Thomas & Friends-Engines to the Rescue (2004)

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Released 11-Nov-2004

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Childrens Menu Animation & Audio
Quiz-Know Your Engines
Trailer-Preview - Days Out With Thomas
Bonus Episode-'Train Driver Tubb' From Rubbadubbers
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 2004
Running Time 44:16 (Case: 55)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then 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 None Given


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 Unknown 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 an institution. No-one who has had anything to do with young children will not have heard of Thomas - certainly every toddler knows who Thomas is.

    Even as an adult it's hard not to be impressed by the Thomas TV series. These short stories are so well told and so charmingly filmed that even I find that I am drawn to watch if they are on. The model work alone is worth watching. For a five minute or so children's story, the work put into the models is most impressive.

    Unlike many children's TV shows, Thomas does not irritate adults. Sure, when little Johnny is watching the same Thomas DVD for the two hundredth time today, Mum may get a bit frustrated, but at least Thomas doesn't annoy from the first viewing as many children's shows tend to.

    Thomas and Friends - Engines to the Rescue is a collection of eight episodes all with the theme of the engines saving the day. They are simple stories that are well filmed and often provide a little bit of learning for children of all ages.

Gordon and Spencer (5:32)
    A Duke and Duchess are visiting the island and they bring their own engine, Spencer.

Harold and the Flying Horse (5:33)
    It's time for the Vicar's fair and Harold the Helicopter feels left out because he is on rescue duty and can't go.

The Grand Opening (5:32)
    A new line is opening on the island and all the engines are excited.

It's Only Snow (5:32)
    It's winter and Thomas has to deliver the village Yule tree but breaks his snow plough.

The Refreshment Lady's Tea Shop (5:32)
    The refreshment lady has to open another tea shop and Peter Sam must help her find another location.

Trusty Rusty (5:31)
    Rusty the diesel has to help a steam engine that is stranded on a collapsing bridge.

Salty's Stormy Tale (5:32)
    The island's lighthouse breaks down during a storm and the dockside engine Salty has to help repair it.

Something Fishy (5:32)
    Thomas is unhappy about having to work on a new line that runs to the fishing village.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This is a very nice 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced transfer. Colours are bright and vibrant and the images are crisp. The only artefact I could find was some very minor MPEG blocking in large areas of colour such as the sky. I can't see too many toddlers complaining about that though. Aside from this the transfer is excellent, although a slight lack of sharpness sometimes suggests the source material was video.

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

Audio

    Audio is Dolby Digital 2.0. While nothing spectacular, it is a good, clean audio transfer with the dialogue clear and easy to follow. There's not much else to say - this is not a disc that will test out your surround system and impress your friends with ground-shaking base. It is a basic soundtrack that does its job well.

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

Extras

Menu
    An animated menu with audio is provided after an ad for ABC children's videos. The menu features nice big selection icons in keeping with the age of its target audience.

Know You Engines Quiz
    A series of multiple choice questions about each episode. The answer is selected by the remote control. The voice over is supposed to say "well done" when a correct answer is elected, but on my system the audio was badly clipped.

Days Out With Thomas
    A brief ad for live Thomas events in the UK.

Train Driver Tubb - Story From the Rubbadubbers (10:13)
    An animated story from another children's series that, quite frankly, isn't in Thomas's league.

R4 vs R1

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

    I could not locate this collection in Region 1. There is a Region 2 version that appears to be identical.

Summary

    If you have a child who is a Thomas fan, they will love these eight episodes. If you haven't introduced you child to Thomas, do so. They will be entranced by this series and you will have 44 minutes of peace and quiet.

    Video is excellent.

    Audio is good.

    Extras are few, but the kids will probably enjoy them.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Glen Randall (If you're really bored, you can read my bio)
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba SD-1200Y, using Component output
DisplayPanasonic TH-42PV500A 42" HD Plasma. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationYamaha RX-V596
SpeakersRichter Wizard fronts, Richter Lynx centre, Richter Hydra rears, Velodyne CT-100 sub-woofer

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