Watch It

On DVD: Now | On Blu-ray: TBD

Thomas and the Magic Railroad Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 1.0

    out of 100

    Overwhelming dislike
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 25

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    An inept assembly of ill-matched plot points, meandering through a production that has attractive art direction (despite the immobile mouths).

    Read Full Review

  • 38

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune

    Children's films can be thrilling affairs for parents and kids. Unfortunately, this film is not likely to thrill either group.

    Read Full Review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 4+

Will please its many fans, but plot might confuse kids.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Thomas and the Magic Railroad is a wholesome train movie for the entire family. However, younger and more sensitive viewers might be scared of the mean diesel trains, and there is one scene where one of the good trains is nearly pushed into a fiery furnace. But like the other films in the Thomas series, it's clearly intended for younger viewers, especially those who like trains. For parents, this is probably the only time anyone will get to see Peter Fonda and Alec Baldwin working together. 

  • Families can talk about the meaning of "the three R's" -- the conductor and the trains must all be responsible, reliable, and "really useful." Family members can give examples of how each tries to accomplish those goals.
  • How does this Thomas movie compare with others? How odes it compare with the TV show? 
  • Families can also talk about the meaning behind "Little engines can do big things," and what makes some people want to act like bullies. 

The good stuff
  • educationalvalue true1

    Educational value: Lots of trains for train lovers. Shows a difference between diesel and other trains. 

  • message true2

    Messages: With the power of belief, in yourself and those around you, it is possible to accomplish many great things. 

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: Grandpa Burnett learns to overcome his sadness to help save the day. Mr. Conductor is unafraid of the mean diesel trains, and is always working to come up with solutions. 

What to watch for
  • violence false1

    Violence and scariness: A conductor is thrown from a bad diesel train up in the air and many feet away, but he lands safely on sandbags. A good train is nearly pushed into a furnace by a bad train, with an assistant conductor riding on top. 

  • sex false0

    Sexy stuff: Not an issue

  • language false0

    Language: Not an issue

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: Inherent tie-in to the TV show Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends and the many Thomas products, games, apps, toys, etc.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not an issue