Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thomas and the Magic Railroad ☁

Pros: The first Thomas and Friends movie, the introduction of Diesel 10. 
Cons: Anything to do with Shining Time Station.

The film starts with bossy steam engine Gordon telling Thomas the Tank Engine that he is late and that it is important to be “Really Reliable and Right on Time” as Sir Topham Hatt expects. Thomas gets ready to leave to pick up Mr. Conductor, who will be controlling the trains of Sodor while Sir Topham Hatt is on a much needed holiday.

As the engines finish their conversation, Diesel 10 speeds by, telling them to get out of his way because he has unfinished business and wants to finish it fast.

Gordon and Thomas fear the powerful and fast Diesel 10, who they have had run-ins with before. Thomas says there is likely trouble around the corner.

Thomas haphazardly crashes in to buffers near the sheds and talks to naughty James who had been sent to the sheds because he had been a bad steam engine.

Thomas tells fellow steam engine, James, that Sir Topham Hatt is just trying to make the railway better and that they need to be “Really Useful Engines” so Sir Topham Hatt will not need to keep bringing the more efficient diesel engines to Sodor to help the older steam engines.

Diesel 10 pulls up during the conversation and laughs as James shakes in fear. Diesel 10 says they have to help steam engines because Steamies are cowardly, cranky. worn out, hunks of metal that could not hurt a fly. James says that they are not.

Diesel 10 tells James and Thomas that he is back to look for a lost steam engine that needs to be destroyed and that he will be the dominant train engine on Sodor. Diesel 10 says that when he dominates, Steamies will be nothing but useless scrap, since Diesels are much faster, more efficient, and powerful.

James calls Diesel 10 a big bully and Thomas declares that they truly are “Really Useful Engines” and that Diesel 10 will not dominate them or destroy the missing steam engine, who Thomas identifies as a female. Thomas states that the Steamies will not allow it and neither will Mr. Conductor.

Cut to the magical world of Shining Time Station. We see Lady hidden away and find out she is the link between Sodor and Shining Time Station. Burnett Stone, her caretaker says that long ago a devious Diesel tried to destroy her. He chased her, she went too fast and she ran out of coal and he crashed her. So Mr. Stone brought her to this mountain and has been trying to restore her ever since with no luck.

Back on Sodor, Pinchy, Diesel 10’s claw, has carved the image of Diesel 10’s face in to the side of a mountain, much to the delight of Diesel 10. We meet “Splodge”, the team of Splatter and Dodge, Diesels who are residents of Sodor. Diesel 10 states that he is looking for a steam engine. Splodge reply that this request is easy because Steamies are everywhere on Sodor. Diesel 10 lets them know it will not be easy as this Steamy escaped him once before and if she is destroyed the “others” will not exist. Splodge tell him that it will not be easy because Mr. Conductor will not allow it. Diesel 10 states he can do whatever he wants and he can get Mr. Conductor too, with Pinchy, who goes crazy, out of control of Diesel 10.

Cut to Shining Time Station. We officially meet Mr. Conductor who promises to be “Responsible, Reliable, and Really Useful” in Sodor. We find out that he uses “Sparkle” which later is also called “Gold Dust” to travel to Sodor. Mr. Conductor states that a picture drawn by Burnett Stone that was found in Shining Time Station looks like it is from Sodor.

Back in Sodor, Thomas finds Mr. Conductor. Diesel 10 is joyfully singing and laughing.

Cut back to the magical world of Shining Time Station. Burnett Stone is remembering a time from his childhood when he told his future wife that Mr. Conductor and his universe (Shining Time Station) will disappear if Diesel 10 was able to destroy Lady.

Back on Sodor, the Steamies were working hard. James is complaining. Gordon is talking about how he knows everything and Thomas is small and useless. Henry says that Lady is more powerful than Diesel and that is why he wants to destroy her. Percy says the Steamies need to find her first. Gordon and James say to leave it to the big engines. Thomas says “Little Engines Can Do Big Things”!

