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Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Bill and Ben series returns poised in CGI promo shots

Bill and Ben are on course for imminent returns to the TV Series after new shots of them emerged online.

The China Clay Twins have together been absent from the show since the 11th Series episode Hector the Horrid, although Ben went onto appear in Season 12's Gordon Takes a Shortcut.

In an unknown Japanese book detailing characters on Sodor, the twins are presented in their CGI forms in new promotional shots.

Duck was teased to be in the 17th Series before he made a comeback in Henry's Hero.

The remaining 16 episodes are due for broadcast on the UK's Channel 5 milkshake! in October.

Hit Entertainment denies Shane Acker film comments

A comment reportedly made by Shane Acker over his Thomas the Tank Engine film cancellation has been denied by Hit Entertainment.

In Deadline's article initially publicising the film's creation, a comment over the project's status read; Actually, we have cancelled the film due to a lack of interest. Sorry to disappoint! The author's name was Shane Acker.
Disappoint was met with the fanbase, although some questioned whether the source was official or not. Another comment posted this week however came from the same source, leading to fans branding it suspicious.

Sorry for the disappointment. My comment was posted over 5 months ago. We decided to continue with the film as planned, and scheduled release is in October of 2015.

As a little teaser, fans can expect some long awaited returns and the introduction of a very “devious” diesel. Also, Kelsey Grammar and Jack Nicholson have agreed to sign on to the project! Regards, Shane.

Hit Entertainment's public relations have now denied the accusations in an email presented by SiF's lead moderator, Ryan.

To the best of our knowledge, there has been no definitive confirmation on the project's status (Thomas Feature Film) at present. Apologies, but we do not have any more information to pass on to you.

Vue cinemas discuss 'King of the Railway' screenings

Vue cinemas have spoken of their appreciation in showing the latest Thomas & Friends movie.

The UK cinema chain were acquired the rights to screen Thomas' feature-length specials since 2008's The Great Discovery.

The success at the box office has led to the new King of the Railway being given an extended stint at Vue for 10 days in various cities, as opposed to a single weekend.

We are delighted to be the only cinema chain showing Thomas & Friends; King of the Railway on the big screen up and down the country, a Vue spokesperson said in The Exeter Daily.

The media website have published a still from the film in their article with James, Thomas and Percy acting as a triple header.

King of the Railway: The Movie arrives in Vue cinemas nationwide across the UK from August 23rd to September 1st, with its DVD to follow a day after on September 2nd.

'The Wolverine' movie considered Togo Igawa casting

It has emerged that Hiro voice actor, Togo Igawa, would have appeared in The Wolverine film.

The Japanese born cast member based in the UK, was considered to play a part in the latest X-Men spin-off.

According to IMDB and several other websites, Togo Igawa was considered for the role of Shingen.

Hiroyuki Sanada eventually took on the role of the crime figure, whom Igawa had starred with in Edward Zwick's The Last Samurai.

The Wolverine is now showing in cinemas worldwide and will hit more countries later in August.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Shane Acker ceases production on new Thomas film?

The theatrical film of Thomas the Tank Engine directed by Shane Acker will no longer go ahead, the director has reportedly confirmed.

Originally percieved to hit the silver screen in 2013, the live action and CGI mix film was then targeted for release in 2014.
However, Acker, who created Arc Productions' 9, has apparently responded to comments on Deadline's article initially promoting the announcement.

Actually, we have cancelled the film due to a lack of interest. Sorry to disappoint!

Nitrogen Studios designed a revolutionary teaser poster featuring an LB&SCR E2 Thomas, The Railway Series' perception of the blue engine.

The film's plot was to have centered around a father introducing his son to the Island of Sodor, where a bonding experience would have been explored.

Thanks to TheDirtyTrain1 for the alert.

What do you think is Shane Acker's decision? Do you feel more time and effort should be been put in or is the director right to end the production? Send in your comments below.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Bachmann Large Scale Toby for shipping this October

Bachmann's recreation of Toby the Tram Engine as a Large Scale model will start shipping in the Autumn.

