp which train is which, and what they’re like. Our 3-year-old reviewer doesn’t usually watch Thomas on TV, and was really only familiar with Thomas and James before seeing the movie, but she got on just fine.
2 There is stuff about monsters in the dark
Although the film is generally suitable for regular Thomas the Tank Engine fans (2-4 year olds), parts of the movie may be scary for under-5s. There’s one bit where, following an almighty storm and a dangerous landslide, Percy starts fearing monsters are close by, especially at night time. His imagination turns things like a haystack and a house into monsters, and then there’s a Monster Song featuring monsters with big, menacing big teeth. Our 3-year-old reviewer got a little nervous at this point, saying: ‘I don’t like this!’ She also said she felt sad that Percy was scared and the monster was trying to chase it.
3 The central character is Percy, not Thomas
Although Thomas is a strong presence, the central character is, in fact, Percy (the green one) – which you wouldn’t guess from the title of the film.
4 The plot’s good and sends out a nice, strong message
Through Percy’s fearful adventure, the viewer is shown that you can be brave, even if you are scared. The film highlights the importance of trying to overcome fears and also sends out a strong message about believing in yourself – and about the importance of helping others. You’ll leave the cinema with a warm glow and, hopefully, a happy little child.