Nursery Today magazine

Thomas rolls out the blue carpet

Star studded exclusive premier for Thomas & Friends The Great Race as the film opens in cinemas.

Thomas & Friends fans, including celebrity guests Frankie Bridge and Michelle Heaton and their families, have had the first look at the exciting new engines on the big screen at the blue carpet premiere of Thomas & Friends The Great Race.

Continuing to celebrate Thomas & Friends’ core values of friendship, determination, teamwork and participation, as well as new theme of racing for 2016, the release of the The Great Race is the grand finale of the brand’s #TeamThomas campaign, launched earlier in the year.

The film has a stellar voice cast that includes Bollywood actress Tina Desai (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) who will bring to life the beautifully painted and talented new engine, Ashima of India. This marks another milestone in the show’s 70-year heritage, as it will be the first time producers have paired Thomas with such a strong female lead character in the animated show. 

“This film is our very first, fully-fledged musical adventure and will treat our fans to a high speed storyline, sing-along songs and many exciting new characters from countries across the world,” said Christopher Keenan, SVP Global Content & Executive Producer at Mattel Creations. “We’re incredibly excited to introduce audiences to Thomas's new friends in The Great Race, a story that is our biggest and best yet!"

The show-stopping premiere event took place at London’s King’s Cross Theatre, and also included special appearances from John Hasler, voice of Thomas, Rufus Jones, voice of new engine The Flying Scotsman, and popular storyteller Mark Moraghan. The Edwardian railway station themed theatre offered a unique premiere experience complete with a real steam train delighting the audience.  

Wendy Hill, Brand Activation Director, Mattel, said: “It’s been a racing start for Thomas & Friends this year with the launch of our successful #TeamThomas campaign leading to the Thomas’ 11th feature film. And there is so much more to come as we look forward to the launch of innovative products based on the film including the additions of the new international engines to the toy line and the new TrackMasterThomas Sky-High Bridge Jump Set. At over 38” tall, this playset sees Thomas fly over 2 feet in the air in a spectacular first for the toy line.”

Under the direction of Director David Stoten and Executive Producer Christopher Keenan, the film sees Thomas in an exciting adventure, where the fun-loving engine pulls out all the stops to find a way to test his mettle against a host of new engines at the Great Railway Show. The lineup of 13 new engines includes Raul of Brazil, Yong Bao of China, Ivan of Russia and the brightly decorated engine from India, Ashima.

Thomas & Friends The Great Race is showing in cinemas now. Visit for more information.


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