Previously available in HO, the G Scale version was one of several Thomas products announced in this year's Bachmann catalogue.

In their subsidiary list, The National Model Railroad Association reveals that Toby will be shipping in October 2013.

The engine is the fifth to join the range after the releases of Thomas, Percy, James and Emily.

Large Scale Toby from Bachmann hits US model and hobby stories from October.

Thanks to Calebtrain for the alert.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Exclusive: Mr. Perkins to explore railways in new DVDs

Watch with Mr. Perkins is to be continued after the next DVD, Santa's Little Engine in the US, Roll Along Thomas can confirm.

The interactive segments, which serve as fillers in-between episodes on the current UK and US DVDs, will mark their 20th appearance on the October releaseSplish, Splash, Splosh! was the first to include Perkins.

Set in the Engine Drivers Commonroom, the 13 new sketches will move from studio to location settings across several of the United Kingdom's railways.

Speaking to Roll Along Thomas, Lighting Cameraman, Ben Jones, revealed more on the interactive series' new beginning; [We] went out on location filming on the South Tyndale Railway and the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.
We filmed on the platform around the signal box and even did a few shots on one of the steam trains. As a small bit of trivia, we filmed one sequence where Mr. Perkins drives away from the station, waving to the camera.

It looks like the camera is on a bridge and the train is about to pass under it, however, its actually at the end of the line and so the train had to stop as soon as it left the bottom of frame. These were for Nickelodeon [Jr.] in the US.

Alston Station is lovely, it's well worth a day out if you're ever up near that way. Over two blocks of filming, we filmed 13 'documentary' style shorts with Perkins explaining the various aspects of train travel and life on the rails.

Jones also talked about producers, Scruffy Dog Media; 
I've been lucky to work with Scruffy Dog on a number of projects. [They] have filmed two more blocks of Perkins on location as I have been in Ireland on a childrens animation.

Thanks to Hawk01.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Season 17 in new 'Santa's Little Engine' October US DVD

Season 17 of Thomas & Friends is to receive another DVD in the US this October.

Coinciding with the televised launch of the latest series on PBS Kids, Santa's Little Engine will be released just a day after the first broadcast.

The Christmas themed release includes the previously named episode while roles for Percy and Gordon in other stories are detailed.

Thomas references Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer on the cover, pulling The Fat Controller as Santa Claus on a sleigh up a hill. Ulfstead Castle can also be seen in the snowy background.

The description reads; Ho Ho Ho! Thomas is full steam ahead as a Really Useful Reindeer, saving the day by guiding Santa's sleigh straight to the Sodor Christmas celebration!

When snowfall transforms the island of Sodor into a winter wonderland, Thomas discovers that being safe is the best route to holiday fun.

Percy makes everyone's Christmas wishes come true and Gordon discovers his friends' special skills are the gifts that keep on giving, all year long! Thomas delivers the true spirit of the season as Santa's Little Engine!

Santa's Little Engine from Lionsgate Entertainment hits US DVD shelves on October 8th.

Friday, 19 July 2013

Thomas Land welcomes launch of new Winston ride

Drayton Manor launched their new ride at their Thomas Land theme park today in Staffordshire, Britain.

To celebrate the park's fifth anniversary, Winston's Whistle Stop Tour was announced to be built for completion in the summer.

The £750,000 monorail featuring Winston glides over the land's sights offering great views. Drayton Manor's Managing Director, Colin Bryan and The Fat Controller were on hand to open the attraction with a celebration of confetti.

Thomas & Friends' current narrator Mark Moraghan attended the launch with his children as did model Danielle O' Hara and This Morning's showbiz presenter, Alison Hammond.

Thomas Land's Twitter @ThomasLandUK unveiled teaser pics of Winston in the run up to the character's inception at the park.

Thomas Land's Winston's Whistle Stop Tour is now running at Drayton Manor.