Splodge is laughing as sneezing powder has been laid all around Tidmouth Sheds. When Hector the Helicopter comes by it gets in Thomas’ funnel and all over Splatter and Dodge too. Sir Topham Hatt has left a note for Mr. Conductor, angry that he was late. Sir Topham Hatt tells Mr. Conductor to be “Responsible, Reliable, and Really Useful” and to watch out for Diesel 10, who Mr. Conductor errantly calls, “Diesel”.

Mr. Conductor sleeps in Tidmouth Sheds with the Steamies. There is a big hole in the sheds which has scaffolding around it. Diesel 10 pulls up and Pinchy knocks down the scaffolding. Diesel 10 calls Mr. Conductor “Twinkle Toes”, and tells him that he has a plan and Mr. Conductor is not in it, confirming what Burnett Stone has said before, that Diesel 10 is simply trying to keep the inhabitants of the magical Shining Time Station out of Sodor. Mr. Conductor tries to use his “Sparkle” to no avail. Pinchy starts clanking around as Diesel 10 asks Mr. Conductor where Lady is. Mr. Conductor threatens to destroy Diesel 10 by putting sugar in him. Diesel 10 retreats, telling Mr. Conductor to enjoy tonight, because he will not enjoy tomorrow. Mr. Conductor and the Steamies go to sleep.

The next day, Mr. Conductor is cleaning out James’ nose, to get the sneezing powder out. James says that Diesel told him that red is a tiring color, but that James thinks it looks so nice against the snow. Mr. Conductor tells him red is bright and cheerful. Mr. Conductor heads towards Toby’s Windmill. The Steamies meet and talk about how Mr. Conductor’s “Sparkle” is all gone. Henry’s nose is plugged up & Thomas is still sneezing, which Gordon wrongly blames on nasty fumes from Diesels. Toby fears that destroying Lady will destroy all Steamies.

Mr. Conductor calls his cousin, “C Jr.” and asks him to bring more “Gold Dust” from Shining Time Station to him. Mr. Conductor sleeps on the side of the tracks like a homeless person as Thomas looks for him. That night Percy asks Thomas how Mr. Conductor comes to Sodor. Thomas tells him by “Gold Dust”. Percy says he thinks there must also be a magical railway to get from magical Shining Time Station to the Island of Sodor because in his sleep, Percy heard Mr. Conductor talk about the magical buffers. Diesel 10 has been listening to the whole conversation and Toby follows Diesel 10 as he shunts away.

Diesel sings as he meets up with Splodge at the Ironworks. He tell them that Mr. Conductor’s Magic Railway will be gone soon along with the buffers that lead there. He says he will do this himself. Toby overhears and rings his bell, making Pinchy go crazy, knocking the roof in on the sheds at the Ironworks where Diesel 10 is talking to Splatter and Dodge. Splodge ask their boss if he meant to do that, after he chastises Pinchy, and Diesel 10 embarrassingly says he always means what he does.

The next day the Steamies were working around Sodor being “Really Useful Engines”. Thomas goes to collect 6 coal trucks of Sodor Coal but accidentally sent one car in to the Special Buffers that lead to the Magic Railroad to Shining Time Station.

Diesel 10 drives by Mr. Conductor who is walking along the railway. Mr. Conductor runs, knowing he had threatened Diesel 10’s life before. Diesel 10 notes that Mr. Conductor forgot his sugar, and has Pinchy pick up Mr. Conductor as they head towards a bridge that has just lost its keystone, unbeknownst to Diesel 10. Diesel 10 tells Mr. Conductor that he knows about the magical buffers and to tell him where Lady is. Mr. Conductor pulls out a tool and cuts a hydraulic hose on Pinchy and is thrown to Toby’s Windmill, where he lands on bags of flour.

Splodge asks Diesel 10 why he let Twinkle Toes escape. Diesel 10 said it was on purpose, to see if he could escape without the “Gold Dust”. Splatter & Dodge doubt his story. That makes Pinchy go crazy. Unfortunately the diesel engines are at the Coaling Plant, under a coal loader, and Pinchy’s actions cause all the coal to fall on top of Diesel 10.

Cut to the magical world of Shining Time Station. Burnett is asking Lady what he should do. She does not answer. C Jr. meets up with Burnett’s granddaughter, Lilly, at the station and use the “Gold Dust” to go on the magic railroad to Sodor, passing the missing coal car on the way.

