Thomas and Friends: The Adventure Begins
"The Adventure Begins" is the first 2015 Thomas & Friends special running for approximately forty-five minutes and is an adaptation of the first two books of The Railway Series, which were previously adapted for the first season in 1984. It was made to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the franchise in 2010. The special was originally released as a Walmart exclusive in the USA and Canada, and later as an ASDA exclusive in the UK before becoming widely available in both countries.
It received positive reviews among fans and critics.
The Adventure Begins is a computer-animated retelling of the first seven episodes of the first series of the television series, which were based on the first two Railway Series books (The Three Railway Engines and Thomas the Tank Engine). It contains elements from both the original stories and their previous adaptations, along with three new characters, new arrangements of two songs from the live-action model era (Really Useful Engine and Troublesome Trucks), and a completely different narrative.
Why it Rocks
- Great storytelling as it retells the events in a faithful way to celebrate the 70th anniversary and pays such homage to the first two books. It tells the story of how Thomas came to Sodor and it is not only nostalgic for older fans, but it's also a great way to introduce younger fans to the franchise.
- This is one of those remakes that adds something different to the source material in a good way.
- The writing is also splendid as it shows Andrew Brenner, former head writer, had fun with adapting Railway Series stories into one Thomas special, showing he knew the source material to the books after all not just the TV show.
- The animation is a great step up and a clear improvement from Seasons 17 and 18. Seasons 17-18 had good animation, though Season 17's animation isn't as great as S13-16's CGI animation or S18's CGI animation.
- Thomas' teal green livery looks amazing on him. Plus, his personality in this special made him really likable.
- We finally see a black livery colored James as originally shown in the second book of the Railway Series, Thomas the Tank Engine (1946).
- There are fascinating sweet scenes such as Thomas meeting Annie and Clarabel for the first time.
- Annie and Clarabel are also likable as they mentor Thomas in his days as station pilot such as him being told why by them that Judy and Jerome are cranes that he mustn't touch unless if it's an emergency.
- The songs "Really Useful Engine" and "Troublesome Trucks" bring out a really nostalgic Classic era feel to the special.
- Sir Topham Hatt now finally uses both his UK voice in both English dubs as both him and Gordon sounded mostly the same voice in the US versions of Seasons 13-18.
- Thomas and Edward share a great friendship for each other as Edward cared about Thomas more than Gordon or James.
- The scene where Thomas helps Henry overcome his fear of the rain is very heartwarming.
- The ending is great. Especially with Thomas getting his own branch line and Glynn appearing in the end, where we see him only once until in Season 20.
- Mark Moraghan's narration is spectacular as always.
- It was the first time since Season 4 that a Thomas production for TV would adapt RWS based episodes (not counting the loosely adapted "Faulty Whistles" from Season 6).
- Excellent music from Peter Hartshorne as it replicated a lot of the themes from the Classic Series such as Thomas' theme for an example. The music used in one scene during the events of "Thomas' Train" mixed both Edward and Thomas' themes as it shows that there is a good sign of mixing in the original music source.
- The Breakdown Train now has names and personalities for both two cranes, Judy and Jerome.
- The voice acting is also excellent in both the UK and the US. Joseph May's voice for Thomas suits him, and John Hasler's voice for Thomas is the best voice out of both the respective voices for Thomas.
- James' crash is considered to be one of the most iconic crashes in the entire franchise. It wasn't shown on-screen in "Thomas and the Breakdown Train", but here we finally get to see it, and it is glorious.
- It's pretty short compared to the other Thomas films, only clocking in at 45 minutes.
- Whilst faithful to the source material. Henry is not in his old shape, which is the same inconsistent problem with "Blue Mountain Mystery" in the CGI flashbacks of "The Sad Story of Henry", another good Thomas film that has this inconsistency.
- It could be considered non-canon to the classic series as there are a few continuity changes made that retcon the original season 1 episodes used, and Salty also appears despite being introduced in season 6. Even though this isn't a major flaw as some of them connect well to the RWS books, it's still pretty noticeable.
- No dubs in German, Polish, Italian, Korean, Hebrew, Castilian Spanish, Russian, or any other languages other than English (both American and British), Mexican Spanish, French, or even Chinese.
The Full Movie