Thomas' Magical Birthday Wishes is the first out of four mini series of online videos made to celebrate the 75th anniversary of The Railway Series.[1] It revolves around Thomas using his thirteen magical birthday wishes to help his friends while they set up a surprise birthday party without his knowledge. The shorts are written by Eric Branscum, and the series features the UK voice cast in both dubs as opposed to redubbing the shorts with American actors. The shorts use an animation style that is more cartoony than that of the main series, and feature the voices of John Hasler, Rob Rackstraw, Rachael Miller and Yvonne Grundy. Rackstraw and Miller also substitute the UK voice actors for many of the featured characters. The series ran for 14 videos and was succeeded by Learn with Thomas.


Trivia

  • John Hasler and Yvonne Grundy were the only voice actors not to voice more than one character in the series.
  • James and Toby were the only roles that Rob Rackstraw had voiced in the main series prior. Likewise, Rebecca was the only featured character Rachael Miller had voiced in the main show.
  • Throughout the videos, all the vehicle characters do not have crews.
  • Excluding the final short, James and Percy are the only characters to appear in multiple installments.
  • Toby was the only former Steam Team member to appear.
  • Nia was the only character other than Thomas not to have a substitute voice actor in this series.

Thomas and the Ants!

Thomas and the Ants! is the first video in the series. It was originally released on 2nd May 2020.

Plot

Some ants have taken the food Percy was supposed to deliver to the Animal Park, so Thomas decides to use one of his magical birthday wishes to become as small as an ant and get the food back.

Characters

Locations

Cast

Trivia

  • Rob Rackstraw voices Percy in this video instead of Nigel Pilkington.
  • In a first in the franchise's history, Thomas can deform his shape in cartoonish stretching.

Goofs

  • Throughout the video, Percy's lamp irons are positioned incorrectly. This would continue through to future 75th Anniversary shorts.

Video

Thomas and the Balloons!

Thomas and the Balloons! is the second video in the series. It was originally released on 9th May 2020.

Plot

When Rebecca loses her balloons, Thomas uses one of his magical birthday wishes to become as light as a balloon and help out Rebecca.

Characters

Cast

Goofs

  • Rebecca has Raul's whistle sound.

Video

Too Many Thomases!

Too Many Thomases! is the third video in the series. It was originally released on 16th May 2020.

Plot

Nia is trying to put up a tent but needs nine other engines to help her out before the party guests arrive, so Thomas uses his birthday wishes to create eight other Thomases to help himself and Nia out.

Characters

Cast

Goofs

  • In some shots, Nia's funnel can be seen clipping through the top of the tent.

Video

Thomas the Submarine

Thomas the Submarine is the fourth video in the series. It was originally released on 23rd May 2020.

Plot

When Cranky accidentally drops a crate into the ocean, Thomas uses one of his magical birthday wishes to become a submarine and find the crate.

Characters

Locations

Cast

Trivia

Video

Super Bubble Thomas!

Super Bubble Thomas! is the fifth video in the series. It was originally released on 30th May 2020.

Plot

James is given the responsibility of cleaning Knapford Station, but he runs out of soap, so Thomas uses one of his magical birthday wishes to clean the station from inside a soap bubble.

Characters

Locations

Cast

Trivia

  • The goods section next to Line 6 of Knapford Station is replaced by brick walls.

Video

Thomas and the Monkeys

Thomas and the Monkeys is the sixth video in the series. It was originally released on 6th June 2020.

Plot

Thomas comes across Rosie, who is having trouble rounding up some monkeys who run away from her every time she tries to catch them, so Thomas uses one of his magical birthday wishes to turn himself invisible and entice the monkeys back into the animal park.

Characters

Locations

Cast

Trivia

Goofs

  • In one shot, part of Rosie's chassis is clipping through her smokebox.
  • When Thomas says "What monkey can resist a floating banana?", his siderods do not move.

Video

Thomas the Giant

Thomas the Giant is the seventh video in the series. It was originally released on 13th June 2020.

Plot

Thomas comes across Henrietta, who is looking for Toby after the coupling chain broke on Gordon's Hill. Thomas uses one of his magical birthday wishes to turn himself into a giant so Toby can see him and then reunite with Henrietta.

Characters

Locations

Cast

Trivia

  • Rachael Miller voices Henrietta in this video instead of Maggie Ollerenshaw.
  • This is the first video where Thomas helps a former Steam Team member and the first to feature more than two speaking characters.
  • Buffering sound effects from the model series are used when Thomas' voice makes Henrietta shake.

Goofs

  • When Thomas starts growing, he straddles over the track on Henrietta's left. When he finishes growing, he is no longer over the track and is instead beside it. He returns to his original position after Toby finds them.
  • Toby has Flora's bell sound. This sound was also used for Lady in some games and on her ride at Drayton Manor Theme Park.

Video

Thomas the Helicopter

Thomas the Helicopter is the eighth video in the series. It was originally released on 20th June 2020.

Plot

Harold has broken down whilst making a delivery to the Mainland, and with the Vicarstown Bridge out, Thomas uses one of his magical birthday wishes to turn himself into a helicopter and make Harold's delivery for him, as well as finding an engineer.

