Thomas discovers some mysterious footprints at the clay pits, and Percy thinks a monster has appeared on the island.
Tale of the Brave contains examples of:
- Adaptational Jerkass: James' role is much more mischevious and troublemaking here.
- An Aesop
- Animation Bump
- Continuity Nod:
- When Sir Topham Hatt talks to Percy, he is called away with the exact same line ("Excuse me, sir, you are wanted on the telephone".) as his butler says in "Thomas in Trouble", and his response ("Bother that telephone!") is also the same.
- There's an angle of James rushing through Wellsworth with the Flying Kipper is the same as when James rushed through Maron in "Dirty Objects".
- When Percy stops at the sign warning engines about landslides, the narrator states that Percy had trouble with going past danger signs before.
- When James has his accident with The Flying Kipper, it is similar to Henry's accident from "Something in the Air". Henry even remarks that James was "supposed to deliver the fish, not throw them back in the water" which is similar to what Sir Topham Hatt told Henry in the same episode.
- There's a reference from "Up, Up, and Away" when Percy tells Thomas "Guess what!" he says, "Umm... let's see... have you been asked to deliver a giant balloon on a flatbed?"
- Near the beginning, the Fat Controller is commending Bill and Ben for their bravery in saving Thomas from a landslide. He mentions that "While they may be better known for playing tricks on their fellow engines...", Gordon grumbles "You can say that again." under his breath.
- Creative Closing Credits
- Darker and Edgier
- A Day in the Limelight: Thomas, Percy and James have their first trio role.
- Digital Destruction: Like Blue Mountain Mystery, US releases slow down the movie to 25 fps, resulting in distorted audio. The iTunes release averts it.
- Disney Acid Sequence: The last third of "Monsters Everywhere" becomes this.
- Earn Your Happy Ending
- Jump Scare: Bill and Ben give one to Thomas, which he disapproves.
- Mood Whiplash: Full of these.
- Mythology Gag: The opening premise of the film, where Thomas' Branch Line is closed due to bridgework and Thomas is sent to work with Bill and Ben, is very similar to The Railway Series's book Thomas and the Twins.
- The scene of the Fat Controller's silhouette walking on-screen in the intro is similar to that of the intro from Alfred Hitchcock Presents.
- Marion makes a reference to William Shakespeare's Hamlet when she catches the fossil of the dinosaur skull in her bucket and exclaims "Alas, poor dinosaur", similar to what Hamlet said as he held a human skull in his hand and said, "Alas poor Yorick, I knew thy well".
- That Came Out Wrong: Thomas asks Bill and Ben, if they were playing a trick on him before the rock-slide at the start of the film. Bill and Ben take offense to it, thinking he was talking about the rock-slide, which they "risked their boilers" to rescue him from. When Thomas actually meant if they had anything to do with the giant footprints he had seen before it.
- Triumphant Reprise: The "Our Tale Of The Brave" song plays during the scene as Percy is working, but the lyrics are ironic. During the end credits, it is given a more unironic, triumphant fashion, "Let's Be Brave", which shows Thomas, Percy and James have faced their fears.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Thomas calls James out on using a big pile of scrap to scare Percy and urges him to apologize.Thomas: James, what's that?
James: Nothing! It's just the car of scrap that was left on the line.
Thomas: (gasps) James! You played a trick on Percy! You made a monster out of scrap to give him a fright!
James: So what if I did? It was only a little joke!
Thomas: Not to Percy it wasn't! Percy is your friend! You need to find him, tell him what you did, and apologize!
(James puffs away, feeling guilty)
- You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Basically Gator's message to Percy. See An Aesop above.