Calling All Engines!
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|Calling All Engines!|
Region 2 DVD cover
|Directed by||Steve Asquith|
|Produced by||Simon Spencer|
|Written by||Paul Larson
|Narrated by||Michael Angelis (UK)
Michael Brandon (US)
|Distributed by||2 Entertain (United Kingdom)|
|Running time||60 minutes|
Calling All Engines! is a direct-to-video special, a spinoff of the TV series, Thomas and Friends and a follow up to Thomas and the Magic Railroad. It is not a direct sequel, but features some of the same characters. The film was co-produced by HIT Entertainment and Cosgrove Hall Films and was released in the US on 6 September 2005 and in the UK on 3 October 2005.
It is summer on Sodor, and The Fat Controller informs his engines that they will be helping to build a new airport which will bring more hoildaymakers. While Thomas and Percy are shunting trucks, they quickly begin quarreling with the smelter diesels, 'Arry and Bert. Thomas begins a feud when he derails 'Arry and Bert's train at the timber yards. When Diesel arrives at the docks, he says he has an "important job" to do, and orders a train of building supplies, but Thomas instead tries to play a trick on Diesel and decides to shunt him a train full of bananas. When Thomas and Percy return to Tidmouth Sheds that night, they find that Tidmouth Sheds have been demolished, and the diesels tell them that their improtant job was to knock the sheds down and build new ones, but because Thomas has played tricks on them, they have been delayed and won't be able to finish it for some time.
The steam engines are all forced to stay at separate locations. Later that night a huge storm sweeps across the island. Strong winds cause the suspension bridge on the main line to collapse as well, and the next day The Fat Controller sends the engines on tasks to aid in recovery on the island. The steam and diesel engines refuse to cooperate with each other when Diesel starts a fight, almost causing work to terminate. After a stern talk from The Fat Controller, all the engines dream of what would happen if they could not prepare the railway for business.
Thomas dreams of being in the mountains, where he meets Lady and Rusty, working side by side. Lady tells Thomas that they always finish their jobs by working together. When Thomas wakes up the next day, he travels throughout the island to seek Mavis, and they agree to coerce the steam and diesel engines to cooperate. The steam and diesel engines rest at opposite sides of the coaling depot, eyeing each other impatiently. However, when Thomas pleads with them to pull together for the purpose of the railway, the groups decide to set apart their differences and begin to work together.
Ultimately, the airport is completed, and all the engines are gathered for the grand opening. Thomas, while shunting some trucks, accidentally upsets the situation when his trucks derail by running over some buckled track and cause a tower to collapse, cracking the runway. Desperate to set things right in the last minute, Thomas decides to gather his courage to ask Diesel 10 to clear the wreckage so that George the steamroller can be retrieved to repair the runway. Diesel 10 eventually agrees, and when the steam and diesel engines see him working alongside Thomas, they all decide that they can work together quickly to repair the damage while Thomas quickly heads to the depot to collect George.
Once George has flattened the runway, the incoming airplanes land without difficulty. The engines celebrate their triumph, and the steam engines find that the main shed has been rebuilt at Tidmouth, with an extra berth for Emily. Finally, the engines settle into their new home.
All the members of "The Steam Team" (the main cast of characters as portrayed since Season 8) make appearances in the film. Diesels with major roles include Diesel, Mavis, 'Arry, and Bert. Various supporting characters make appearances in the feature's music videos and Daisy makes her first appearance in the series since Season 4, and Derek appears for the first time outside of Season 5's "Double Teething Troubles." Two engines introduced in Thomas and the Magic Railroad, Lady and Diesel 10 play minor roles in the film.