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THE THOMAS TRAIN

The Thomas train

Original title: Thomas and Friends
Characters:
Thomas the Tank Engine, Edward the Blue Engine ,, Henry the Green Engine, Gordon the Big Engine, James the Red Engine, Percy the Small Engine, Toby the Tram Engine, Emily the Excellent
Authors: Britt Allcroft, David Mitton
Production: Gullane Entertainment, HiT Entertainment, Nitrogen Studios, Arc Productions
Directed by: David Mitton, Steve Asquith
Country: UK
Year: September 4 1984
Broadcast in Italy: 2010
Gender: Trains
Episodes: 466
duration: 5 minutes
Recommended age: Children from 0 to 5 years old

From Monday to Friday at 6,45 am on Italy 1

The children's cartoons of the Thomas train (original title: Thomas and Friends) are taken from the stories of Reverend WV Awdry entitled "The Railway Series". The first series broadcast in 1984 was made with the stop motion animation technique, with models of dynamic electric trains, but it is since 2008 that it is made entirely in CGI computer graphics by Britt Allcroft, directed by Steve Asquith. The Italian narrative voice is by Giorgio Locuratolo.

The events take place on the island of Sodor, surrounded by a splendid blue sea, golden sand, windmills and various tourist attractions, all connected by many railway lines where the Thomas train and his friends work, directed by Sir Topam.

The "Edward the Rock" episode features the old Edward locomotive, which although not the fastest is certainly the most reliable. Sir Topam announces that a brand new water wheel has just arrived on the island, which will replace the old mill wheel, which is underneath the great falls. Then he entrusts the transportation to the Edward train. It will take the direct express line for the great waterfalls, the one that usually used the Gordon locomotive. Placing the large water wheel on the platform, Edward began his journey, but decided not to take the express route, because he wanted to let everyone admire the new water wheel. As he passed through the stations, he had a chance to be greeted and encouraged by everyone next to the farms for that important mission. Arriving at an exchange station, he found himself in the choice of taking the uneven track that needed repairs, but which led to a school, or taking the safer track. Edward decided to take the first direction, to show the wheel to the school children. The constant jolts began to wear down the ropes that tied the big wheel, but Edward didn't notice. At the school, the children said goodbye and applauded, but caused the Edwards train to be distracted by the red light. He found himself forced to stop abruptly and this movement continued to cut the wheel ropes. Realizing the delay, he tried to take the mountainous road, to shorten the journey. The climb proved to be very difficult, due to the heavy load and the Edward train snorted and panted. Eventually he reached the top and then quickly down the descent to the great falls. Suddenly the rope cut and the big water wheel rolled off the train and went over the load of wreckage of the Gordon train, bound for the foundry. To save the wheel, Edward only had to get to the foundry before Gordon, taking advantage of all the shortcuts he knew. When Gordon arrived at the doors of the foundry, he found Edward waiting for him ready to collect his wheel. The waterwheel was finally delivered and Edward understood that passers-by's approval was not needed to understand that he had accomplished a great feat.

In the episode "Thomas and the old slow carriage", the little train Thomas and his friends trains observe the beautiful spring morning sky. They are all happy except the James train, because as summer approaches, he will have to travel the coastal stretches instead of the country tracks, so dear to him. The Thomas train arrived at a dead track, meets an old sad carriage, because it has fallen into disuse, which sooner or later will have to be scrapped. Thomas and his friends promise to help the old carriage. Meanwhile, the James train carrying a load of fuel catches fire. James is desperate and reached a dead end, his driver gives the alarm. The Thomas and Percy train rush to their aid and the driver explains that some sparks coming from the chimney of the James train had originated the fire fueled by fuel. Now the situation was under control. Returning to the station Percy and James saw another fire that developed in the workers' shack. Unfortunately, given the scarcity of water, the firefighters are forced to burn the building down, but Thomas came up with an idea. Water had to be used from the tanks of their cars. So the firefighters wasted no time and put Thomas's proposal into practice, asking for the fire, but they couldn't do anything to save the shack where the workers lived, because it was completely destroyed. Now a new housing had to be found for the workers. The Percy train proposed to use the old slow carriage: it would have been even more comfortable than the old shack. So refurbished, the old carriage thanked the train Thomas and Percy from the heart, who hooking it, transported it to its new destination.

In the episode "The discovery of Toby" the director "Sir Topam" and his grandchildren go to find the Toby wagon, to make a trip to the sea. Arrived at a small maritime station, the children play happily with the sand and build a beautiful castle. There was truly an ancient castle on the island, so they decided to go and explore it on the Toby train. Soon they reached the wildest part of the island and, stopping at an isolated toll booth, asked for directions. After the driver started the track swap, the Toby train headed for an intricate forest between branches and bushes, until it reached another branch. The track was divided into two directions: one led to the castle, the other to the old mines. Sir Topam decided to go to the castle first. Stopping near an old water cistern, Toby and his passengers saw the beautiful castle, which dominated from the top of a mountain. Later they went to the old mine, now abandoned where there were also trains. Sir Topam believes that once refurbished, both the castle and the old mine can become an important tourist attraction. Soon the director's plans were put in place, but the little train Toby remained fearful, because he thought the place was haunted. The Thomas train certainly did not encourage him, when he told him the legend of the old warrior's ghost: every night his soul lights a bonfire and then goes hunting. The little train Toby shivered, just because he had to stand guard over the old mine that night. With the fall of darkness and the arrival of fog, the landscape became ghostly and suddenly a chilling noise was heard. Toby immediately thought of the ghost of the warrior, but the driver who was with him decided to go and have a look. The noise came from a small locomotive, which everyone calls "the old warrior" because it is always ready for big companies. Thus restored, the old locomotive and Toby accompanied visitors to the old castle and the mine for interesting tourist trips.

Note the nice acronym, which invites children to sing:

The lights go on and fan ciuf ciuf
but what a happy railway
they are red, green or blue
but what a nice company
who in the station whistles and goes
who the timber will bring
punctual trains that
they run up and down.

Thomas, who is making trouble
James, he never stops
Percy, he has a tender heart
Gordon, roars and grumbles
Emily, she goes along the sea
Henry, smiles, runs away and goes
Edward, how it glitters
Toby, whistle and say hi ...

All names, images and registered trademarks of the Thomas train are copyright © HIT Entertainment / Apax / WV Awdry and are used here for information and dissemination purposes.

Other links
Thomas train coloring pages
Thomas Train Articles
Thomas Train DVD

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