Thomas and Friends: The Great Discovery
Thomas and Friends: The Great Discovery is a 2008 adventure-family film based on the Thomas and Friends TV-series, the film stars Pierce Brosnan as the role of the narrator, being the only Thomas and Friends production to feature him as that position (albeit he was gonna narrate the series starting from series 12, though it was canceled for unknown reasons), it was also the first of the yearly-Thomas direct-to-video movies released from 2008 to 2018 (as Thomas and the Magic Railroad was a theatrical film and Calling all Engines! didn't have a sequel released the year after).
It was also the last Thomas media to fully use the model faces, as the 12th series (also from 2008) was the very last series to use the modeled trains and filmed in live-action, but the faces were covered in CGI and was the very last Thomas media to use these humanoid figurines, as all of them were fully replaced being animated in CGI by 12th series onwards.
Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends prepare for Sodor Day, however, Thomas discovers an abandoned town named Great Waterton after managing to escape from a collapsing bridge, meanwhile, while a new engine named Stanley arrives on the Island of Sodor, the island itself starts to re-construct Great Waterton, but after mishaps happen in the process, Thomas must set off in a dangerous mission.
Why It Rocks
- The film, just like Season 11, is shot in high definition, which looks beautiful compared to the previous seasons.
- A lot of good songs, especially the credits song, "Thomas, You're the Leader", which later ended up being featured as a regular song in the CGI series (albeit cut off) and has become a cult classic with many fans and children.
- Stanley is a pretty good and interesting new character. And while Thomas was at first jealous of him, they later become friends at the end.
- The story, while basic, is filled with a lot of action-packed moments, especially the Morgan's Mine sequence, which is probably the most famous scene in the special.
- Pierce Brosnan's narration, while sometimes distracting due to his voice and Irish accent, can be good at times. Some fans even wish he took over for Michael Brandon and Michael Angelis after Season 11 as supposed to.
- While not the last Thomas production to feature models, it's considered by many fans to be a really good send-off to the model era of Thomas and Friends.
- The premise of Thomas discovering a new town and try to get it reconstructed in time for a special day after telling the tel is a pretty good plot for a Thomas special.
- Good soundtrack by Robert Hartshorne and Ed Welch.
- It's considered to be an improvement over Calling All Engines, as it lacks some of its problems such as this film not including adding in unnecessary Learning Segments as HiT decided to focus more on the story, showing they've learned from their mistake.
- A lot of characters appear in the film, which made it one of the ultimate Thomas films.
- It gives out a really great moral about not being jealous of others.
- It made a fitting send-off to the model series due to the huge amount of characters and a great credits song.
- The special hinted that Stanley would become a part of the Steam Team, to the point that even the Engine Roll Call mentioned him, sadly, Stanley didn't join the Steam Team, albeit he still appeared occasionally.
- It is somewhat stupid here and there when Thomas goes into the tunnel Mine riding it like a roller coaster and crashes straight into the blocked tunnel (Because his driver and fireman could have died or got injured in the cab within him). He also flies across the ravine, making it seem like Thomas is a light tank engine. When in reality, real engines cannot be able to fly across a ravine. It's not even how the laws of physics works.
- Missed opportunity: Duck, BoCo, Toad, Donald, Douglas, and some other characters that appeared in the live-action model and figurine era never got to appear in this production at all. Possibly due to budget cuts.
- Currently, this is the only Thomas & Friends production narrated by Pierce Brosnan, though originally, Pierce Bronsnan was to narrate Season 12 to Season 14 in both English dubs, as well as 3 specials.