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“Two engines are much better than one, you know.”
―Nia

Big World! Big Adventures! is the 2018 Thomas & Friends film.

Production

Development

Big World! Big Adventures!, alongside the twenty-second series, mark the third major reboot of the franchise, following the introduction of the Steam Team in the eighth series and the show switching over to full CGI in Hero of the Rails. Both productions were the result of the market research Mattel conducted with audiences around the globe. It was about how Mattel could keep Thomas & Friends relevant in a competitive market, as well as reversing declining toy sales. The one suggestion Mattel was intrigued with came from a child declaring that "Thomas is a train but he never really goes anywhere." This evolved into Thomas travelling around the globe and learning about different cultures.

Plot

When a mischievous little racing car called Ace passes through Sodor on his way around the world, Thomas is inspired to embark on his own ambitious trip. Travelling full steam ahead across five continents, Thomas discovers magnificent new sights and experiences exciting places and cultures. Along the way, he makes friends with an inspiring and fun Kenyan engine called Nia. With so much for Thomas to learn about the world, will Nia be successful in teaching him a lesson about the true meaning of friendship? Featuring a world of wonder, curiosity and amazing animal friends, join Thomas on an epic adventure, fulfilling his dream of seeing the world!

Characters

Characters Introduced

Locations

Voice Cast

UK, AUS and NZ

US and CAN

Songs

Bonus Features

UK/US/AUS/NZ

Trivia

  • This film ties in with the twenty-second series.
  • This special takes place between Journey Beyond Sodor and the twenty-second series; as a result this is the first production under the new rebrand.
  • This is the longest Direct-to-Home Video film to date at a total runtime of eighty minutes.
  • The spine on the DVD release of this special reuses an image of Thomas from the previous film, Journey Beyond Sodor.
  • Yvonne Grundy, Patricia Kihoro, Peter Andre, Dan Li, Gabriel Porras, Su-Lin Looi, Rachael Miller, Abubakar Salim, Richie Campbell, Akiya Henry, Chipo Chung and Dona Adwera join the voice cast.
  • This special is the first of several things:
    • The first special in the US, not to be released on DVD until a year after.
    • The first film fully animated by Jam Filled Toronto.
    • The first Thomas & Friends production not to have Mark Moraghan involved since he was cast as the narrator in 2013, as well as the only special to date to not use narration.
    • The first time a new Steam Team member is introduced since the seventh series episode, Emily's New Coaches.
    • The first time where engines numbered 1-11 Speak since Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure.
    • The first special in which Rasmus Hardiker and Matt Wilkinson voice Bill and Ben since Jonathan Broadbent's departure from the series at some point in 2017 or 2018.
    • The first special in which the Sodor Steamworks does not appear since its introduction in Hero of the Rails. However, it was present in the background of a portrait of Victor from the thirteenth series episode, Percy's Parcel inside Sir Topham Hatt's office. A portrait of Thomas from the thirteenth series episode, Creaky Cranky is also seen there.
    • Yong Bao, Carlos, Vinnie and Rajiv's first appearances since their debuts in The Great Race.
    • Yong Bao, Big Mickey and the Thin Clergyman's first speaking roles in a special. It also marks Yong Bao's first speaking role in the main franchise and Big Mickey's first speaking role since the twenty-first series episode, New Crane on the Dock.
    • Sam's first appearance in the series rather than an online promotional video.
    • The first DVD released in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland since Wobbly Wheels and Whistles.
    • The first special dubbed in Danish, Finnish and Swedish since Tale of the Brave.
    • The first special to be dubbed in Norwegian since Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure.
  • This special was also the first time for many crew members:
  • This special also marks the only occurrences of a few things:
  • A CGI recreation of a scene of the second series episode, Thomas Comes to Breakfast is used during the song, "Where in the World is Thomas?" as references to said episode, the first series episode, Down the Mine, the second series episode, Percy Takes the Plunge, the fourth series episode, Thomas and the Special Letter, the seventh series episodes Percy Gets it Right and Something Fishy, the seventeenth series episode, Thomas' Shortcut, the nineteenth series episode, Who's Geoffrey? and the specials, Hero of the Rails, Misty Island Rescue, Blue Mountain Mystery and Journey Beyond Sodor are made.
  • A reference to the special, The Great Race is made.
  • A reused voice clip of Rob Rackstraw from the Meet the Contenders videos is used for the Senegal Race Announcer.
  • Pictures of Arlesburgh from the third series and of Donald and Douglas with the pirate ship from Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure, along with an edited picture of Skiff and Sailor John from the latter, with John made to look like another sailor and Skiff being recoloured red with his face removed, appear inside the Sailor's Cafe in San Francisco.
  • Reskins/colours of Edward, Henry, Oliver, Ryan, Raul, Dart, Ivan, The Mainland Diesels, Frankie, Bert, Judy/Jerome, Beresford, Carly and Big Mickey appear.
  • Bertie is heard singing Somebody Has to be the Favourite before Ace races past him.
  • This is the final special to air at least sixty minutes, as future specials will have a runtime of twenty-two minutes, similar to Diesel's Ghostly Christmas.
  • The scrap engine that Beau was talking about was a reskin of Bert's model.
  • This special aired on Nickelodeon USA on 7th September 2018 and aired on Treehouse TV on 13th October 2018. The special later re-aired on Nick Jr. on 19th April 2019.
  • The special aired on ABC Kids in Australia on Christmas Eve, 2018.
  • The special aired on Milkshake! in the UK on New Years Day, 2019.
  • Ace breaks the fourth wall at the beginning of the film by winking at the camera and saying "G'day!" to the audience.
  • Sailor John's model is reused for one of the patrons in the Sailor's Cafe at San Francisco.
  • The special was nominated for the 2019 Kidscreen Awards for the Best One-Off, Special or TV Movie.
  • This special aired in a private cinema on the NSW/VIC border of Australia.
  • A deleted scene shows that Carlos mistook Ace for a sun worshipper and shows him what their faces look like once he deploys the Aztec calendar around his face. The view made Ace wait anxiously for the green signal. It is unknown why it was cut.
  • According to The Fan Carpet, the film took twenty-one months to produce, nine months to animate and took over 9,500 hours of animation to complete. As such, this production took the longest time out of any Thomas & Friends production to date, to which possibly started in mid-2016 and ended in February 2018.
  • The US DVD is the last released under the name of Mattel Creations before being renamed to Mattel Television.
  • During "Wake Up," Thomas could be seen with grey smoke forming a cloud above him, a reference to the gloom cloud of many cartoons.

