This article is about the special. You may be looking for the book.

“Think positively, Lexi! Ask yourself what can you do!"
"You mean, anything?"
"Uh, no, we can't do anything."
"But we can try!”
―Thomas, Lexi, Theo and Merlin

Journey Beyond Sodor is the 2017 Thomas & Friends film.

Plot Summary

Determined to prove his importance on The Island Sodor, Thomas takes James' trucks and sets off on a big adventure to the Mainland. On the way he makes friends with the cheerful and helpful "Experimental Engines," but after a wrong turn, he finds himself lost in the steelworks. There, Thomas encounters two mysterious engines who instantly make him feel welcome, but who are not what they first seem.

After Thomas fails to return, James sets off to the Mainland, but runs into trouble himself and so it is up to Thomas and the Experimental Engines to save the day.


Characters Introduced


Voice Cast

UK, AUS and NZ



Bonus Features


  • Music Videos: Who's Thomas?, The Hottest Place in Town, We Can't Do Anything and The Most Important Thing is Being Friends
  • Landmarks of Sodor: Travelling to the Mainland
  • Top 5 Funniest Moments


  • The film's production began in April 2016 and ended in February 2017.
  • This is the second musical special, with the first being The Great Race.
  • This special takes place between the twenty-first series and Big World! Big Adventures!. However, there are some hints with production crew, voice actors and changes that this was produced before series 21 in 2016, these being:
    • Ian McCue being a producer for Mattel Creations. He was promoted to creative executive in series 21.
    • Carly is not present at Brendam Docks, neither are her gantry rails.
    • Just like in The Big Freeze, Edward is still shown at Tidmouth Sheds, despite being permanently moved to Wellsworth Sheds, though this also happens in Big World! Big Adventures! and Forever and Ever. This may mean that he sometimes visited during that time period, due to no one filling that shed.
    • Some scenes have unfinished animation and errors, possibly due to a month lost of production due to Arc Productions' bankruptcy.
  • An image of Thomas from this special is re-used on the spine of the DVD release of the next special, Big World! Big Adventures!
  • The special was shown in select cinemas:
    • In the US at Edaville Railroad on 19th August 2017.
    • In Australia, Hoyts and Event Cinemas previewed the special 1-3 times everyday between 31st August - 6th September 2017 and on 9th, 10th and 12th September 2017.
  • The special aired on TV:
    • On PBS Kids on 17th November 2017 in the US. After the film ended on television, the song Race with YouLearn with Thomas segment, Not Showing Off, Engine Roll Call song and the twentieth series episode, Mucking About were included at the end to fill the timeslot.
    • On Milkshake! in the UK on New Years Day 2018. It was later also repeated on Milkshake! on Easter Sunday 2018.
    • On ABC Kids in Australia on New Year's Eve 2017 and again on Christmas Day 2018.
    • On Cartoonito UK on Saturday 8th September 2018.
    • On Nickelodeon split into three half hour blocks on 2nd July - 4th July 2018. Since the special was an hour and twelve minutes, some scenes and the Engine Roll Call had to be removed to fit the time slot. Treehouse also aired the three-part version of the movie on 14th November - 16th November 2018.
  • References to the first series episode, Down the Mine, the second series episode, Thomas Comes to Breakfast and The Adventure Begins are made.
  • There are a few references to the 1939 film, The Wizard of Oz. This is the second Thomas production to reference it, the first being Stepney Gets Lost.
  • This is one of four Thomas & Friends films currently available on iTunes and Google Play in the US.
  • In the UK dub, one of James' screams is reused from the twenty-first series episode The Fastest Red Engine on Sodor.
  • This special marks the first of a few things:
    • The first special animated by Jam Filled Toronto.
    • The first special produced by Mattel Creations.
    • The first time Hugh Bonneville is part of the voice cast, as well as the first special to have Lucy Montgomery and Nicola Stapleton as part of the voice cast.
