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Western Animation / Thomas & Friends: All Engines Go

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"Here comes Thomas!"note 

Thomas & Friends: All Engines Go is a Continuity Reboot of the original Thomas & Friends series that premiered in 2021. As a result, the show is indirectly based on The Railway Series by the Rev. W. Awdry. Britt Allcroft is credited as the creator as she originally created the Thomas & Friends brand, despite having no involvement with this show. Originally announced as the 25th series of Thomas & Friends, it was later confirmed to be a new show with its own continuity and premise due to the original show being cancelled due to low, disappointing toy sales.

In 2020, Mattel Television announced a new co-production partnership with Corus Entertainment's Nelvana Studio. 104 11-minute episodes and two 60-minute specials were greenlit for the Thomas & Friends television series over two seasons. The new format will feature "a new look and story structure", original songs and Thomas as the hero of every episode.

Unlike the previous series, this one is 2-D animated and is the first in the franchise to not feature a narrator. It focuses on Thomas and his best friends Percy, Nia, Diesel and Kana as they work, play and learn on the Island of Sodor under the supervision of Team Dad Gordon. Thomas and his friends are depicted as much younger, and are now able to move themselves, no longer needing drivers or firemen. The episodes feature two segments each in a 11-minute format.

The series debuted on Cartoonito in the US on September 13, 2021. The first episodes started airing in Mexico on Televisa's Canal 5 in August of 2021.

All Tropes GO!:

