Discovering an old pirate ship, Thomas is on the hunt for Sodor's lost treasure. When Thomas rocks the boat with some new friends from the Arlesbergh Engines - Mike, Rex, and Bert, trouble soon rushes in. Now Thomas must track down the treasure in time, or Sailor John will set sail with it.
Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure contains examples of:
- AcCENT upon the Wrong SylLABle: "Never overlook a little enGINE".
- An Aesop: Dont be jealous of someone thinking they might take your spot as number one. No one can replace you because youre special.
- Ascended Extra: Marion plays the secondary character role to Thomas.
- Big Bad: Sailor John.
- Big "NO!": Sailor John shout that after he throw a dynamite off the tracks.
- The Big Race: Thomas and Bertie have one at the beginning.
- Borrowed Catchphrase: When Thomas realizes that the chase has put him on the same track as Gordon (going the opposite way!) he yells "Express coming through!" to wake the signalman.
- Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs:Rex: Hello down there!
Bert: Hello up there!
Mike: Hello down there and up there!
- The Bus Came Back:
- Donald and Douglas make their appearance since season 12; Duck even lampshades this.
- Why were Donald and Douglas gone so long? They were getting supplies for the new railway.
- Alfie, Oliver, Max and Monty of The Pack returned.
- Also, Daisy made her return since Calling All Engines, being transferred over to the Arlesbergh Harbor-Harwick branch line for passenger duties.
- Donald and Douglas make their appearance since season 12; Duck even lampshades this.
- Chew-Out Fake-Out: Near the ending, Thomas thinks that he were to get called out by the Fat Controller again, but this time, he is proud of him trying to stop Sailor John.
- Continuity Nod:
- After Thomas beats Bertie in a race, Clarabel notes to Thomas how his passengers don't like being bumped around like peas in a frying pan.
- Another scene has taken a few references from "Thomas and Gordon". The narration mentions that Thomas couldn't wake up because his fire had gone out, and there was not enough steam. Later, there's Thomas and Gordon bickering similar like the aforementioned episode. Also, Percy says to Thomas "wake up, lazybones", similar to how Thomas and Henry had done to Gordon in the earlier episodes.
- Gordon mentions to Thomas that he's too big to shunt his own coaches and that tank engines should do it.
- This isn't the first time an engine has zoomed past Toby at high speed.
- Ryan was not the first engine introduced in a special whom Thomas was initially jealous over.
- Creative Closing Credits: The end credits play over a series of color scripts of the movie accompanied by the song "Never Overlook a Little Engine".
- Creator Cameo: The Reverend Awdry, as the Thin Clergyman, makes his first appearance in the TV series.
- Darker and Edgier: This special involves an Expy of the cut PT Boomer known as Sailor John as the main antagonist, a thief who tries to steal the titular lost treasure via explosives, which were used as a marketing point for the special, culminating in what can be considered an actual fight scene in the climax where Sailor John actually tries to blow Thomas up with dynamite!
- Disney Acid Sequence: The second half of the Small Railway's Pep-Talk Song becomes this.
- Earn Your Happy Ending
- Emergency Cargo Dump: Sailor John steals the lost pirate treasure and he and his railboat, Skiff, sail away with it. When they take on water, the weight of the treasure causes Skiff to sink. Skiff tells Sailor John to throw it overboard, but being the Bad Boss he is, Sailor John refuses, and orders Skiff to keep sailing anyway. Skiff responds by knocking both Sailor John and the treasure into the sea.
- Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: Annie and Clarabel try to stop Thomas from thinking about racing, but he speeds up, shocking them.
- Expy: Sailor John is similar to P.T. Boomer, a character cut from Thomas and the Magic Railroad.
- Fantastic Fireworks: Thomas and Skiff watch these at the end of the film.
- Friendship Song: "We Make A Team Together".
- Full-Name Ultimatum: In his third scolding to Thomas, The Fat Controller furiously shouts "Thomas the Tank Engine!" when he finds out about the dynamite explosion.
- Funny Background Event: When Thomas is about to fall into the cavern, you can see his driver and fireman jump clear.
- Greeneyed Monster: Thomas towards Ryan, though he eventually repents.
- Grenade Hot Potato: Jack, Alfie, Oliver the excavator and Marion do this with a lit box of dynamite.
- Gross-Up Close-Up: The shot of Thomas after Marion unknowingly dumps the treasure on him.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Skiff tries to invoke this during the climax, telling him it'd be okay if Thomas smashed him if it meant stopping Sailor John. And when they reach water, he deliberately takes on water and capsizes. Luckily, he survives.
- It Belongs in a Museum: Sailor John reveals that he wanted to keep the treasure for himself, and lied to his railboat, Skiff, about donating it to a museum. Thomas tells him that the treasure has been stolen by pirates many years ago, and doesn't belong to them or him. He also tells him that, to ensure it doesn't get stolen again, it's going to the museum Sir Topham Hatt is planning to put it in. Sailor John does steal the treasure the following night, leading Thomas to chase him down to get it back.
- Just a Kid: Thomas, Bert, Rex, and Mike comment on how the big engines always look down on the little engines.
