"Thomas and the Magic Railroad" stars Alec Baldwin, Peter Fonda, Mara Wilson, and Michael E. Rodgers. Released on July 26, 2000, the film has Thomas and his friends teaming up with Mr. Conductor to save the Island of Sodor and the real world.
The film is directed by Britt Allcroft, who is known for developing the children's show, Thomas & Friends, which is based on The Railway Series by the Rev. W. Awdry. Thomas the Tank Engine has been one of my childhood favorites growing up before I moved on to some adult fare. The first time I saw this film was in theaters when I was little. I don't remember much but I did enjoy watching Thomas on the big screen. Looking back at this film as a young adult/film critic, does this film still have enough gold dust to hold up on its own?
Plenty of OK performances and voice work.
Plenty of decent visuals and charm.
Respectable themes of helping others.
Some inconsistent pacing and editing.
Weak, child-level screenplay.
Peter Fonda's performance.
The humor felt a bit too child-friendly for some adults.
The story felt like it could've been a television film.
Final thoughts: "Thomas and the Magic Railroad" should please the little ones, but for some adults who aren't familiar with the 'really useful' engine, it does seem to lose its steam pretty quickly. It does have the amount of charm and imagination that kids know and love from the Thomas & Friends show, but I felt that the story, the human characters, and the humor could've been a bit better to entertain adults as well. I would probably recommend this film to those who are big Thomas fans, especially little kids.