Overall | Thomas & Friends-All Aboard with the Steam Team (2004) | Thomas & Friends-Engines to the Rescue (2004) | Thomas & Friends-The Very Best of | Thomas & Friends-Thomas and the Jet Engine (1998) | Thomas & Friends-Three Cheers for Thomas (2004) | Thomas & Friends-Truckloads of Fun (2004) | Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends-Twin Trouble

Thomas & Friends-60th Anniversary Box Set (1998)

Thomas & Friends-60th Anniversary Box Set (1998)

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Released 1-Dec-2005

Cover Art

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Overall Package

    "I feel all out of steam," puffed Thomas as he was leaving the engine sheds.

    "I'm not surprised," said Gordon, "How old are you now?"

    "Sixty," replied Thomas.

    "Sixty!" exclaimed Gordon. "You should think about retirement."

    "I can't retire," said Thomas, "All the children rely on me to take them on little adventures, and I enjoy taking them. No, I can't sit down."

    "Why not?" enquired Gordon.

    "Because I have a tender behind," said Thomas as he puffed off on his next adventure.

    "He's a plucky little engine," said Gordon, "We should do something for his sixtieth birthday."  So Gordon chuffed off to see the ABC's Fat Controller.

    "You know Thomas is turning sixty, and that's a fair age for a little tank engine. We should do something to commemorate it," said Gordon to the Fat Controller.

    "You're right," said the Fat Controller. "Thomas has done a lot for us. He's very popular with the children and his DVDs sell well. Not to mention all the money his merchandising makes for us. I'll work something out."

    So the Fat Controller thought long and hard about how to celebrate sixty years of Thomas The Tank Engine, and finally decide what to do. The Fat Controller collected together seven of his favourite Thomas The Tank Engine DVDs; The Very Best Of Thomas & Friends, All Aboard The Steam Train, Engines To The Rescue, Three Cheers For Thomas, Truckloads Of Fun, Twin Trouble and Thomas & The Jet Engine; and put them all into a special Sixtieth Anniversary Limited Edition Boxed Set.

    When Thomas heard about the boxed set, he was stoked and was full of steam again.

    The Fat Controller was happy as the boxed set brought more money into the ABC's burgeoning coffers.

    The children were happy as the boxed set meant they could go on many adventures with Thomas and his friends.

    The Mums and Dads were happy as many Thomas adventures meant many hours of quiet children.

    And even Ringo Starr was happy to have finally found success after The Beatles.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Glen Randall (If you're really bored, you can read my bio)
Friday, January 06, 2006
Other Reviews
impulsegamer.com - Tory Favro

Comments (Add) NONE
Overall | Thomas & Friends-All Aboard with the Steam Team (2004) | Thomas & Friends-Engines to the Rescue (2004) | Thomas & Friends-The Very Best of | Thomas & Friends-Thomas and the Jet Engine (1998) | Thomas & Friends-Three Cheers for Thomas (2004) | Thomas & Friends-Truckloads of Fun (2004) | Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends-Twin Trouble

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

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)

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE
Overall | Thomas & Friends-All Aboard with the Steam Team (2004) | Thomas & Friends-Engines to the Rescue (2004) | Thomas & Friends-The Very Best of | Thomas & Friends-Thomas and the Jet Engine (1998) | Thomas & Friends-Three Cheers for Thomas (2004) | Thomas & Friends-Truckloads of Fun (2004) | Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends-Twin Trouble

Thomas & Friends-Engines to the Rescue (2004)

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.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

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

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE
Overall | Thomas & Friends-All Aboard with the Steam Team (2004) | Thomas & Friends-Engines to the Rescue (2004) | Thomas & Friends-The Very Best of | Thomas & Friends-Thomas and the Jet Engine (1998) | Thomas & Friends-Three Cheers for Thomas (2004) | Thomas & Friends-Truckloads of Fun (2004) | Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends-Twin Trouble

Thomas & Friends-The Very Best of

Thomas & Friends-The Very Best of

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Released 10-Jun-2004

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Childrens Main Menu Audio & Animation
Scene Selection Anim & Audio
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production ?
Running Time 88:16
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By David Mitton
Studio
Distributor
Britt Allcroft
Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Ringo Starr
Michael Angelis
George Carlin
Alec Baldwin
Michael Brandon
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $19.95 Music Mike O'Donnell
Junior Campbell


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.29:1
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.29:1 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

    It restores my faith in the Thomas & Friends franchise to see a disc like this after reviewing the truly atrocious feature film Thomas and the Magic Railroad. While the feature film is scary, confusing and a poor combination of the original engines and poor human acting, the television series is fun, light, simple and enjoyable for the kids. My fifteen month old son loves the theme tune and the trains, although he is a bit too young to understand the stories yet.

