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5 Best Thomas the Tank Engine Movies

Updated on July 8, 2012

Kids LOVE Thomas the Tank Engine!

My son has been in Love with Thomas the Tank Engine for years! He is getting older now and is beginning to move on, but Thomas is still a very big part of our lives. We got our first Thomas the Tank Engine movie as a gift when he was about 18 months old. We were hooked right away!

We have seen every Thomas the Tank Engine movie many, many times. I can recite most of them by heart now- my son can recite every single one and we have lots of fun telling the stories as we play with the train sets.

They are all good, but some are even better! Some of the Thomas the Tank Engine movies have become our go to movies for those nights when we can't sleep, making tummy aches better, rainy days and just for fighting boredom.

If you know a little boy who loves Thomas or trains in general and you need to find a great Thomas the Tank Engine movie read on!

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Why is Thomas the Tank Engine so special? - If you haven't seen any of them yet, you will soon see why it is so great!

The Thomas the Tank Engine series or books, games, toys, movies and more is a wonderful interest for kids to have! Thomas is a wonderful role model and throughout all of his captivating adventures a few clear points are very well made.

In this day and age it can be difficult to find icons that are interesting, exciting and fun that also provide strong positive examples for kids. The few that do make the attempt often fail to capture the child's interest or are so cheesy that no-one can stand to be in the room- Thomas is a very different story!

In the Thomas the Tank Engine series, a few clear messages shine through loud and clear. The importance of having a strong work ethic is one of my favorite lessons and this is found in each and every Thomas story. Along with a powerful message about work ethic comes the emphasis on personal responsibility, including lessons like accepting responsibility for your mistakes, helping and teamwork.

Good manners are consistently demonstrated throughout- the only exceptions to the good manners are some of the diesels (who are not always nice) and occasionally the aptly named Cranky the Crane but it is always the polite and responsible engines who work really hard who come out ahead.

There are many more great morals and character traits demonstrated including punctuality, honesty, caring, team work and more. All of these messages are expertly delivered in a way that is nothing but fun, magic and excitement to children!

#5 Thomas the tank Engine Movie: Thomas in Charge!

Thomas always tries to be a good, reliable, responsible and helpful engine but sometimes inexperience, over enthusiasm and immaturity trip him up.

In this movie, Thomas tries to help out with shunting the coal cars "faster than fast". The island was preparing for a visit from the Railway Inspector so Thomas (trying to make Sir Toham Hatt proud) gathered his friends to help. Thomas directs the engines as they shunted and accidentally causes them to back into one another covering Sir Topham Hatt and the railroad Inspector... and went down Gordon's funnel.

My son loves this Thomas the Tank Engine movie because it is funny and he strongly identifies with Thomas being so over excited that he makes a mistake- as well as his strong desire to make everything right when mistakes happen.

I love this movie because it reminds kids to slow down because it is better to do the job right than to finish it fast. It is also a great reminder that we can always make things right when we make mistakes and that problems are temporary.

Thomas in Charge! - Thomas the tank Engine Movie

Thomas & Friends: Thomas in Charge!
Thomas & Friends: Thomas in Charge!

While Thomas and his friends are getting ready for the Railway Inspector to visit Knapford Station the coal trucks crash. Gordon winds up completely covered in soot and Thomas must try to take charge.


#4 Thomas the tank Engine Movie: Misty Island Rescue

After working hard to help build new stations and rails for the new rescue center, Thomas rescued Diesel and was rewarded with a trip to the mainland. Thomas got on a raft and was lost and wound up on Misty island when the chain broke. Whiff and Percy managed to recue Thomas and brought Bash, Dash and Ferdinand (who were out of oil) back as well.

Many fans of the original Thomas the Tank engine series were upset at this new movie which uses CGI instead of the older methods that our generation is used to. While I must admit I was a bit put off by the change at first it is nice for the kids to get to see the engines' mouths move (I personally felt it made more sense that their mouths move when they speak).

Misty Island Rescue - Thomas the tank Engine Movie

Thomas & Friends: Misty Island Rescue
Thomas & Friends: Misty Island Rescue

All of the engines are helping to build the new Sodor Search and Rescue Center. Thomas is rewarded with a trip to the mainland and gets lost at sea. He winds up on Misty Island where he meets Dash, Bash and Ferdinand and they help Thomas try to find his way back home to the island of Sodor.


#3 Thomas the tank Engine Movie: Hero of the Rails

I asked my son about this movie...."Hiro is broken down and rusty and Thomas finds him. Hiro tells the story of how he used to be, but he is missing a part and could not puff right any more. He puffed really hard when Spencer arrived and then parts fell off. "

The friends recruited help to get Hiro to the steam works to make certain he wouldn't be scrapped. While at the steam works, Hiro also received a shiny new paint job!

