In a blog post from series executive producer Christopher Keenan, Mattel Television announced its latest take on one of its most beloved franchises: Thomas & Friends: All Engines Go. Premiering this fall, the new series features a fresh creative approach brought to life in flash, colorful 2D animation produced in partnership with Corus Entertainment’s Nelvana.
“Thomas & Friends is a brand with a deep content legacy that has resonated with families around the world for decades,” said Fred Soulie, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Mattel Television. “The creative evolution of Thomas & Friends, coupled with the franchise’s iconic characters, has transcended generations and we look forward to working with broadcasters across the globe to bring Thomas’ latest stories to existing and new fans alike.”
Key creative elements of this latest update to the Rev. W. Awdry’s trainyard heroes, which first delighted children through his books 75 years ago, include:
- Stories Told from Thomas’ Point of View – As the hero of his own adventure, Thomas will be center stage and we will see the world through his young eyes. More playful and relatable than ever before, his competitive spirit will be readily apparent as he strives to be the Number One Tank Engine through play, trial and error, and just enjoying being a kid.
- Purposeful, Playful Stories – The new Thomas content will continue to present age-appropriate themes and meaningful lessons in a comedic and playful way. In the first episode, Thomas keeps a promise to Gordon, even if it means forfeiting a race with competitive Diesel — for Thomas, the “high road” isn’t always the easy choice, but it’s making that choice that positions him as a role model for young viewers.
- A Penchant for Physical Comedy – 2D animation allows the creative team to bring these characters to life as we’ve never seen them before: Engines can shake, move and wiggle out of any wacky scenario, whether it’s an avalanche or simply avoiding a family of ducks that suddenly appears up ahead.
- More Music Than Ever Before – Music has been a key element of Thomas & Friends, and All Engines Go will offer more original songs than ever before. Frequent songs advance the stories and invite viewers to sing along.
- An Adventurous Cast – In addition to Thomas, the show features four additional young engines who make up the engine’s tight circle of friends:
- Nia has an adventurous spirit. She loves to try new things and visit new places. She hails from Kenya, has traveled more than any of our friends and often has valuable insight into places Thomas has never been.
- Percy is Thomas’ best friend and quite a jokester. He has a lot of hidden courage (that not even he’s aware of!) and will do anything to help his friends.
- Diesel is Thomas’ competitive friend, always trying to one-up Thomas and inadvertently causes trouble for everyone in his quest to be “the real Number One Tank Engine.”
- Kana is an all-new electric high-speed rail train from Japan. She crackles with electric speed, lets out a sonic whistle and often causes the trees and telephone poles to bend in her wake.
“Thomas & Friends: All Engines Go is a series 75 years in the making. We can’t wait for everyone to join us on this journey when we launch this fall,” Keenan added.
Thomas & Friends: All Engines Go will premiere on Netflix and Cartoon Network in the U.S. this fall. International broadcasters TBA.