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This article is about the planned film. You may be looking for the Greek VHS, the French DVD, the Mexican boxset or the book.

The Adventures of Thomas was a planned theatrical Thomas & Friends film. According to director Shane Acker, the film was eventually cancelled after being pushed back several times following Mattel's acquisition of HIT Entertainment.[1]


Pre-production for The Adventures of Thomas began in late 2009. According to Nitrogen Studios' Production Timeline, character concept art for The Adventures of Thomas was created in October of that year.[2] According to the Sodor Island Fansite, the script was written and completed in 2010.[3]

This film was to be the first in a potential series which would run alongside the television series. Its visuals would have used a combination of live action (most likely humans) and CGI, with the latter aspect being supplied by Weta Digital. The E2 portrayed in the teaser poster, however, was made by Nitrogen Studios. The film was also planned to create its own line of toys aimed at a slightly older audience.[4]

According to WETA Workshop and Mattel Entertainment Design Group, the creative team behind the movie were "re-imagining the core characters and the world in a way that will appeal to a wide kids and family audience."

The movie was originally scheduled for a "late 2010" release, but was pushed back to Spring 2011, then to a 2012 release, After HiT Entertainment was purchased by Mattel, production was cancelled. However there were rumors of a 2013 and 2014 release. It appeared that the movie would have been distributed by Cinetic Media and UTA's Independent Film Group in conjunction with HiT Entertainment.

According to an early version of the script by Josh Klausner, the Steam Team were all planned to appear within the movie, albeit redesigned to more closely resemble the real locomotives they are based upon. Their standard grey faces would have also been replaced by more mechanical faces which morph into their smokebox doors or grilles, to appeal to teen and adult audiences.[5]


The movie begins with a young boy (named "Johnny") and his father escaping London during the Blitz during World War II. They are evacuated to his father's old home, situated nearby a railway station. While there, Johnny discovers drawings by his father of engines with faces.

One night, Johnny heads down to the station when he is unable to sleep. At the station, he meets Edward, and helps to remove a sign stuck in his wheels. As a thank-you, Edward takes Johnny on a ride through "other-worldly caves and waterfalls" to the Island of Sodor, a fantasy realm run entirely by trains, with no people.

At Tidmouth Sheds, Johnny meets James, Percy and Emily, along with new characters Squeak and Puffing Billy. In the corner of the sheds he finds Thomas, who is sitting disused: "his coal unlit, because he wasn't useful". Johnny relights his fire, bringing Thomas back to life. Thomas mistakes Johnny for his father, who used to travel with them long ago.

Throughout the film, Johnny journeys back and forth between Sodor and his new home. He tells his father about his adventures, however he does not believe him - having forgotten Sodor - until he reunites with Thomas at the end of the movie.

In a big, grimy, industrial city on the other side of Sodor, a gang of diesels - led by Smoke - plots to take over the Island and smelt all of the steam engines. The diesels begin their ambush by derailing the steam engines and shutting down the coaling plants in the mountains of Sodor. With the steam engines unable to stop them, it is up to Thomas and Johnny to stop their takeover.

Thomas and Johnny journey across other parts of the Island, meeting other new characters. These include Bertha, four military boats (two of which are a husband and wife), and three French mine carts which start a resistance against the diesels utilising underground tunnels.

In the climax, there is a relay race across Sodor between the steam and diesel engines. The day is saved by Gordon, who returns after having disappeared during the diesels' takeover. The film ends with a shot of Thomas, Johnny and his father riding into the sunset.[5]


Characters Introduced

Other diesel locomotive characters would have appeared, though it is currently unclear whether these would have been returning characters, new characters or a mixture of both.



  • According to early versions of the script, the use of World War II as the time period for the movie's "real world" was intended to be a parallel to the steam versus diesel conflict on Sodor.[5]
  • Edward being the first engine character to appear in the film is likely a nod to him being the first character created for The Railway Series.
  • In 2021, further images showcasing an early version of the model used in the poster were released, however it featured some noteworthy differences:
    • Whereas the final model has a painted number, the early model had a brass numberplate.
    • The early version of the model is painted a much more saturated shade of blue.
    • The final model features additional rivets on the valences, running board, side tanks and bunker.
  • This would have been the first time Thomas was portrayed with a rear running board dip (outside of some merchandise lines) and a Westinghouse air brake pump, both of which were features on the real LB&SCR E2s but were never shown to be carried by Thomas.
  • As a thank-you to the fans for support before departing the series, Nitrogen Studios rendered their Thomas model in LB&SCR livery.


Promotional Material

Behind the Scenes