Characters

Locations

Cast

Trivia

  • This is the first video in the series to use YouTube's premiere function.
  • Rob Rackstraw voices Harold in this video instead of Keith Wickham.
  • This is the first video in the series to feature a human character, albeit only a minor one at the end.
  • The rotors are reused from an animation sequence from You Can Only Be You. In this video, however, the rotor shaft is mounted in Thomas' funnel instead of his dome.

Goofs

  • The station is missing two of its doors.

Video

Thomas the Rescue Engine

Thomas the Rescue Engine is the ninth video in the series. It was originally uploaded on 22nd June 2020 before premiering five days later on the usual date.

Plot

Thomas uses one of his magical birthday wishes to help Belle put out a burning barn that she cannot reach.

Characters

Locations

Cast

Trivia

  • This is the first video in the series not to be uploaded first on a Saturday, albeit only as an unlisted video in a playlist.
  • Rachael Miller voices Belle in this video instead of Teresa Gallagher.
  • Thomas' equipment includes Flynn's horns, sirens, ladder, headlights and winch, Butch's wheels and Belle's water cannons.

Video

Thomas and the Lighthouse

Thomas and the Lighthouse is the tenth video in the series. It was originally released on 4th July 2020.

Plot

On a cloudy day, a lighthouse by the shore stops working, so Thomas uses one of his magical birthday wishes to help Skiff and become as bright as a lighthouse and guide the ship away from the rocks.

Characters

Cast

Trivia

Video

Thomas Full Speed Ahead

Thomas Full Speed Ahead is the eleventh video in the series. It was originally uploaded on 1st July 2020, before premiering ten days later on the usual date.

Plot

Gordon breaks down on the Main Line with a train full of passengers, so Thomas uses one of his magical birthday wishes to become super fast and get them to their destination on time.

Characters

Locations

Cast

Trivia

  • Rob Rackstraw voices Gordon and Percy in this video instead of Keith Wickham and Nigel Pilkington respectively. Additionally, this is the first time a character other than Thomas has appeared in more than one video.
  • This is the second time someone other than Gordon has said “Oh, the indignity.”
  • A reference to The Adventure Begins is made when Thomas says "Wake up, lazybones!".

Goofs

  • When Thomas whistles at Gordon, no steam comes out of his whistle.
  • Gordon says he has an express coach, when he actually has more than one. Additionally, only one of the coaches has visible passengers.
  • The station is missing two of its doors and bulletin boards. Also, the window frames are painted red instead of white.

Video

Thomas the Rubber Band

Thomas the Rubber Band is the twelfth video in the series. It was originally released on 18th July 2020.

Plot

When James is running out of control, Thomas wishes himself to become elastic so he can stop James before he crashes into the station.

Characters

Locations

Cast

Trivia

  • Rob Rackstraw voices Sir Topham Hatt in this video instead of Keith Wickham.
  • This is the first video where Thomas helps a human character. It is also the first time he has helped someone a second time.

Goofs

  • Thomas' siderods clip through his frames when James collides with him.
  • Thomas and James' crews are missing from the engine's cabs.
  • In the German version:
    • The apostrophe on the title card is misplaced and it says "Thomas 'magische Geburtstagswünsche".
    • James lost his Texan accent he had in his previous video. Instead, Sir Topham Hatt gained the accent.

Video

Thomas the Elephant

Thomas the Elephant is the thirteenth video in the series. It was released on 25th July 2020.

Plot

When Emily loses a baby elephant, Thomas sets off to find him, using a magical birthday wish to turn into an elephant and help the little animal.

Characters

Cast

Trivia

  • Rachael Miller voices Emily in this video instead of Teresa Gallagher.
  • The baby elephant is animated in a more cartoony design, most notably having larger eyes than in real life along with more spheroid proportions.
  • Like in Series 8 to the half of Series 17 as well in some merchandise along with some games, Emily has Henry's whistle sound.
  • This is the first online video where Emily has her number.

Video

Thomas and the Birthday Surprise

Thomas and the Birthday Surprise is the fourteenth and final video in the series. It was released on 1st August 2020.

Plot

Thomas attempts to wish for a birthday party for himself, but he finds out that he has run out of magical birthday wishes. His friends, however, have already prepared a party for him at Knapford station to thank him for helping them.

Characters

Locations

Cast

Trivia

  • Every character featured in the Magical Birthday Wishes shorts appears with the exception of Cranky and Skiff.
  • Everyone (with the exception of Thomas and Percy) sings "A Thomas Birthday Wish" from the album Happy Birthday Thomas!. Prior to this, Thomas would sing snippets of the song to himself at the end of the prior videos.

Goofs

  • At one point during the song, Thomas blows his whistle, but no steam emits from it.
  • On the Latin American YouTube channel, the Polish version of this video was uploaded instead of the Latin American Spanish version. The Latin American version of this video was later uploaded on the Latin American YouTube on 1st September 2020, where it was included in a compilation with the previous shorts.

Video

In Other Languages

Language Title
Brazilian Portuguese Desejos Mágicos de Aniversário do Thomas
German Thomas' magische Geburtstagswünsche
Italian I Desideri Magici del Compleanno di Thomas
Polish Magiczne życzenia urodzinowe Tomka
Russian Волшебные пожелания день рождения Томаса
Spanish Deseos Mágicos de Cumpleaños de Thomas

References


External Links

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