Thomas & Friends-All Aboard with the Steam Team (2004)

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Released 7-Apr-2005

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Childrens Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio
Scene Selection Anim & Audio
Quiz-Know Your Engines
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 2004
Running Time 55:45 (Case: 89)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By David Mitton
Studio
Distributor
Hit Entertainment
Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Ringo Starr
Michael Angelis
George Carlin
Alec Baldwin
Michael Brandon
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $19.95 Music Junior Campbell
Andreas Fehrle
Graeme MacArthur


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Thomas the Tank Engine is a huge favourite around our house. My 2 year old son has the DVDs, the slippers, the pyjamas, the T-shirt, the track suit, the books, the wooden train set and much more. Therefore, this new disc was greeted with great excitement.

    It is interesting to note that there are actually two versions of this show globally; an American one, with similar stories but an American story reader and the English one, as we get here. I recently purchased a disc of the series from Region 1 and was disappointed to find the annoying American voiceover. My son doesn't seem to mind but I find it a little difficult to cope with. This disc has a similar format to that one, although with an English voiceover. Unlike previous local releases which I have seen, this disc is designed as one program with six stories interspersed with various songs and games. Accordingly there are actually 14 segments included here in the 55 minute run time, despite there only being 6 chapter stops. Each of the six stories runs for approximately 7 minutes. They are brand new 2004 productions.

    The 14 segments are:

  1. Introduction
  2. Thomas to the Rescue - Thomas is sent to the quarry to help Mavis with an important job. Diesel is there and starts causing trouble for Thomas, however, when Diesel is given the wrong fuel he needs Thomas' help.
  3. Sounds of the railway activity
  4. Henry & the Wishing Tree - Henry gets sick of pulling trucks and wishes that he could pull the express instead. When his wish comes true things don't quite go the way he thought they would.
  5. Picking which engine is which game
  6. Song - Sounds of the Railway
  7. Thomas & The Tuba - Thomas has to collect a Brass Band for Lady Hatt's birthday party but inadvertently leaves the tuba player behind. He then scours the island looking for him.
  8. Maze style game
  9. Squeak, Rattle & Roll - Gordon has an argument with Diesel and gets concerned that the Fat Controller will scrap him. When he develops a squeak he decides to slow down rather than tell anyone. When the Fat Controller gives him an urgent job, the trouble really starts.
  10. Picking which engine is which game
  11. Percy's New Whistle - After being teased, Percy decides to practice so he can whistle louder, but this annoys the other engines and causes confusion.
  12. Sounds at Knapford Station
  13. Thomas & the Fireworks Display - James is chosen by the Fat Controller to collect fireworks but this makes Thomas angry because he wanted to. This causes trouble.
  14. Singalong with karaoke style lyrics.

    Another excellent set of Thomas stories which all little Thomas fans will enjoy.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is very good but lacking a little in sharpness.

    The feature is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio 16x9 enhanced which is the original aspect ratio. This is the first 16x9 enhanced Thomas disc I have seen.

    The picture was clear and sharp throughout although could not be described as crisp. There was no evidence of low level noise.

    The colour was wonderful, rich and solid throughout.

    There were no noticeable artefacts.

    There are subtitles in English for the hearing impaired. The English subtitles were clear and easy to read, however I felt they were placed too high on the screen, obscuring the picture.

        

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The audio quality is very good and quite subtle.

    This DVD contains an English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack encoded at 224 Kb/s.

    Dialogue was clear and easy to understand and there was no problem with audio sync.

    The music is good fun and the songs are great for little kids.

    The surround speakers were not used.

     The subwoofer added bass to the music but this was a function of my amp's bass management.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menu

    The menu is simple and easy to use.

Know Your Engines Quiz

    An easy quiz for the kiddies. My two year old got every answer right, probably assisted by the picture of the answer appearing on the screen with the question. There are 12 questions in all.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    There is no real comparison available here as the US discs contain the American voiceover.

    On this basis, I would recommend the Region 4 version.

Summary

    A collection of 6 new Thomas stories interspersed with songs and games.

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio quality is very good.

    The set has one extra which the kids will enjoy.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Friday, May 13, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV667A DVD-V DVD-A SACD, using Component output
DisplaySony FD Trinitron Wega KV-AR34M36 80cm. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL)/480i (NTSC).
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersBose 201 Direct Reflecting (Front), Phillips SB680V (Surround), Phillips MX731 (Center), Yamaha YST SW90 (Sub)

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