I recommend the upcoming release of the Thomas & Friends On-The-Go Pack, which contains three DVD’s (two of which are narrated by the late George Carlin) plus a carrying case. Children will get a litany of animated short tales about the tank engine and his friends from the Island of Sodor via colorful and detailed artwork that enhances each fast-moving vignette. I was provided a review copy of this DVD set, but wasn’t under any obligation to recommend it.
Synopsis of the Thomas & Friends On-The-Go Pack DVDs, Two of Which are George Carlin-Narrated
The first animated product in this 3 DVD Thomas & Friends On-The-Go Pack is called Trust Thomas, which is narrated by the late George Carlin. It contains seven stories, roughly 5 minutes each. The first animated short is Trust Thomas, where the tank engine restores Bertie’s faith in trains by helping take care of a road issue. And the next two episodes in this DVD are Mavis and Toby’s Tightrope, which involve the same storyline, as the jealous and troublemaking quarry diesel engine Mavis almost causes a disaster for Toby, but viewers learn the moral of doing good to those who don’t reciprocate. In No Jokes for James, the mixed traffic engine learns to appreciate his role after he’s been punished by Sir Topham Hatt for scheming to take Gordon’s coaches. In Percy’s Promise, the engine fights floodwaters to get some Sunday school kids back home. Henry comes to terms with his favorite forest being destroyed by a wind storm in Henry’s Forest. The last vignette in this Thomas & Friends DVD (about 40 minutes long) sees Gordon doing all he can to resist getting a needed bath in The Trouble with Mud.
The second animated product to discuss in this set is called Hooray for Thomas, an approximately 35 minute DVD which contains six short animated stories all just under 5 minutes in duration, and whose stories have the moral that even when we don’t get what we want, we can still get pleasant surprises. The first animated short in this Thomas & Friends DVD has the above tittle, and features the tank engine racing Bertie, but because Sir Topham Hatt makes Thomas do an important chore, the tank engine loses the race, but wins big in another way. In Edward’s Brass Band, the engine gets derailed and thinks he won’t be able to transport the band to the concert, but fate takes a different turn.
And the third vignette in this Thomas & Friends On-The-Go Pack DVD features Peter Sam solving a vendor’s dilemma in The Refreshment Lady’s Stand.Reheneas and the Roller Coaster shows the little engine giving a class a lot of thrills, and in The Grand Opening, Skarloey’s tardiness pays off in the end. The funniest episode of this DVD is the concluding Best Dressed Engine, where snooty Gordon futilely tries to avoid being decorated for a best-dressed engine contest.
One of the Thomas & Friends On-The-Go Pack DVDs Features Twins
The last of the three DVDs is also narrated by George Carlin and is called Thomas, Percy, & The Dragon (about 37 minutes, containing seven roughly 5 minute shorts each), which is also the title of the first animated short, where Percy makes fun of Thomas for being scared but he himself gets scared when he sees a paper dragon being transported at night by the tank engine. Thomas & Friends viewers are introduced to twin Scottish engines in Donald & Douglas and The Deputation, witnessing the mischief and clumsiness of Donald and the good-intentioned Douglas, though they both prove to be useful when the snows come to Sodor. Toby creates more work but no glory for James in Time for Trouble and Percy becomes so obsessed with having a scarf for his funnel, that he wreaks havoc for Sir Topham Hatt and his party in A Scarf for Percy. The Diseasel sees another set of twin engines, Bill and Ben, harass Boco because they think he took their China clay-carrying cars away from them. These twins also appear in Edward’s Exploit, though this Thomas & Friends short focuses on Edward’s difficult day of getting passengers home.
More About the Thomas & Friends On-The-Go Pack DVD Set, Which Stars George Carlin
Also included in each DVD are interactive games, a music video and a read-along story. The accompanying carrying case has a picture of the famous tank engine on it and has a Velcro-like fastener. It not only holds the three Thomas & Friends DVDs, but it can hold another 9, which makes traveling/storing several of you and/or your child’s favorites easier. And the Thomas & Friends theme that plays between each story is simple, but irresistible to hear. Despite the spats between the engines, there isn’t a mean-spiritedness about the cast. Kids can get examples on how to resolve interpersonal conflicts via these DVDs.
The running time for the 3 animated products is 112 minutes, according to the product box. This set is scheduled to be available for sale to the general public on May 25, 2010, which you can look for at your favorite shopping outlet(s). The suggested retail price for the three DVDs and accompanying carrying case is $19.98. For more information about Thomas and Friends DVDs, go to this website here.