Age Range: Suitable for all ages
Manufacturer’s Description: Join Thomas & Friends as they embark on a legendary movie adventure! The steam team’s quest begins when a special guest arrives on Sodor with a big surprise and important jobs for Thomas, Percy and James. The engines meet new friends and discover suits of armour, coats of arms and legends of long-ago heroes. Then their bravery is put to the test when their new friend Stephen goes missing. Will Thomas find him in time? Will the engines discover the truth about the Island of Sodor’s biggest mystery? It’s a crusade of knightly proportions for Thomas & Friends in this epic movie!
Rating: (5/5 stars)
Review: We were invited to a special VIP preview screening of King of the Railway at Drayton Manor, home of the infamous Thomas Land, to celebrate the release of this latest Thomas & Friends instalment. I’ll post more about our day at Drayton Manor in another post, for this review I’ll just talk about going to see the film…
Georgie was very excited to be shepherded into a cinema for the first time since she slept through the entire Harry Potter final film as a tiny baby! We had a munch of some popcorn, chatted to some blogger friends, and took a little look at the toys they were showing off in the foyer while we waited for the film to start.
We sat fairly near the front of the cinema in order to be able to make a hasty retreat should Lydia or Georgie start acting out during the hour long film. Laurenne from This Mummy had the same idea, so we sat together, knowing the other would instantly forgive baby squeals or grumping a toddler! Happily, all four of the girls behaved well, and Georgie was completely engrossed in the film from start to finish.
Lydia seemed to enjoy it too… at one point she did get hungry, had a feed & then a little nap, before waking up to enjoy the last 10 minutes.
Because the cinema at Drayton Manor is a “4D cinema” they were able to play about with the special effects a bit while we were watching the film. Bubbles, moving chairs, squirting water & a smoke machine all added extra excitement to Georgie’s first real cinema experience!
The film itself was very good, with a sweet story about the Earl of Sodor returning to the island to repair the crumbling castle (in a seemingly remarkably short period of time) and return it to it’s former glory, complete with an amazing collection of artefacts. There is a missing gold crown to add some mystery, and some fun new characters.
One of our favourite things about the film was the introduction of a new character called “Stephen,” who says “they called me the Rocket” when his character is introduced. Stephen is instantly recognisable to any true steam train enthusiast as a Stephenson’s Rocket, so we thought that the name “Stephen” was a lovely choice! He starts off rusty & damaged, and is refurbished during the film, returning him to his original condition.
We were given a fab goody bag at the event that included the DVD, and it has been in the DVD player since we attended the event a week and a half ago, and we have now watched it nearly a dozen times! I haven’t even gotten annoyed with the repeated requests for “Thomas film!”… If that doesn’t prove that it’s good, I don’t know what does.
At one point during todays viewing Georgie was running about pretending to look for a missing train, calling “Stephen! Stephen! Choo choo! Stephen!” which was rather amusing… she also insisted on eating her snack on her little Thomas plate. Ever since we saw the film at Drayton Manor she’s been playing with her trains and calling out “All aboard, choo choo!”
The DVD has some fun extras; some “Guess Who?” puzzles, and three fun sing-a-long songs which Georgie really enjoys.
There are some great looking books and toys out to accompany this new story, and I will definitely be popping a King of the Railway book into Georgie’s stocking this Christmas… and maybe a train or two as well!
We give King of the Railway 5 stars, and definitely recommend it for any Thomas fans!