Goofs

  • In both dubs, Joe Mills and Tracy-Ann Oberman are not credited for voicing Douglas, Oliver and Daisy.
  • When Ace jumps over the fence near Flying Scotsman, his front bumper clips through the rails as he lands. When he lands, his wheels stop moving.
  • When Thomas rerails the tankers, his side rod does not move, resulting in both it and his wheels being out of place.
  • A workman uncouples Thomas from the tankers when they are rerailed, but in the next scene, he is still coupled to them.
  • When at Knapford Station, the fish trucks are shown to have no faces, but at Vicarstown Station they have gained faces.
  • When Thomas enters Knapford Station, the town's road is lopsided.
  • "Where in the World is Thomas?" has a few animation errors:
    • When Percy enters the yard at the beginning of the song, a loading bay can be seen beside him but in the next shot, it is gone.
    • In the overhead shot of Knapford Yards, Norman, Stanley and Stafford's eyes are not animated and appear closed.
    • Ben's body has been raised noticeably higher compared to his chassis so his buffers are touching the ones on the truck he was pushing.
  • After Nia says "I didn't mean to hurt your feelings," Thomas' train disappears before the scene changes. Thomas' very long train in this scene has a brake van at the end of the train, but for the rest of the time it is on screen, it is absent.
  • When Kwaku speaks to Thomas, the paint on Thomas' right tank is chipped.
  • In the wide shot of Guanabara Bay upon Thomas and Nia's arrival, the train pulled by the grey tender engine has a narrow gauge brake van.
  • In the wide shot of Thomas looking at all the coffee trucks, a lamp in the background is floating.
  • Ace clips through a bush when he is racing in the Amazon.
  • Kobe tells Sir Topham Hatt that he loaded Thomas onto the ship to Brazil, when earlier in the special, the faceless grey crane near him was shown to actually be the one loading the engines.
  • In some scenes in Colombia in "Free and Easy," Thomas' footplate is blue instead of white.
  • When Beau says "Happy trails," there is no whistle sound.
  • In the wide shot of Sir Topham Hatt talking to Fernando at Guanabara Bay, Cassia and the pink hammerhead crane are missing.
  • When Yong Bao saves Thomas and Nia, the chain between the latter two clips through his snowplough.
  • In the UK dub when James says, "Welcome to Sodor!" he has his US voice.
  • The audio for the US DVD is in a lower pitch.
  • The US DVD subtitles credit the line "He wouldn't last an hour!" to Annie as opposed to Dowager Hatt.

In Other Languages

Language Title
Brazilian Portuguese Um Grande Mundo de Aventuras
Chinese 湯馬仕大電影之世界大冒險
Danish Stor Verden! Store Eventyr!
Dutch Grote Avonturen In De Grote Wereld
Finnish Suuri Maailma! Suuret Seikkailut!
French À la découverte du monde!
German Große Welt! Große Abenteuer!
Hebrew !הרפתקאות מסביב לעולם
Hungarian Nagy világ, nagy kalandok!
Japanese Go!Go!地球まるごとアドベンチャー
Norwegian Stor Verden! Store Eventyr!
Polish Wielki Świat! Wielkie Przygody!
Russian Кругосветное путешествие!
Spanish Un Gran Mundo de Aventuras
Swedish Stor Värld! Stora Äventyr!

Merchandise

View content

Books

Wood

  • Nia
  • Yong Bao
  • Beau
  • Ace

Adventures

  • Thomas and Ace the Racer
  • Nia

TrackMaster

  • Thomas and Ace the Racer
  • Nia and the Elephant
  • Yong Bao the Hero
  • Boat and Sea Set
  • Turbo Jungle Set
  • Around the World 3-Pack

Motor Road and Rail

  • Yong Bao
  • Thomas and Nia and Ace Go! Go! Adventure Set

Minis

  • Nia
  • Yong Bao

Motorized Railway

  • Nia
  • Raul
  • Railway Rainbow Mountain Set
  • Raul's Busy Day

Railway Pals

  • Nia
  • Yong Bao

Mega Bloks

  • Nia
  • Travel Sticker Thomas

Tomica

  • Nia
  • Ace

Capsule Plarail

  • Leaf Funnel Thomas
  • Nia
  • Yong Bao
  • Racing Thomas
  • Grass Painting Thomas
  • Ace


Trailers

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