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Western Animation / Big World! Big Adventures!

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Big World! Big Adventures! is the 2018 Thomas & Friends special.

A racing car called Ace inspires Thomas the Tank Engine to become the first engine to travel the world, so Thomas sets off on an adventure which takes him to five continents, across deserts, through jungles and over dangerous mountains. On his journey Thomas meets Nia, an engine who teaches him that everyone needs a little help from their friends.

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  • Adorkable: Mr. Percival, when he hears over the telephone that Thomas is returning.
  • An Aesop:
    • There are things you can’t handle on your own.
    • Don’t be rude to others when you assume they’re being pushy when really they want to be your friend.
  • Animated Musical: Just like The Great Race and Journey Beyond Sodor.
  • Answer Cut: Near the end when Thomas realizes Sir Topham Hatt is not on Sodor, he shockingly says, “Then where in the world is he?!” Cut to Sir Topham on a ship at sea, still searching for Thomas until he sees Ace aboard.
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  • Award-Bait Song: "Sometimes You Make a Friend", a ballad involving Thomas' Jerkass Realization and wanting to apologize to Nia.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Yong Bao gets his moment when he saves Thomas and Nia from an avalanche in the Himalayas.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Thomas and Nia make it back to Sodor, and all of Thomas' friends throw them a big celebration. Unfortunately for them, Sir Topham Hatt is still travelling around the world, looking for Thomas.
  • The Bus Came Back: Many characters return in this movie: Yong Bao, Carlos, Sam, Vinnie, Rajiv, and even Sailor John.
  • Butt-Monkey: Sir Topham Hatt, due to him ending up in a lot of embarrassing situations just so he can find his number 1 tank engine.
  • Continuity Cavalcade: In the first song in the movie, "Where in the World is Thomas?"
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  • Dramatic Irony: The engines on Sodor are worried about Thomas’ disappearance, unaware of the fact he’s traveling the world with Ace.
  • Friendship Song: "We're Friends", though it's played completely straight in the Triumphant Reprise.
  • Here We Go Again!: Thomas comes home with Nia, only to realize Sir Topham isn’t here and is still searching the world for him.
  • "I Am" Song: Ace has “Free and Easy”, as he shows how much he enjoys being a race car.
  • Jerkass Realization: When Nia disappears after the race that she and Thomas had in Utah, Thomas realizes he was being unkind to Nia.
  • Missed Him by That Much: When Thomas reaches California, Sir Topham Hatt is in a cafe, lamenting over how lost Thomas is. He hears Thomas' whistle, but by this point, Thomas is already out of sight, being loaded on a ship bound for China.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Thomas has a moment of this when he realizes that he's been a jerk to Nia.
  • Nice Girl: Nia.
  • Overly Long Gag: Thomas repeatedly stopping to collect more trucks in Africa, along with the shunters yelling “Dar es Salaam!” for each pickup.
  • Palette Swap: There are many recolors in this movie. For example there's a red Carly, a red Big Mickey, an orange Edward (albeit female), a grey Henry, a red Oliver, a blue Raul, a green Beresford (with Merrick's face), and Natalie, a diesel shunter who resembles a female pink and blue Dart.
  • Pep-Talk Song: “Wake Up”, sung by Nia and the trucks as they try to convince Thomas to enjoy the scenery and the big world around him.
  • Reckless Sidekick: Ace is this to Thomas, always wanting to do dangerous stunts.
  • Take That!: "Where in the World is Thomas?" includes a jab at Misty Island Rescue.
  • Token Minority: Nia, who is from Kenya, Beau, who is from America, and Ace, who is from Australia. The returnees from The Great Race count as well.
  • Toxic Friend Influence: Ace is one to Thomas. Ace's "free and easy" nature makes Thomas want to do everything by himself, resulting in him being a jerkass to Nia.
  • Triumphant Reprise: "We're Friends" gets one at the end of the movie.
  • Troll: Thomas in the beginning of the movie, when he attaches smelly fish trucks to Gordon's Express as payback for insulting him earlier about his desire to see the world.
  • Wham Episode: In this movie, Nia comes to Sodor and joins the North Western Railway, due to her old shed being destroyed.
  • World Tour: The premise of the movie. Thomas visits China, Africa, and North and South America.

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