   This disc contains 16 episodes of the television series spanning the time period 1984 to 1998. This means that approximately half the episodes are read by Ringo Starr (for those from another planet, the drummer from The Beatles). He does an excellent job on these episodes and is many people's favourite narrator of this series. He reads the episodes from 1984 and 1986. The later episodes feature more special effects and action, however the earlier ones have a charm all of their own. All of the episodes run for approximately 5:30.

    In detail, the episodes featured are as follows:

    Overall, this is top quality children's entertainment and is a well selected group of episodes.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality ranges from reasonable to excellent dependent upon the age of the episode.

    The episodes are presented in a 1.29:1 aspect ratio which is most likely the original aspect ratio.

    The picture was generally clear and sharp throughout, with no evidence of low level noise. The 1984 & 1986 episodes have quite significant grain, however later episodes are better and the newest have no grain. Shadow detail was good.

    The colour was very good throughout with all colours being well saturated and free from colour bleeding. Again, colour vibrancy improved with the newer episodes.

    The older episodes had a few specks of white and some minor tape tracking marks, however the newer episodes showed no such artefacts.

    There are subtitles in English for the Hearing Impaired. They are summarised and do not reflect the entire text which would probably help the core audience (those who can read at all).

    

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

Audio

    The audio quality is good.

    This DVD contains only one audio option: an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack encoded at 224 Kb/s.

    Dialogue was clear and easy to understand.    

    The music by Mike O'Donnell & Junior Campbell is very catchy and certainly got my little boy bopping along.

    The surround speakers were used for some train noises and music when played using ProLogicII.

    The subwoofer was used for music when played using ProLogicII.

    

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

Extras

Menu

    The menu includes an episode selection function & subtitle selection.

R4 vs R1

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

    This disc is available in Region 2 in exactly the same format but does not seem to be available in Region 1.

Summary

    This disc contains an excellent selection of 16 classic episodes from the long-running children's show, Thomas & Friends.

    The video quality ranges from reasonable to excellent dependent upon the age of the episode.

    The audio quality is good.

    The disc has no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Thursday, June 17, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba 1200, using Component output
DisplaySony FD Trinitron Wega KV-AR34M36 80cm. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL)/480i (NTSC).
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD Player, Dolby Digital and DTS.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersBose 201 Direct Reflecting (Front), Phillips SB680V (Surround), Phillips MX731 (Center), Yamaha YST SW90 (Sub)

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE
Overall | Thomas & Friends-All Aboard with the Steam Team (2004) | Thomas & Friends-Engines to the Rescue (2004) | Thomas & Friends-The Very Best of | Thomas & Friends-Thomas and the Jet Engine (1998) | Thomas & Friends-Three Cheers for Thomas (2004) | Thomas & Friends-Truckloads of Fun (2004) | Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends-Twin Trouble

Thomas & Friends-Thomas and the Jet Engine (1998)

Thomas & Friends-Thomas and the Jet Engine (1998)

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Released 27-May-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Family Menu Animation & Audio
Scene Selection Anim & Audio
Karaoke-Thomas We Love You; Don't Judge A Book By Its Cover
Karaoke-Rockin' On The Railway
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1998
Running Time 50:50
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By David Mitton
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Michael Angelis
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $29.95 Music Mike O'Donnell
Junior Campbell


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.56:1
16x9 Enhancement No
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

    I'm a bit too chronologically challenged to have grown up with Thomas The Tank Engine, but some of my younger siblings did - I recall reading to them the vast collection of books written by Reverend W. Awdry and occasionally watching the original series narrated by Ringo Starr, which was a great novelty at the time. The collection of episodes presented here are much more recent and have a different narrator - Michael Angelis - whose voice  has a remarkable likeness to Ringo, but lacks some of the subtle nuances that made Ringo such an enjoyable vocal presence.