  • Adaptational Heroism: Diesel, a villain in the previous series, is now one of Thomas's best friends. He's still a bit of a Smug Snake, though this generally only makes them Vitriolic Best Buds at worst.
  • Adaptational Location Change: Played with. The show is still set in the Island of Sodor as was the case in the original books and TV series. However, whereas Sodor in the former two was a British setting in-between Great Britain and the Isle of Man (though it tends to vary in the original show), Sodor in this show is portrayed as a generic setting with no real ties to Britain. In the episode Overnight Stop, there is reference to the British town of Wayland, however, this is most likely a coincidence as the producer has said that it was named after his hometown and made to sound far away.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: Applies to pretty much everyone; even playful teasing is largely absent. It’s especially noticeable with characters who are traditionally portrayed as Jerkasses like James and Diesel.
  • Adaptational Personality Change: The tank engine and tender engine age representation is more exaggerated here. The tank engines are much more childlike and hyperactive - even more mature ones like Nia seem more rambunctious. By contrast the tender engines often take the role of Reasonable Authority Figures in place of Sir Topham Hatt (or the Fat Controller in the UK). Gordon in particular is far more wise and reasonable with only a smidgeon of his pompous Grumpy Old Man persona. The lines become blurred in the second season with the introduction of Ashima and Whiff, two tank engines who unlike the main cast are portrayed as adults.
  • Adaptation Relationship Overhaul:
    • Unlike in the books and the original show, Annie and Clarabel are no longer Thomas's coaches, as the two coaches are now primarily controlled by the adult engines (Gordon, James, Emily etc…). Thomas does get to use them every once in awhile and the three still have a close bond as shown a few times, but it's not anywhere close to the extent it was in the books and original TV show.
    • As opposed to the antagonistic rivalry they had in the original show, Thomas and Diesel in this show are good friends, a bit of vitriol remains but leans more as Friendly Rivals.
  • Adaptation Species Change: In the original, Carly was a dockside crane; here, she's a rail crane and is completely mobile like Thomas and the other engines.
  • Adapted Out: The drivers and firemen are confirmed to be absent entirely, with the engines operating on their own power.
  • Advertised Extra: While James is now a side character rather than a main character, he is still often seen with the main cast in merchandise and promotional material.
  • Anachronism Stew: The majority of Sodor's engines remain steam-powered ones, but people have been seen using smartphones and, in one case, a tablet.
  • An Aesop: In every episode. For example, in the first episode Thomas learns to keep a promise rather than win a race with Diesel.
  • Anthropomorphic Shift: While in the books and the original show, the engines very much had the same limitations as real-life ones (though later seasons of the original show would play a bit more loosely with the limitations), here they can bounce around at whim, contort their chassis as if they were organic, and even use their wheels as arms and legs.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • In "Thomas and Percy's Eggsellent Adventure", Thomas and Percy are confused as to why the competition is called a "bake-off" and not a "bake-in". It feels like a throwaway comment until James and Sir Topham Hatt notice that Thomas and Percy have lost a lot of ingredients and there's not enough left for the bake-off, so the "bake-in" comment becomes relevant again; rather than have a competition, they all make one big cake. Not only is this the resolution to the episode, but Sir Topham Hatt decided to throw this annually.
    • In "Tyrannosaurus Wrecks", while delivering dinosaur bones to the museum, Thomas, Nia, Diesel, Percy, and Kana all sing a song To the Tune of... "Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes" about the dinosaur parts they are delivering. Songs like this aren't really anything new for this show, but for the most part, the song is treated like a throwaway momentnote . Here, it's taken in a bit of a direction when the dinosaur parts are re-arranged, and the song is the only way the engines can remember the original order.
  • Child-Like Voice: In contrast to the original show, most of the small engines sound like young children.
  • Continuity Reboot: This is a completely separate show from the original series.
  • Curtains Match the Window: The eye color of Thomas, Percy, Gordon, Henry and Frederico matches their paintwork.
  • Cut and Paste Environments: Suddery station on Sodor is reused from Wayland station on the Mainland.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • Several characters of the Thomas & Friends brand appear in the show, but in minor roles.
    • Although Sir Topham Hatt (aka, the Fat Controller) is confirmed to appear in the show, he is also confirmed to be nowhere near as prominent as in the books and original show and his role as the main Reasonable Authority Figure and Team Dad has largely been taken up by Gordon and the other tender engines.
  • Denser and Wackier: The show is much more wacky, unrealistic and over the top than anything Thomas-related in the past. It makes the later seasons of Thomas & Friends (which also took a less realistic and over the top direction compared to The Railway Series and the original seasons) look grounded by comparison.
  • Detail-Hogging Cover: In almost all of the show's promotional art, including the first image ever publicly revealed of the show, the engines look significantly glossier than they do in the actual show.
  • Eating Machine: Implied. No engine is actually seen eating, but Nia wants a cake at her celebration, never specifying whether she really just wants it for the human guests, and Percy says 'yum' when he smells gingerbread.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: At the very start of "The Tiger Train".
    Thomas: Ah, what a beautiful day. The sun is shining... the seagulls are seagull-ing... the crossing arm's stuck open... Wait! The crossing arm's stuck open?!
  • In Name Only: Outside of the characters and the show taking place on the Island of Sodor, the show has next to nothing in common with either Thomas & Friends, nor The Railway Series, having much more in common with the likes of Chuggington than with the books and the original show.
