Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure is a feature-length special based on the Thomas & Friends series released on 2015, marking this to be the second special released in the same year, the first being The Adventure Begins.
During the construction of a new branchline, Thomas accidentally uncovers an old pirate ship. When Thomas rocks the boat with some new friends from the Arlesburgh 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: Don't be jealous of someone thinking they might take your spot as number one. No one can replace you because you're special.
- Ascended Extra: Marion plays the secondary character role to Thomas.
- Adaptational Late Appearance: Mike, Rex, and Bert the miniature engines were excluded from Duke's story arc when it was adapted in the TV series' fourth season, after which, the series did not adapt any more stories from The Railway Series for two decades. The miniature engines make their TV series debut in this special.
- 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, asking them where they'd been. Why were they gone so long? They were getting supplies for the new railway.
- Alfie, Oliver, Max and Monty of The Pack return as well.
- Also, Daisy makes her first appearance since Calling All Engines, being transferred over to the Arlesburgh Harbor-Harwick branch line for passenger duties.
- Chew-Out Fake-Out: Near the ending, Thomas thinks that he were to get called out by the Fat Controller yet again, but this time, he is proud of him for 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 tells Thomas 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!
- Demoted to Extra: All members of the Steam Team, except Thomas, have a few lines and are minor characters in this movie. The only ones who have any impact on the plot are Gordon and Henry.
- Disney Acid Sequence: The second half of the Small Railway Engines' Pep-Talk Song becomes this, where they turn into butterflies and fly around the moon.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: After a series of criticisms and backlash for messing things up to the point where he thinks he's no longer Sir Topham Hatt's favourite engine, Thomas finally gets the commendation he deserves for trying to stop Sailor John along with some much needed reassurance from a proud Sir Topham Hatt that he's always the latter's number one.
- Emergency Cargo Dump: Sailor John steals the lost 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 Big Bad he is, Sailor John refuses, and orders Skiff to keep sailing anyway. Skiff decided to be capsized, so he knock 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. Both of them are human villains who use explosives.
- Fantastic Fireworks: Thomas and Skiff watch these at the end of the film.
- Foreshadowing: Sailor John is introduced behind a barrier before Thomas, foreshadowing his true nature.
- 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.
- Good Costume Switch: When Skiff was owned by Sailor John, his woodworkings were brown. After he gets a new captain, Joe, and joins Sodor, his woodworkings are painted blue.
- Go to Your Room!: The Fat Controller sends Thomas to the sheds in disgrace after believing he was chasing Ryan with the dynamite explosion, even though Thomas was really saving him.
- Grenade Hot Potato: Jack, Alfie, Oliver the excavator and Marion do this with a lit box of dynamite.
- 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.
- Jerkass: Gordon in the beginning of the movie. He still retains the attitude that tender engines don't shunt and the job is reserved for silly little tank engines, which provoked Thomas into derailing the coaches. And when the Fat Controller is scolding Thomas, Gordon looks on with amusement.
- Jerkass Has a Point: While the Fat Controller's treatment of Thomas throughout the special is pretty harsh, even for him, he is correct in that Thomas' actions are leaving behind considerable damage, and when you look at the situations from his perspective and think about all he has to deal with as a result, it's not hard to see why he would be this upset.
- 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 proves to be the darkest villains in the special and the series as a whole to date. He uses brute force to deal physical damage to anyone in his way, and attempts to blow up Thomas with dynamite while trying to get away with his loot, making him surpass the cut P.T. Boomer in terms of directly dealing damage to Sodor.
- 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 steals the treasure, Skiff says it's not right to steal the treasure. When Sailor John is about to throw the dynamite at Thomas, Skiff turns his body, so Sailor John can miss the target. Sailor John growls his name during Skiff's angered bruxism. In the scene with the waves, Skiff decides to capsize himself, so he can knock Sailor John and the treasure off the railboat.Skiff: Not this time Sailor John.
- 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.
- Nobody Here but Us Statues: A variant; when Sailor John and Skiff arrive at Knapford Station, Henry approaches them while pulling the Flying Kipper. To avoid being spotted, Sailor John stands in front of a poster for the Arlesburgh Beach, using the exact same pose as a lady holding a beach ball.
- Not Helping Your Case: When Thomas tries to defend himself after the dynamite incident, he states that "It's really not my fault", which doesn't make him look innocent at all, since after all, he DID trick Ryan into taking the bad coal out of spite, which lead to the whole dynamite getting ignited in the first place. In addition, Thomas had pulled that card before, only making his boss madder by the minute.
- 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.Marion: There can't be two Olivers?!
Oliver the Engine and Oliver the Digger: Yes there can!
- Also, Bert the Small Engine has the same name as Bert the Diesel.
- 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.
- Oh, Crap!: Thomas' reaction when he derails the Express Coaches, which also couples with My God, What Have I Done?.
- "Pan Up to the Sky" Ending: The show ends with Skiff and Thomas watching the fireworks. The camera accordingly pans up to the night sky where the fireworks shoot up and explode. One firework rocket among them even blows up to form the words "The End".
- 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 give it 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!
- Rule of Symbolism:
- During the climax, as Sailor John tries to escape on Skiff in the early morning hours, notice that the sky is red. To sailors, a red sky in the morning is a sign that there are rough seas ahead. Sailor John, however, still persists in his effort to escape, even as Skiff starts taking on water and when there is a big wave coming at them. This ultimately led to Sailor John losing the treasure to the bottom of the sea and getting arrested. Thus it can be said that the sky symbolized how Sailor John's effort to make his getaway would fail.
- For most of the movie, Thomas' iconic Number 1 is covered in grime, symbolizing how he is in disgrace, which is not helped by his attitude that caused his current state. In the climax of the film, after his Character Development and being humbled, Thomas goes after Sailor John, and ends up in the sea...which washes the grime away, displaying his number once again, and showing that he has earned it back, which is helped by the camera focusing on it after he's fished out of the water.
- 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.
- 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 (or at least send him back to the mainland in disgrace). 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: A major part of the special involves finding the titular lost treasure and the climax has Thomas trying to get it back from Sailor John.
- 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.
- Visual 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.