is a live-action/CGI action movie directed by Jonathan Frakes
, and starring Ben Kingsley
, Bill Paxton and a young Vanessa Hudgens
, released in 2004. It is based on Gerry Anderson's famous Supermarionation
. It flopped spectacularly, due in part to the film missing much of what made the TV series so popular.
Thunderbirds provides examples of the following tropes:
- Action Girl
- Lady Penelope, even more than in the series.
- Tin-Tin, unlike in the series.
- Alternative Foreign Theme Song: There is a Japanese theme song for the Japanese version of the film.
- Butter Face: Transom's introduction has her climbing down a ladder in some very form-fitting Painted-On Pants, complete with Male Gaze... Then she turns around.
- Call Back
- Casual Danger Dialog: Lady Penelope is being attacked by the Hood's Evil Genius. All she has to say is this:
Lady Penelope: Do you know how much a manicure costs these days?
- Dangerously Genre Savvy: The Hood.
- An Insert: The live-action movie, as an in-joke on the series' use of human hands in close-ups, cuts to a puppet hand pressing a button at one point.
- Large Ham: The Hood.
- Phony Newscast: The movie somehow manages to shoehorn a reporter (the same reporter at that, and played by the director's wife Genie Francis to boot) into every scene in which the Thunderbirds appear in the outside world.
- Precision F-Strike: From Brains of all people (in addition to his earlier attempt, after which a track in Hans Zimmer's score is named — "Fafafa... No Way!"):
Brains: DAMN IT, JEFF, WAKE UP!
- Product Placement: The Ford motor company provided many of the vehicles used in the film, and they're going to make damn sure you know it.
- Psychic Powers
- The Hood's powers are given a massive beef-up, from simply reading Kyrano's mind in the show to actual telekinesis and PG-rated Mind Rape.
- Tin-Tin also has psychic powers.
- Race Lift: Kyrano and his family are now from India instead of Malaysia. Still Asian, just a different part of Asia.
- Self-Deprecation: On the DVD Commentary, Jonathan Frakes introduces himself as "the alleged director of Thunderbirds."
- Speech Impediment: B-B-Brains' t-tendency to s-stutter is t-t-t-t-taken t-to r-r-ridiculous e-e-extremes.
- Stealth Pun: Penelope's FAB1 was changed from a Rolls-Royce to a Ford Thunderbird.
- Traveling at the Speed of Plot: In the climax, Thunderbird 2 manages to get to London from Tracy Island (in the freaking South Pacific) in the amount of time it takes Parker to pick a lock, a lock which is even implied to be straightforward for him to pick. Thunderbird 1 proceeds to make the same journey in the amount of time it takes the Mole to drill under the Thames into the "Bank of London".
- Who Watches the Watchmen?: "Who will rescue the rescuers?"