    • The first special where James is voiced by Rob Rackstraw in the UK, which he first did in Tit for Tat.
    • The first appearance of the salt vans in CGI and their first appearance since the twelfth series episode, Best Friends.
    • The first special in which oil tankers have faces.
    • The first time where an engine tells the other engine not to cry.
    • The first special in which the Troublesome Trucks all have their own unique voices, as opposed to all being voiced by one person.
    • The first movie since The Adventure Begins to get released in the US first before the UK,
    • The first appearance of Vicarstown Goods Yard in the Television Series.
    • The first special since Calling All Engines! not to include the French narration on the US DVD.
    • The first of only two specials in which Rosie has a speaking role, is voiced by Nicola Stapleton in the UK and US, respectively, and appears in her red livery.
    • The first special in which vehicular characters are able to "bounce," in that they perform non-static body movements when they speak or look in different directions, which while debuting in the preceding CGI series, was made more prominent as of this special, as well as the new comedic devices.
  • This special also marks the last of a few things:
    • The final production of the Thomas & Friends series, before the Big World! Big Adventures! rebrand.
    • The last special to be produced and released before the series it takes place after.
    • Hiro's last appearance until the twenty-fourth series episode, Kenji on the Rails Again.
    • Rusty, Rex, Bert and Mike's last appearances until the twenty-fourth series episode, The Great Little Railway Show.
    • Hugo, Rheneas and Toad's last appearances to date, as well as Jem Cole's last speaking role to date.
    • Mark Moraghan's last time as narrator for both the UK and US dubs.
    • Jon Kabira's last time as narrator for the Japanese dub.
    • The last special to air on PBS Kids in the US, as Nick Jr. takes over afterwards.
    • The last special to air on Family Jr. in Canada, as Treehouse TV takes over afterwards.
  • This special also marks the only occurrences of a few things:
    • The only special to be directly followed chronologically by the next special.
    • The only special to be seventy-three minutes long, over ten minutes longer than the usual length.
    • The only special not to have Tim Whitnall as part of the voice cast since he joined the voice cast in Tale of the Brave.
    • The only time Darren Boyd, Jim Howick and Sophie Colquhoun are part of the voice cast.
    • The only special to have Hugh Bonneville and Colin McFarlane as part of the voice cast.
    • Harvey's only appearance in a special after The Great Discovery.
    • Whiff's only appearance in a special after Blue Mountain Mystery.
    • Jem Cole's only speaking role since the fifth series episode, Lady Hatt's Birthday Party.
    • Trevor's only speaking role in a special.
    • The only time the Mainland diesels have spoken, as two of them speak in this special.
    • The only appearances of Merlin, Hugo, the Slip Coaches, Bradford and Beresford in a special.
    • Theo, Lexi, Hurricane and Frankie's only appearances to date.
    • The only special where Donald, Douglas, Flying Scotsman, Belle, Stephen, Caitlin, Timothy, Glynn, Ryan, Den, Dart, Sidney, Paxton, Flynn, Marion, Skiff, Luke, Millie, Bert, Rex, Mike, Judy and Jerome appear, but do not speak since their returns and introductions in the second series, the third series, Day of the Diesels, Blue Mountain Mystery, King of the Railway, Tale of the Brave, The Adventure Begins and Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure.
  • The events of this special are mentioned by James in Big World! Big Adventures! during the song, Where in the World is Thomas?
  • According to a showreel by Chris Renshaw, when Thomas meets Lexi and Theo for the first time, the musical score would continue to play for much longer than in the final cut of the film. This was changed for unknown reasons.
  • In one scene in the movie, Thomas can turn his face sideways. This is the only time an engine is seen doing this.