  • Just Train Wrong: The engines can now control themselves, are able to jump form track to track and rotate themselves, and can use their wheels as "hands".
  • Primal Fear: Similar to the original series, Percy is scared of the dark.
  • Quarter Hour Short: The series is presented this way on Netflix.
  • Setting Update: The original show was set during an indefinite period during the mid to late 1900s. The spinoff appears to be set in the modern day, given the use of electronics such as tablets and smartphones.
  • Shout-Out: When helping to deliver part of a space rocket, Thomas says "This is Major Thomas to Ground Control". Also, while pursuing a rainbow, Thomas and his friends encounter a mountain.
  • Singing Voice Dissonance: In the album version of the musical numbers, Thomas and his friends have different singing voices.
  • Skewed Priorities: In "Sandy Vs. The Storm", Sandy makes a big deal about people saying "thank you", ignoring the fact that there are more important problems to worry about.
  • Slasher Smile: In "Blue Engine Blues", Thomas tries to stay happy through the whole episode and makes a smile that comes off as this.
  • Sudden Eye Color: Unlike The Railway Series and Thomas & Friends, where the engines are depicted with black eyes, all of the engines in the show spot different eye colors. Ironically, this is inverted with the human characters, who went from colored eyes in the CGI series to all-black pupils and irises in the reboot.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Despite the numerous scientific liberties taken with the engines and how they function, several moments involving the engines, as well as general convention of other childrens' and preschool shows, have been deconstructed, especially starting with the Race for the Sodor Cup movie..
    • Race for the Sodor Cup:
      • On two occasions, Percy tries to shout at Thomas and Kana to warn them of impending danger on the track, but they can't hear him. If you're several feet away from someone trying to shout at you, especially outside and trying to run a race, you won't be able to hear them clearly, if at all.
      • This is deconstructed once more in "The Can-Do Submarine Crew" with Thomas and Percy trying to push a submarine from opposite ends. They shout at each other to try to communicate with each other, but of course, are unable to hear each other. Harold the Helicopter arrives to help them, but his rotors are too loud, complicating things further.
      • Kana and later Farona and Frederico derail by speeding down Cannonball Curve. The only reason Kana doesn't do so the second time is because she was braking, plus she had her delivery and Thomas to slow her down. That one in particular is very surprisingly realistic, given how the engines in this show usually only jump off the rails on purpose, regardless of what logically could make them, but in real life, if a train or engine speeds too quickly around sharp curves, it will derail.
      • Farona and Frederico raise the drawbridge to try to prevent Thomas and Kana from crossing the river. They aren't disqualified. So rather than try to fix the drawbridge or try to invoke the Honor Before Reason trope, they jump on a conveniently passing Bulstrode to pass. This would be considered cheating, but since their opponents did so and got away with it, it only makes sense for Thomas and Kana to do so as well.
    • "Thomas and Percy's Eggscellent Adventure":
      • After sliding the ingredients down a slide made of metal sheets and butter, Thomas and Percy try to slide down it carefully. The usual (and often criticized) movement of using their wheels as "hands and feet" is used when they try to slide down, but due to the butter on their wheels, they lose control and start sliding down themselves. There's almost no physical way for any vehicle with wheels or human with hands and feet to be able to get down a butter slide without sliding.
    • "Tyrannosaurus Wrecks":
      • After the engines forget what order they delivered the dinosaur bones in, Diesel and Kana get the idea to go back to where the bones were dug from, take a mental picture, and then tell Sandy. It doesn't help much. If you're not a paleontologist, much less someone who has trouble pronouncing that word, a mental picture isn't really going to help you assemble a dinosaur skeleton. That kind of work is meant for people who are professionally qualified; pure interest can only take you so far.
      • As stated above under Chekhov's Gun, what finally does allow the engines to remember what order they delivered the bones in was a musical number they performed. Though in this show, and many other children's shows, a song is usually just a one-and-done moment, in real life, putting words to the tune of music is bound to get it stuck on your head, and in many cases, has been used to help memorize things.
    • "Sir Topham Hatt's Hatt":
      • The titular hat starts to blow away in a strong wind. The engines attempt to catch it... by blowing steam in the shape of a hand. However, they aren't physical hands. It's just steam, which naturally, blows the hat further away.
  • Steam Never Dies: Played with; When it comes to characters original to All Engines Go, much of the cast based on railway vehicles are rarely steam-powered, including Kana, Sandy, Farona, Frederico, Riff, and Jiff. On the other hand, however, nearly every other locomotive character brought over from the original series (barring Diesel, Kenji, and Salty) is steam-powered.
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Every female vehicle character has feminine eyelashes, though oval-shaped eyes and visible lips are not universal.
  • To the Tune of...: Some of the song numbers in this show are sung to the tune of older children's songs (EX: "Music is Everywhere" (from the episode of the same name) is sung to the tune of "The Wheels on the Bus")
  • Unexpectedly Dark Episode: "Something Borrowed, Something Blue". Thomas is pulling a non-sentient boxcar who he refers to as Boxy and treats as an imaginary friend. Thomas' recklessness, however, accidentally results in an avalanche that crushes Boxy to pieces to a point that not even Carly and Sandy are able to fix him. It is currently one of the only episodes of the series to reference the phenomenon of scrapping.
  • Wide Eyes and Shrunken Irises: Happens quite often, particularly during "Oh, Crap!" moments.
  • You Don't Look Like You: While most of the cast does resemble their original series' selves, they are redesigned to look more cartoony. Thomas in particular has his whistle valves placed MUCH farther apart from each other, and each has been enlarged to cartoonish proportions to boot.