Thomas & Friends: All Engines Go is a Continuity Reboot of the original Thomas & Friends series that premiered in 2021. Like the original series, the show is 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 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.
Here come the Thomas tropes!:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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: Well, vehicle change to be more accurate in the case of Carly. In the original show, Carly was a stationary crane who worked at Brendam Docks alongside Cranky. In this show however, she is a diesel engine with a large crane attached to her.
- Adapted Out: The drivers and firemen are confirmed to be absent entirely, with the engines operating on their own power.
- 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.
- Child-Like Voice: In contrast to the original show, most of the engines outside of Gordon, James, Emily, Annie & Clarabel and (possibly) the Troublesome Trucks sound like young children in the show.
- Continuity Reboot: This is a completely separate show from the original series.
- Curtains Match the Window: The eye color of Thomas, Percy, Gordon, Emily and Rebecca matches their paintwork.
- 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.
- 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 confirmed to be nowhere near as prominent as 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Singing Voice Dissonance: In the album version of the musical numbers, Thomas and his friends have different singing voices.
- Shock and Awe: Kana is shown to have an aura of electricity around her, which she'll use to make faces and the like.
- 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.
- Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Compared to the books and even the original TV series, all episodes will feature Thomas heavily, even ones revolving around another character.
- 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.
- Super Speed: Kana is a very fast electric engine - as long as she is on a straight section of track.
- Team Dad: Gordon takes on this role for the little engines.
- To the Tune of...: Some of the song numbers in this show are sung in 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")
- You Don't Look Like You: While most of the cast does resemble their original series' selves, they are redesigned slightly to look more cartoony. Thomas in particular has two whistles instead of one.