My son loves this movie because Hiro is found and rescued. "It is just a cool movie"

I love this movie because it helps kids understand that there was meaning to lives that came before us and that being older or physically damaged does not make anyone less useful or interesting. Everyone has a story to tell and everyone's life should be valued. Respect for elders is vital and sadly declining in our society- hopefully this movie can help to re-instill those values that many people seem to have lost.

Hiro of the Rails - Thomas the tank Engine Movie

#2 Thomas the tank Engine Movie: Day of the Diesels

Thomas became too busy to spend time with Percy after a fire on Sodor. Thomas found two brand new friends- fire engines named Bell and Flynn- real heroes. Thomas and his two new friends (Flynn and Bell) spent every moment together and Percy felt left out. Percy was befriended by a Diesel and they spent their time together at the Steam Works where Percy ultimately discovers that the diesels were using him to try to take over the steam works from within.

This is a movie with great lessons in friendship, trust and caring. Although it is very important for kids to focus on all of the positives like caring and responsibility it is also important that they learn to recognize when someone is taking advantage of them and how to handle it.

It is also important that kids learn how to balance their interests and to see that it is ok to make new friends, just so long as they remember the friends who have always been there for them.

Day of the Diesels - Thomas the tank Engine Movie

Thomas & Friends: Day of the Diesels
Thomas & Friends: Day of the Diesels

A fire breaks out and two new firefighting engines – Flynn and Belle – work with Thomas and Percy. Thomas begins spending all of his time with the two new engines and Percy begins to feel left out and lonely. Diesel 10 takes advantage of Percy's loneliness and makes him feel special to try and further his plans of taking over Sodor Steamworks.


#1 Thomas the tank Engine Movie: Thomas and the Magic Railroad

This Thomas the Tank Engine movie is our family's all time favorite! This is a must see movie for any fans of Thomas and Friends!

A young girl named Lilly (played by Mara Wilson) went to visit her Grandpa (Peter Fonda), she discovered a whole new world and met great trains and people along the way. Mr conductor (played by Alec Baldwin) travels by using his magic gold dust, he runs out of gold dust which puts the entire island in jeopardy of being over run by Diesels. The group finds more help from Mr conductor's cousin Junior (played by Michael E. Rodgers) while back on muffle mountain Patch (played by Cody McCains) helps Grandpa try and get Lady (played by Brit Alcroft) running again.

This movie had many touching moments and lots of adventure as the group of friends work together to find more magic gold dust.

Some viewers have been critical of this movie but when you get right down to it, this movie is not for the critics, it is for the kids... the kids seem to LOVE it and enjoy it and that is what matters the most!

I personally love this one the most because my son fell in love with it so quickly and it (as Thomas movies always do) taught him valuable lessons about responsibility, being brave and more. It is also is done in a way that makes it enjoyable for all ages.

Thomas and the Magic Railroad - Thomas the tank Engine Movie

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Thomas and the Magic Railroad [VHS]
Thomas and the Magic Railroad [VHS]

Lilly goes to visit her Grandpa on Muffle Mountain. Along the way she finds herself on the beautiful, magical island of Sodor where she meets thomas, Mr Conductor, Junior and their friends. Sir Topham Hatt is away on vacation and Mr Conductor has run out of magic gold dust. The friends must work together to find the lost engine help him get his sparkle back before Diesel 10 can take over the island.


Thomas the Tank Engine Previews and Songs - NOT the actual movies... these are preview and sing alongs!

These cute previews and sing alongs are from the thomasandfriends you tube channel

More great Thomas the Tank Engine Movies

Why do You Love Thomas the Tank Engine?

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    • profile image

      marsha32 5 years ago

      I have 2 grandson's that love Thomas!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Wonderful reviews of the 5 best Thomas the Tank Engine movies, your love is shining through and I think everyone must love him, he's just irresistible!

    • MarcStorm LM profile image

      MarcStorm LM 5 years ago

      My nephew loves the Thomas movies. I'll have to check with my brother and see which ones he's watched and which ones to check out. Thanks!

    • CharlieBoy3 profile image

      CharlieBoy3 5 years ago

      Very nicely done I'm new but some day I'll write a lens this good.

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      wilsonred 5 years ago

      Grew up with Thomas, Great Lens, brings back fond memories.

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      sojourner-1 5 years ago

      Thomas the Tank moves thru generationsthe great things always will.