Thomas & Friends is a popular children’s animated television program that began in England in 1983. It was based on the Railway Series books by W.V. Awdry and originally titled Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends, then shortened to Thomas & Friends in 2003.
Thomas & Friends is all about Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends Percy, James, and Gordon, trains and road vehicles who live on the Island of Sodor. The television show, geared toward preschoolers (ages 2 to 5), helps teach children lessons about developing good morals and values while offering fun, upbeat adventures.
Thomas & Friends: Best Tales on the Tracks contains six DVDs with some of the most popular episodes from Thomas & Friends. “Best of Percy” is all about Percy (#6), a junior member of the Thomas & Friends team. He’s loaded with energy like many preschoolers and is one of Thomas’ best friends. “Best of James” features James (#5) who is rather full of himself at times. He’s very proud of his scarlet jacket and shiny brass dome.
The DVD titled “10 Years of Thomas & Friends” contains the most popular episodes from the past ten years with a theme of friendship. At 63 minutes, it’s the longest of the six discs. “Best of Gordon” is all about Gordon, the fastest and most powerful of all the Thomas stars. “Best of Thomas” features the best episodes of “Thomas & Friends” as of its release date of 2001. “Thomas and the Treasure” has Thomas searching for a lost pirate treasure on the Island of Sodor.
I have to say that I really like “Thomas & Friends.” Unlike some children’s animated programs, he doesn’t annoy me at all. While he’s fun and upbeat, he’s not fake or cutesy, which can be a problem with some children’s programming. The music is bouncy and energetic and the episodes will keep your preschooler entertained without driving you to distraction. My favorite character of all is James, who has a bit of a ‘tude while still being a good friend to Thomas.
The six DVDs range in dates from 2001 through to 2008. They are of varying lengths, from the shortest at 40 minutes (“Best of James”) to the longest at 63 minutes (“10 Years”). The six-DVD set contains 50 different Thomas & Friends stories for a total playing time of 293 minutes. It will make some Thomas & Friends fan a wonderful Christmas gift!