    There are nine episodes on this disc, each running for just over five minutes. Most of the old familiar characters from the island of Sodor are here; Henry, Gordon, Percy and the Fat Controller - and some new faces are introduced, including Jack the Digger-loader and Elizabeth the Vintage Lorry. Each episode has a moral or theme that intends to teach children the value of friendship - sometimes in a not-so-subtle way, but entertaining all the same. These episodes are playable separately or all together in one fifty minute block.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This is a generally good video transfer, with very few problems to be concerned about.

    The transfer is framed at 1.56:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced. It appears that the same video source as the VHS release has been used for this DVD transfer. I would not be surprised if the director's intended ratio is 1.78:1.

    The picture is pleasantly sharp and very easy on the eyes. Black levels appeared bold and true and there were no instances of low level noise.

    Colours were bright and managed to maintain the attention of my youngest gremlin for a surprisingly long time. There were no signs of bleeding or oversaturation.

    I didn't notice any signs of over-compression, which surprised me a little. Aliasing was quite well controlled considering the sharpness inherent in the transfer. Although there were a few minor examples present, they are hardly worth mentioning.

    English hard of hearing subtitles were activated by default on my player. After watching them for a few minutes, I had to turn them off manually. Both of the English subtitle tracks appeared to be true to the spoken word and were paced accurately with the action on screen.

    Given its short runtime, this disc is single layered.

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

Audio

    I found the audio transfer unremarkable to say the least.

    There is only one audio track present on this disc; English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s).

    Both the narration and the character voices were very easy to understand at all times. None of the characters have moving lips, so sync wasn't an issue at all.

    Besides the very recognisable theme song to the series, the musical interludes were limited to segue pieces, aiding the flow of the story and signalling when the story was moving along.

    Although I did attempt to engage Pro Logic decoding, there were no examples of surround activity or subwoofer response. There was a little bit of panning evident in the stereo soundfield, but that's it.

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

Extras

Menu

    All menus are simply animated with characters from the series, including the scene selection menu. There is no 16x9 enhancement.

Sing Along Songs (9:56)

    These three daft songs are playable separately or via a play all function, including: Thomas We Love You, Don't Judge A Book By Its Cover and Rocking On The Railway - all of which reiterate the basic morals from Thomas' adventures. Kids can sing along by following the bouncing steam cloud above the lyrics (I presume it is a steam cloud - otherwise Thomas needs to change his diet). Parents beware: these songs were already driving me insane after two viewings.

R4 vs R1

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

    This compilation of episodes appears to be exclusive to Region 4. The Region 1 version of this series is narrated by Alec Baldwin, because we know Americans have such a hard time with foreign accents. There is a Region 1 DVD compilation of six episodes, including the Percy's Chocolate Crunch story, and it has the following extras:

    I would definitely rate our nine episode compilation over the Region 1, for the length of our program and the absence of an American voice-over on our version of the series.

Summary

    Although it's light on in the extras department, this is a disc that is sure to keep the little-uns occupied for the best part of an hour. The stories are brief and entertaining, the audio is passable and the video transfer is adequate. This is worth a purchase if your child is seriously into Thomas The Tank Engine.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Rob Giles (readen de bio, bork, bork, bork.)
Monday, September 22, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-525, using Component output
DisplayPanasonic TX76PW10A 76cm Widescreen 100Hz. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVR-2802 Dolby EX/DTS ES Discrete
SpeakersOrpheus Aurora lll Mains (bi-wired), Rears, Centre Rear. Orpheus Centaurus .5 Front Centre. Mirage 10 inch sub.

Other Reviews
The DVD Bits - Dean B
DVD Net - Gavin T

Comments (Add)
...about time -

Overall | Thomas & Friends-All Aboard with the Steam Team (2004) | Thomas & Friends-Engines to the Rescue (2004) | Thomas & Friends-The Very Best of | Thomas & Friends-Thomas and the Jet Engine (1998) | Thomas & Friends-Three Cheers for Thomas (2004) | Thomas & Friends-Truckloads of Fun (2004) | Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends-Twin Trouble

Thomas & Friends-Three Cheers for Thomas (2004)

Thomas & Friends-Three Cheers for Thomas (2004)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 7-Jul-2005

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Childrens Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio
Scene Selection Anim & Audio
Game-Cargo Challenge
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 2004
Running Time 57:12
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 Michael Angelis
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 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. This disc is designed as one program with seven stories interspersed with various songs and games. Accordingly there are actually 11 segments included here in the 55 minute run time, despite there only being 7 chapter stops. Each of the seven stories runs for approximately 7 minutes. They are a brand new 2004 production.

