Well, I preordered Thomas' new movie on iTunes awhile ago, and it now came ready to view.
I 100% enjoyed it.
There's so many wonderful things that Andrew Brenner wrote in, coupled with Arc's ever impressive and continually improving animation.
Like King of the Railway, we're all over the Island and delving into so many characters. However, unlike that movie or Adventure Begins
, this movie doesn't feel like a bunch of stories put into one feature. There also seemed to have been a lot of inspiration from both The Great Discovery
(Ryan taking the place of Stanley as Thomas feels replaced) and Thomas and the Magic Railroad
(Little engines can do big things; magical engines), but it all feels woven together sublimely.
The story is really strong, and puts Thomas in a very threatened position, but he needs to to realize he's not as on top of the world as he thinks he is, and every moment that has to him slowly builds up elegantly to learning his lesson. Keep an eye on his number one, and you'll see what I mean. There's a lot of action, from derailments and explosions, sprinkled all around, but they all feel important to the story, not just there for action-sake. And yes, there are plenty of nods to the classic era, but many of them play a role in the story, too, and again not just there for nostalgia sake.
As for the new and returning characters, arguably Skiff (Jamie Campbell Bower
) is the best of the all new ones. He's one you really feel sympathy for and his build up to the climax is executed wonderfully. Sailor John (John Hurt
) makes a great villain, both in his build up, and his motives, even for the Y-rating Thomas has always had. Though I kind of wish he had a bit more character background. Ryan (Eddie Redmayne
) is nice, though I kind of wish he was more like he was advertised originally - being cocky and dismissive. Here, he does feel a bit much like Stanley, but there's still a lot to admire about him.
Donald and Douglas are back at last, and they feel well incoporated, too, unlike Reg in Tale of the Brave. Yes, they do have new whistles, but please...don't go into rage quit because of that. They sound great, look great, and are just how I remembered from the classic series. I really like that the Pack is slowly being completed, and there's plenty of funny moments with Oliver (the Excavator) and Marion. Oh yeah, Marion (Olivia Colman
) once again shows what a great new character I feel she is. She just steals every scene she's in. Though I will say the other returnees (Daisy, Max & Monty) show for only a little bit.
And ah yes, and the minimum gauge engines. They're fantastic, and they play a significant part throughout. The song they sing is very catchy, and their personalities do feel like their Railway Series counterparts, especially in the scene where Marion asks Mike for a magic wish. No, I am not kidding there.
Though there's a rather nagging animation error on Rex's wheels...
Speaking of which, along with that song, the closing song "We Make a Team Together" just feels like the cherry on top of this delicious cake story, really encompassing the whole Thomas cast in the film as a team.
As for the other characters woven in, I feel they could do a little more with Duck, Oliver and Toad, but they're in enough to make it work. Henry gets a role, though for those who hate his Barlow-era persona may feel disappointed again. Everyone else though feels nicely edited in, however, from the Steam Team to Salty and the China Clay Twins.
Oh yes, and keep an eye out for that lovely little tribute to the Rev. W. Awdry. That was very gratuitous.
All in all, Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure is a 65 minute high speed ride filled with wonderful characters, a strong story, beautiful direction and animation, hilarious comedy, dramatic action, and plenty of sweet charm that both classic fans and new fans will find extreme enjoyment in, and like the Adventure Begins, perfect for celebrating Thomas' 70th anniversary. Thank you all current Thomas team for making this, you deserve all the praise, because this is the BEST THOMAS FEATURE YET