On Sodor, Thomas is not happy to see Junior, as Junior put party poppers inside Thomas last time they met. Thomas abandons his carriages, Annie and Clarabel, for Percy to come get later. Thomas takes Junior and Burnett’s granddaughter to Mr. Conductor at Toby’s Windmill. C Jr. climbs on the windmill and after a gust of wind is blown away, landing on top of Diesel 10.

Thomas sends Percy to guard the magic buffers, where he finds Splodge. Mr. Conductor and Lilly talk about Lady, who used to travel the Magic Railroad. Lilly talks about how he has heard Lady whistling.

Cut back to the magical land of Shining Time Station. Burnett talks to Lilly’s friend, “Patch”, about Lady, the magic railroad and her whistle. Mr. Conductor sends Thomas to the Magic Railroad to take Lilly home. Thomas gets the Sodor coal and makes it to the magical land of Shining Time Station. Lilly tells her Grandpa Stone about her journey to Sodor. Lilly sends Patch to get some of the Sodor Coal, which she thinks will make Lady steam again.

Meanwhile Thomas has fallen off the mountain he was on, following the invisible Magic Railroad back to Sodor. The Sodor Coal, however, was left behind.

On Sodor, Diesel 10 takes an apologetic Junior to the Ironworks where mysteriously James, the most racist Steamy is. Diesel 10 brakes hard, flinging Junior on to James, who is backing towards the smelter as Diesel 10 approached. C Jr. uses the last of his emergency “Sparkle”, to transport them both back to Toby’s Windmill. James then shunts away from the windmill.

Cut to the magical land of Shining Time Station. Burnett regrets that he never got to talk his now-deceased wife, Tasha, on a ride in Lady. He puts the Sodor Coal in Lady then Burnett, Lilly, and Patch all get on board and take the Magic Railroad to the Island of Sodor.

Gold sparkles start to come from the back of Lady, the magical steam engine. Lady is happy that Mr. Stone has not forgotten about the magic inside. They meet Thomas who is excited and finds Lady to be beautiful. Lady stops at the windmill and meet up with Mr. Conductor and Junior who recognize Lady as the Magical Engine who can take them back to Shining Time Station, if only they can get more “Gold Dust”.

Diesel 10, Splatter, and Dodge are following Thomas who seemingly led them to Lady. Diesel 10 asks them to destroy Lady, but they decline, deciding not to follow Diesel 10 anymore. Thomas tells Lady to run and that he will help. Diesel 10 tell Splodge he does not need them. Mr. Conductor tries to warn Lady and Thomas about the viaduct, the bridge with the missing keystone, that it is dangerous.

Diesel 10 tells Lady that he will get her, but Stone, who is driving Lady, says he will not, because he does not believe in her magic. Pinchy starts going crazy again, apparently because he hates these magicians from Shining Time Station, but heeds Diesel 10’s warning to duck when they go through a tunnel. Diesel 10 notes that Lady is pretty fast for a puffball. 

Thomas and Lady cross the bridge as more stones fall from it. However, Diesel 10 is not able to. The tracks break and Diesel 10 falls. Pinchy is able to grab a piece of track that has not collapsed for a moment, giving Diesel 10 the chance to fall on a ferry that is passing under the bridge right after the partial collapse. (This trend of collapsing bridges in Sodor will continue in the movies that follow).

Mr. Conductor, Junior, Lilly, and Patch realize that the gold sparkles mixed with the water from the windmill well will make new “Gold Dust” and do so. C Jr. gives Lilly some of the “Gold Dust” that Mr. Conductor & Junior are sharing. Mr. Conductor takes a call from Sir Topham Hatt and goes to Tidmouth Sheds to meet him. Lilly shares her “Gold Dust” with her grandfather.

Everyone goes back to their respective homes and live happily ever after…

… Except for Diesel 10 who, in theory, is going to have continue to deal with visitors from the magical land of Shining Time Station. However, we never see them return, which must please Diesel 10 and moviegoers everywhere.

The End.

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