    The 11 segments are:

  1. Introduction
  2. Thomas Saves the Day - Thomas has to ferry workers each day to a new station which is being built, however there is a dangerous bend along the way which worries him. When Annie & Clarabel are sent for a refit he gets very nervous about it.
  3. Don't Tell Thomas - The other engines are keeping a secret from Thomas and he is desperate to find out what it is.
  4. Percy memory game
  5. Fish - Thomas has an accident involving stinky fish when he is not careful enough. Involves an engine I haven't seen before called Arthur.
  6. Halloween - Arry & Bert try to scare Thomas and Emily on Halloween. It annoys me that this show is becoming more and more Americanized with episodes like this.
  7. Song - Surprises 
  8. Spic and Span - There is a competition for the smartest engine but Thomas and Percy have trouble getting and staying clean.
  9. Chickens to School - Thomas volunteers for three extra job however gets so tired that he starts mixing them up.
  10. Thomas repaint interactive activity
  11. Thomas & the Circus - Thomas gets the job of collecting the circus which is coming to Sodor, however because he is greedy things go wrong.

    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.

    The picture was reasonably 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.

    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.

Cargo Challenge Game

    With significant help from the voiceover the player must decide how many trucks to take and at what speed for various jobs to see if they will arrive safely. Not bad.

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 7 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, September 09, 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)

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE
Overall | Thomas & Friends-All Aboard with the Steam Team (2004) | Thomas & Friends-Engines to the Rescue (2004) | Thomas & Friends-The Very Best of | Thomas & Friends-Thomas and the Jet Engine (1998) | Thomas & Friends-Three Cheers for Thomas (2004) | Thomas & Friends-Truckloads of Fun (2004) | Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends-Twin Trouble

Thomas & Friends-Truckloads of Fun (2004)

Thomas & Friends-Truckloads of Fun (2004)

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Released 3-Aug-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Childrens Main Menu Audio
Song Lyrics
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 2004
Running Time 66:06
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By David Mitton
Studio
Distributor

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 Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.29:1
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    It's hard to believe that Thomas was created by Rev. W. Awdry in 1945. In a world where fads come and go, Thomas is a constant that most of us grew up with, either in books, on TV or on video.

    The Thomas empire still steams strongly on, an oasis of yesterday with its steam engines and simple stories, and this disc gives us ten Thomas adventures interspersed with three songs for the kids to sing along with.

   I believe one of the reasons Thomas has been so successful is because of the high production standards. While many children's programmes can be of second rate quality as they are "only for kids", Thomas is always well filmed and the time put into the modelling is evident to see. Thomas and Friends - Truckloads Of Fun maintains the usual high standard of the Thomas series.

Thomas And The Trucks (5:36)
    Thomas wants a change so he swaps with another engine so he can pull trucks instead of carriages.

Troublesome Trucks (5:36)
    James has to deal with some troublesome trucks when the couplings break.

Accidents will Happen (3:34)
    A song that the kids can sing along with.

Tenders And Turntables (5:31)
    Thomas has been sent to work on a branch line and the bigger engines are angry at having to do their own shunting.

Trouble In The Shed (5:31)
    The big engines refuse to do shunting so the Fat Controller decides to teach them a lesson.

Off The Rails (5:32)
    Gordon gets stuck in a ditch when he runs off the rails.

The Snow Song (5:32)
    Another song the kids can sing along with.

Thomas, Percy and The Coal (5:36)
    Percy has an accident loading coal and buries Thomas.

Mavis (5:34)
    Mavis the quarry engine gets stuck on icy rails when she doesn't listen to advice.

Heroes (5:34)
    Two small shunting engines are heroes when they save the quarry workers from a rock-fall.

Sir Topham Hatt (3:14)
    Another sing along song.

Four Little Engines (5:34)
    Scarloey, despite his age, is told to pull some passenger carriages and his springs break.

Make Someone Happy (5:33)
    Percy is grumpy until he is sent on a run to bring a special passenger to the village fair.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    These episodes are from the older Thomas TV shows and so are in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1. The quality is not as good as the later series with some low level noise being present and the overall picture being more grainy. Many of the episodes look to be from a VHS transfer. A couple of the episodes display some telecine wobble.

    These quibbles aside, the video is acceptable and is quite watchable. I doubt that the target audience of toddlers will be too upset by these minor video flaws.