Season 17 episodes in 'Thomas Story Time' 2013 books

Thomas Story Time is to return for a sixth time with a set of new books due to out in the UK next year.

The positively received Season 17 is the next to be adapted for the range after its predecessor, Season 16.

Taking the series up to 30 titles is Scruff's Makeover, Noisy Stafford, based on Steamie Stafford, Gordon Runs Dry and Kevin Meets Cranky, originally Kevin's Cranky Friend.

Joining them is The Lost Puff which is unknown to carry the same name as a future episode due to air on British television in October.

The five new Thomas Story Time books from Egmont hit UK book shelves on January 2nd 2014.

Thanks to SteamTeam for the alert.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Day Out with Thomas DVDs sent out to UK customers

A free gift is available to customers who purchase tickets with Day Out with Thomas.

As part of their relaunched campaign, Hit Entertainment are now sending out DVDs to people who have booked with Day Out with Thomas events.

In association with Fisher Price, Journey with Thomas stars the two episodes Jitters and Japes and Double Trouble.

The 20 minute promo also includes the Take-n-Play Great Quarry Climb and Day Out with Thomas commercials alongside the King of the Railway UK trailer.

The Thomas & Friends UK Twitter took to the social networking site in June to apologise to customers who had yet to receive their free gift.

Thanks to Matt Zitron for the alert.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Official website releases 'King of the Railway' Earl clip

The Thomas & Friends website has released a new clip from the King of the Railway movie.

The preview, from the US version of the film, is used as an unlockable feature on the Explore Sodor campaign for Ulfstead Castle to introduce Sir Robert Norramby, The Earl of Sodor.

It sees The Earl misunderstanding his welcome party at Knapford Station, much to the confusion of The Fat Controller and the Sodor Brass Band.

Earlier this month, Lionsgate Entertainment published stills from the film to promote its US launch on DVD/Blu-ray.

King of the Railway: The Movie marks its theatrical premiere in Hoyts cinemas across Australia on July 20th.

Vue cinemas in the UK will follow from August 23rd to September 1st while the US and Germany will receive the movie from September 2013.

Thanks to SteamTeam for the alert.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Exclusive: AudioGO on more 'Railway Stories' update

The Railway Stories audios in the UK are still planned for a continuation at some point in the future.

The audiobook range has been in limbo since the release of Branch Line Engines and Other Stories in 2011.
Producers AudioGO spoke of their intention to continue the franchise by adapting The Railway Series books Mountain Engines, Very Old Engines and Main Line Engines for a seventh volume.

Speaking to Roll Along Thomas, the team have given a short update on the prolonged release; We hope to be able to carry on with the range, perhaps later next year. Many apologies that we can't be more specific.

A CD compilation of all six volumes to date was announced for September 1st by amazon.co.uk in last month.

Thanks to SteamTeam.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Voice actor Teresa Gallagher opens Twitter account

Female voice-over Teresa Gallagher has opened her own account on social networking site, Twitter.

The actress, who voices Emily, Mavis, the Duchess of Boxford and others, follows in the footsteps of fellow cast members and regular tweeters Kerry Shale, Bob Golding, Steven Kynman, Michael Legge and Mark Moraghan.

Gallagher joined the series since 2009's Hero of the Rails as part of Thomas' CGI overhaul and has since been cast in the roles of Rosie, Lady Hatt, Belle and Annie and Clarabel, to name but a few.

Her television credits include The Bill, Footballers' Wives, Doctors and Casualty as well as being part of the cartoons, The Octonauts, Pinky and Perky Show and The Mr. Men Show.

She has also had occasional stints on film in The Jacket, The King's Speech and as Mater's Computer in Disney and Pixar's Cars 2.

'King of the Railway' movie UK DVD extras confirmed

The extras to be included on the King of the Railway UK DVD have been revealed by play.com.

Listed on the film's reverse cover, three music videos dominate the majority of the bonus features.

The new songs It's Gonna Be a Great Day and Searching Everywhere are to be featured alongside a revised version of the Working Together songs titled, Working Together Again.