- Knight of Cerebus: Sailor John.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Duck remarks that it felt like years since he had last seen Donald and Douglas.
- The Legend of X
- Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: After Sailor John stole the treasure, Skiff said it's not right to steal the treasure. When Sailor John is about to ''throw'' the' 'dynamite'' at Thomas, Skiff turn his body, So Sailor John can miss the target. Skiff began to clench his teeth, while Sailor John growled. In the scene with the waves, Skiff decided to capsized himself, so he can knock Sailor John and the treasure off the railboat.
- Mad Bomber: Sailor John throws a stick of dynamite at the Fat Controller's office to break into his safe to steal the treasure. He then attempts to throw lit sticks of dynamite at Thomas during the climax, but he missed.
- Madness Mantra: "Rails first, ballast after...rails first, ballast after...rails first, ballast after..."
- My God, What Have I Done?: Thomas realizes his mistake after he derails the express coaches.
- Mythology Gag: Marion believing that the small engines were magical is similar to what James and Henry thought they were in the book Small Railway Engines.
- Never My Fault: A major cause of the conflict is that Thomas shifts the blame onto others for his mistakes, which only serves to infuriate Sir Topham Hatt more because Thomas does not take responsibility for his actions and lies instead. He eventually learns his lesson, though.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: After Thomas saves everyone from the dynamite, seconds after being rightfully applauded for his heroism, Sir Topham Hatt furiously yells at him (due to it looking like Thomas was chasing Ryan with the lit dynamite) and cruelly sends poor Thomas to his shed in disgrace.
- One Steve Limit: Oliver of the pack shares the same name as Oliver the Great Western engine. Marion thinks he (the engine) turned into a digger, only to find out at the end that there are two Olivers.
- Also, Bert the Small Engine has the same name as Bert the Diesel.
- "Pan Up to the Sky" Ending
- Pep-Talk Song: "Never Overlook a Little Engine". It was popular enough that the next special, The Great Race, is a full-on musical.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Thomas gives one to Sailor John after realizing his true colors and refusing to give him the treasure after finding it himself:Sailor John: Where's my treasure?
Thomas: Sir Topham Hatt has it. He's giving it to the museum.
Sailor John: Museum?! What museum?! I haven't been searching all this time to see that treasure end up in a museum! It's for ME!
Skiff: But you always said we were going to the museum.
Sailor John: Oh...get my treasure back, Thomas!
Thomas: No, Sailor John! That treasure didn't belong to you, and it didn't belong to the pirates! It was stolen! So it's going to the museum, and that's the end of it!
- Say My Name:
- Gordon yells Thomas' name after he steals his express coaches, then accidentally derails them after having them collide with Emily.
- Sir Topham Hatt furiously screams Thomas' name after the dynamite incident.
- Slow "NO!": Thomas screams one just as he is falling into the cavern.
- So Proud of You: Just when you think Thomas would get scolded yet again because of previous events in the movie that served to anger him, The Fat Controller commends him for trying to save the treasure, assuring Thomas that his engines are more important and Thomas made up for his previous actions with his heroism in trying to stop Sailor John.
- Stealth Pun: After Thomas falls into the cavern, his number 1 is obscured by the dirt, which shows he literally believes he's no longer number 1. Later near the end of the movie after he falls into the water, the dirt is washed off, which shows Sir Topham Hatt is happy for him and he really is number 1 once again.
- When Thomas arrives at the Arlesdale Railway the second time, he is coughing and sputtering thanks to the bad coal. When he thinks Ryan did it upon arriving, he says, "He makes my firebox fume." Thomas' firebox literally is fuming.
- Took a Level in Jerkass:
- Thomas is exceptionally petty and insecure in the special, blaming others for his accidents or ignoring their warnings of danger. After he tricks Ryan into taking bad coal, the sparks nearly set off a load of dynamite. Thomas manages to dump it down the cavern he fell into earlier in the film, but during the panic to get rid of it, endangers Ryan, and is scolded by the Fat Controller for doing so. This finally reins him back in. That, and the danger Sailor John poses.
- Sir Topham Hatt also feels like this. In fact, some fans thought he was actually going to tell Thomas he had had enough of him and intended to replace and sell him. Though to be fair, his attitude throughout the special stems from the fact that Thomas is causing tremendous amounts of damage both physically and financially (meaning Sir Topham Hatt has to pay for repairs to the damaged coaches, listen to complaints from angry passengers, and deal with the repeated delays to the construction of the new branch line) and is refusing to take responsibility for his actions. Given that, it's understandable that Sir Topham Hatt seems sterner than usual. Then again, he was too harsh and unfair towards Thomas after the dynamite incident, not letting him explain that he was trying to save everyone and cruelly sent poor Thomas to his shed in disgrace, and giving off the impression he was just about ready to get rid of him.
- Treasure Hunt Episode
- Triumphant Reprise: The first time "We Make A Team Together" is heard is during the scene where Thomas helps Sailor John find the treasure. Despite the cheery nature of the song, it is ironic as Sailor John is really wanting to keep the treasure himself (doubles as Lyrical Dissonance). Then, when the new branch line is open at the end of the movie, the song is heard again in a more celebratory, triumphant fashion.