THOMAS & FRIENDS™: BIG WORLD! BIG ADVENTURES! THE MOVIE – LAUNCHES IN SOUTH AFRICA
If you’re a parent with toddlers or preschoolers I’m quite sure you’ve been exposed to the world of Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends through one of the many TV Kids channels. Thomas is a steam engine and has a number 1 painted on his side. All of the locomotives in The Railway Series were based on prototypical engines; Thomas has origins in the E2 Class designed by Lawson Billinton in 1913. Thomas first appeared in 1946 in the second book in the series, Thomas the Tank Engine, and was the focus of the four short stories contained within. Thomas’ best friends are Percy and Toby.
The world’s most famous blue engine and pre-schoolers’ favourite, Thomas the Tank Engine, is gearing up for his biggest adventure yet in Thomas & Friends: Big World! Big Adventures! The Movie – the brand new 80-minute CG-animated special showing from 5 October at Ster Kinekor movie theatres nationwide.
This is the thirteenth feature-length film to be produced by the world-famous franchise and the first to hit screens following a major refresh to its content including a new theme tune and narrator, new characters and locations and a revolutionized Steam Team with a greater representation of girl engines. The movie features a fun-packed plot full of wonder and curiosity, plus tons of animals and several musical songs that will captivate the imagination of young Thomas fans and parents alike. This is the biggest and best Thomas movie to date and one not to be missed!
Thomas & Friends: Big World! Big Adventures! The Movie sees Thomas undertake his most epic journey ever as he leaves Sodor to fulfill his dream of seeing the world! New movie sees Thomas travel to Africa, South America, USA, and China meeting new friends along the way including first Kenyan tank engine Nia, guest-voiced by Nairobi born voiceover artist, Yvonne Grundy and racing car Ace, guest-voiced by Australian singer Peter Andre. The action-packed adventure begins when a mischievous little racing car called Ace comes to Sodor and inspires Thomas to embark on an ambitious trip-without the Fat Controller’s/Sir Topham Hatt’s permission! This heroic quest takes Thomas across deserts, through jungles, and over dangerous mountains as he travels across five continents seeing sights he has never seen before! On his journey to discover new places and cultures, Thomas visits Africa and makes friends with an adventurous, inspiring and fun tank engine from Kenya called Nia. But 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?
Protagonist Nia, the first African tank engine to join Thomas & Friends, is a strong aspirational character with a great moral compass and sense of fun, with equal competency and capability as Thomas. Her character was specially developed with the help of the UN and experts from the Royal African Society. In fact, Thomas & Friends™ collaborated with the UN to develop content for the movie specifically inspired by the UN’s Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) encompassing everything from health to gender equality and education.
The other new character, Ace, is guest-voiced by Australian singer and entertainer Peter Andre, who has specially recorded a new song for the movie called “Free and Easy” which will be available on Spotify for the Global launch of the movie. Locally, South African movie audiences are also in for a treat with the movie’s theme song being sung by an esteemed local artist. More details to be revealed soon!
Christopher Keenan, SVP Global Content & Executive Producer at Mattel Creations, says: “Pre-schoolers and parents alike have always enjoyed Thomas & Friends stories set on the small island of Sodor. Now, for the very first time, Thomas travels around the globe in a dazzling, all-new film in which audiences are treated to exotic locations, unexpected laughs, big thrills and the introduction of a diverse group of new friends. The familiar, core themes of friendship and teamwork are at the heart of this story, as are additional themes of inclusion and diversity. There’s never been a bigger, bolder or more relevant Thomas film, and we couldn’t be more excited for the premiere of this imaginative, musical adventure!”
Thomas the Tank Engine™ was created over 70 years ago and that story quickly grew through content to become the award-winning global brand franchise it is today, with multiple touch-points and formats, including apps; toy consumer products; publishing; live attractions and much more with over 1 engine sold per second. Watched in over 160 territories, in over 50 languages with over 1.16 billion lifetime views on YouTube, Thomas & Friends offers more than 80 hours of original content produced from 500 episodes and 12 specials.
To find out more about THOMAS & FRIENDS™: BIG WORLD! BIG ADVENTURES! THE MOVIE at Ster-Kinekor cinemas and to book tickets, please visit www.sterkinekor.com or download the SK App on your smartphone. You can also book at the box office. For news and updates, go to Facebook: Ster-Kinekor Theatres | follow Ster-Kinekor on Twitter: @sterkinekor. For all queries, call Ticketline on 0861-Movies (668 437).