A compilation of four Guess Who? puzzles follow suit, while a free child ticket to Thomas Land at Drayton Manor is included with the release.

King of the Railway: The Movie from Hit Entertainment hits UK DVD shelves on September 2nd.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Lionsgate releases new 'King of the Railway' images

Lionsgate Entertainment have released a series of images promoting the King of the Railway movie.

Publicising the US DVD/Blu-ray, Lionsgate's page for the film shows previously seen images of Thomas and Stephen and Millie with Sir Robert Norramby.

A further one presents the start of Gordon and Spencer's race at Ulfstead Castle Station with Stephen, James, The Fat Controller, Sir Robert and onlookers parading the event.

A concluding still sees Connor with Percy, Thomas and James all looking concerned in the countryside.

Following the Polish TV broadcast, MiniMini+'s facebook page has added a still of Millie with an open top carriage to its timeline.

King of the Railway: The Movie from Lionsgate Entertainment hits US DVD shelves on September 17th.

Thanks to SteamTeam and Hawk01 for the alerts.

'King of the Railway' Australian DVD release revealed

The King of the Railway DVD for Australia has been given a release date by the ABC Shop.

The consumer Down Under, revealed the special's launch on DVD in a reply to a tweet concerning it's date.

It's due for release on the 4th of September this year. The UK will be the first to receive the disc on September 2nd followed by Australia two days after and on the 17th for the US.

King made a surprise debut on Polish television at the end of June, making the country the first to see the film.

King of the Railway: The Movie hits Australian DVD shelves on September 4th.

Thanks to Thomas Stansfield for the alert.

Thomas Land's 'Whistle Stop Tour' receives launch date

Drayton Manor's newest attraction at their Thomas Land theme park has been given a launch date.

Centering on the track inspection car, Winston's Whistle Stop Tour will give visitors a tour of the park in the style of a monorail.

The Theme Park Tourist guide has revealed that the ride will open to the general public on July 19th to commemorate Thomas Land's five year stay in Britain.

CEO of Drayton Manor, Colin Bryan commented on the launch; It is so exciting to be welcoming Winston to our growing family of rides and attractions at Thomas Land within Drayton Manor.

The ride promises to entertain from the moment you take a seat. I'm sure Winston will be a big hit with everyone, young and old.

Thomas Land's Winston's Whistle Stop Tour opens at Drayton Manor on July 19th.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Forthcoming episode teased by Kerry Shale on Twitter

Cast member Kerry Shale has teased a forthcoming Thomas & Friends episode on Twitter.

The London based actor, who reprised his roles as Scruff and Harold among others in Season 17, tweeted after a voice recording session about a coincidental day involving an animal.

Spooky. Spent the afternoon voicing a Thomas The Tank episode about ducks. Soon off to a French restaurant where we pre-ordered duck. Quack.

The first ten episodes of Season 17 began broadcasting on British television screens from June 3rd to 14th. PBS Kids is to screen the series in the US on October 7th.

Season 17 of Thomas & Friends continues on Channel 5 milkshake! in the UK in October.

'King' movie makes unexpected debut on TV in Poland

King of the Railway: The Movie made a surprise appearance on Polish TV this week.

The 2013 film, which is to be screened in select English speaking cinemas across the globe, was broadcast on MiniMini+ on June 29th.
Tajemnica Zaginionej Korony, translated as Secret of the Lost Crown, aired at a 6:50pm slot before being repeated the following morning at 10:30am.

The broadcast was billed exactly a month before on May 29th in a press release by Satelitarne.tv. Owing to its untimely release and it's coming attractions, Roll Along Thomas will not be posting any spoilers.

King of the Railway: The Movie marks its theatrical premiere in Hoyts cinemas across Australia on July 20th.

Vue cinemas in the UK will follow from August 23rd to September 1st while the US and Germany will receive the movie from September 2013.

Thanks to TheRollingThunder for the alert.