  • In the shot showing the town of Arlesburgh, the ocean is floating above the beach.
  • David Bedella is not credited in both dubs for voicing Victor.
  • Gavin Ebedes is not credited for being supervising editor on DVD and theatrical end credits. However, he is credited on the PBS Kids end credits.
  • The visuals and audio of the UK/Australian release are out of sync.
  • James' American accent is heard when Frankie & Hurricane chase him into the steelworks in the UK dub.
  • In the closeup shot of Hiro's wheels, his eccentric rods is disconnected from his connecting rods.
  • In the first shot of James passing Thomas with the band, his mouth is not animated to show him humming. Also, in the US dub, James hums with his British accent instead of his American accent.
  • As Connor passes Henry, he has Caitlin's whistle sound.
  • The trucks that Hiro is pulling at the beginning change between the crash scene and the recovery scene.
  • In the opening shot of Emily pulling a goods train, her tender chassis and body do not line up.
  • When Thomas and James enter Knapford, Thomas whistles, but steam come out of James' whistle instead.
  • In the scenes of James in the goods yard, the letters on Vicarstown are missing.
  • When Frankie laughs and says "Well isn't he a clever little tank engine," her wheels are clipping through the rails.
  • At Bridlington Goods Yard, when the troublesome trucks are being pushed, their buffers do not touch each other.
  • The points, such as the ones inside the steelworks, do not have rails.
  • In the scenes of Tidmouth Sheds, the bushes behind the sheds are clipping through the brick wall.
  • In the distance shot of Vicarstown, it's missing its letters.
  • Throughout most of the special, with the exception of a few scenes, James' tender chassis is positioned further back than usual, making it clip through his tender bufferbeam.
  • When Merlin says "I can do something!" the audio is out of sync.
  • In the close-up of Lexi when she explains how they are fully stocked in coal and water, Thomas is not present.
  • During We Can't Do Anything, Thomas' driver's hand clips through his cab door.
  • When Theo runs into the pole and it falls over, it is made of wood, but when it hits the barrels, it is made of metal.
  • When Thomas travels along the canal, he passes the area where Beresford usually is, but Beresford is absent. In the next scene, Thomas has been moved back, as Beresford is back in his original position, with Thomas passing the same building twice.
  • Some of the trucks swap voices throughout the special.
  • A few times in the US dub, a character says "cars" but their mouths move to say "trucks."
  • During The Most Important Thing is Being Friends, Beresford can be heard singing before he visually does.
  • The front cover of the DVD shows Frankie puffing steam, despite the fact that she is a diesel engine.
  • Most of the tracks outside near the slag pit are floating.
  • During I Want to Go Home. Rusty can be seen in front of Porter, but he is narrow gauge, and the tracks are not dual gauged. Also, the load on Thomas' flatbeds changes when he is inside the Steelworks.

In Other Languages

Language Title
Brazilian Portuguese Viagem ao Desconhecido
Chinese 湯馬仕大電影之衝出索多島
Czech Cesta z ostrova Sodor
Dutch Een Avontuur Buiten Sodor
French Aventure Sur le Continent
German Auf großer Reise
Greek Πέρα από τα Σύνορα του Σόντορ
Hungarian Túl Sodoron
Italian Viaggio Oltre i Confini Di Sodor
Japanese とびだせ! 友情の大冒険
Korean 우정의 대모험
Polish Podróż poza Wyspę Sodor
Romanian Călătorie Dincolo de Sodor
Russian Покидая Содор
Serbian Putovanje van Sodora
Spanish El Viaje Más Allá de Sodor
Turkish Sodor’un Ötesine Yolculuk




  • Ringing Thomas in Tekoro (Limited Edition)
  • Ringing Theo in Tekoro
  • Ringing Lexi in Tekoro
  • Hurricane and Frankie
  • Thomas and Merlin Set


  • Lexi The Experimental Engine
  • Merlin the Invisible
  • Steelworks Thomas
  • Steelworks Hurricane
  • Scrapyard Escape Set


  • Merlin the Invisible
  • Steelworks Frankie (cancelled)


  • Steelworks Hurricane
  • Steelworks Frankie
  • Merlin the Invisible
  • Theo the Experimental Engine
  • Lexi The Experimental Engine


  • Steelworks Stunt Set

Motorized Railway

  • Merlin the Invisible
  • Steelworks Escape Set

Capsule Plarail

  • Lexi
  • Theo
  • Merlin
  • Hurricane
  • Frankie
  • Ladle Truck
  • Beresford
  • Steelworks Shed


External links

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