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

Audio

    As is usual with this series, audio is Dolby Digital 2.0.Another good, clean audio transfer with clear and easy to follow dialogue. Not much is expected of the surrounds and sub-woofer, but again, I don't see the target audience complaining too much.

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

Extras

    There are no extras. The menu is static with the Thomas theme behind it.

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

    Another collection of Thomas adventures that every toddler will love.

    Video is average.

    Audio is good.

    No extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Glen Randall (If you're really bored, you can read my bio)
Thursday, January 05, 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

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE
Overall | Thomas & Friends-All Aboard with the Steam Team (2004) | Thomas & Friends-Engines to the Rescue (2004) | Thomas & Friends-The Very Best of | Thomas & Friends-Thomas and the Jet Engine (1998) | Thomas & Friends-Three Cheers for Thomas (2004) | Thomas & Friends-Truckloads of Fun (2004) | Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends-Twin Trouble

Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends-Twin Trouble

Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends-Twin Trouble

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Released 1-Oct-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Childrens Main Menu Audio & Animation
Scene Selection Anim & Audio
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production ?
Running Time 45:32
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By David Milton
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Michael Angelis
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $24.95 Music Mike O'Donnell
Junior Campbell


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.56:1
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.56:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

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

Plot Synopsis

   For this review I am going to dispense with the standard plot synopsis and review for Thomas & Friends-Twin Trouble. Now as I see it there are two tests any good children's show should be able to pass. Firstly, the enjoyment factor. Now for us adults, spending forty five minutes with Thomas The Tank Engine might seem painful, but millions of children throughout the world would disagree. So, to test the enjoyment factor, I played the disc to my three year old son and then sought his opinion. Now the first pleasant surprise came when I noticed that he was captivated for the entire 45 minute running time of the show. This for a parent is worthy of a purchase in itself. Then to my delight he wanted to watch it again. I was most impressed. At the completion of the second viewing I asked him what he thought, to which he replied, "It's my favourite, Daddy". This was great - the first test was passed with flying colours.

    The second crucial test is obviously education. This is not necessarily the standard Maths and English education, but life lessons. Teaching a child right from wrong, friendship, forgiveness, and so on. All these thing are extremely important to a toddler and I'm happy to say that the eight mini stories on Thomas & Friends-Twin Trouble have them in abundance. I would have no trouble recommending Thomas & Friends to any parent. Not only does it keep the little ones occupied for a short period, but the time spent watching the show is educational in the best way possible.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    Thomas & Friends-Twin Trouble is presented in 1.33:1 full frame as it was broadcast on television and it is not 16x9 enhanced.

    Sharpness levels were strong with no signs of aliasing. Shadow detail was pleasing with strong black levels. There were no grain or low level noise problems.

    Colours were natural and well defined. There were no bleeding issues detected.

    There were little to no video artefacts apparent.

    All-in-all, Twin Trouble had a very good transfer, but I wouldn't expect anything else from the ABC.

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

Audio

    Twin Trouble has a solitary English Dolby Digital 2.0 surround audio track.

    Dialogue is always clear and strong and there are absolutely no audio sync problems.

    The music by Mike O'Donnell and Junior Campbell nicely adds to each story and never distracts.

    Surround channel usage is minimal at best. Other than the theme music which can be heard in the rear speakers, I couldn't detect any directional effects.

    The subwoofer helps were it can, but strong bass is not really needed by this title.

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

Extras

Main Menu Audio & Animation

    Scenes from the show accompanied by the familiar theme music.

Scene Selection Animation & Audio

    Animated menus (always nice), plus the theme.

R4 vs R1

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

    From what I could find, both the R4 and R2 versions of this disc are the same.

Summary

    Thomas & Friends-Twin Trouble is a fine selection of eight stories from the island of Sodor. It keeps the kids entertained and educates at the same time. A great children's show. The disc has a fine audio and video presentation with no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Greg Morfoot (if interested here is my bio)
Saturday, November 22, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-535, using S-Video output
DisplayLG 76cm Widescreen Flatron Television. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderSony HT-K215. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationSony HT-K215
Speakers fronts-paradigm titans, centre &rear Sony - radio parts subbie

Other Reviews
DVD Net - Vincent C

Comments (Add)
After long last - hey !!! some of us Adults like Thomas aswell....... or am I the only one? - AXE