"If the airport doesn't open, it will be bad for all the engines. Both steam engines and diesel engines need passengers and freight to be useful.”

―Thomas

Calling All Engines! is a feature-length Thomas & Friends special and the first direct-to-home video Thomas & Friends film. It was distributed by HiT Entertainment in 2005. It was re-released by Lionsgate in 2009. It was later re-released again by Universal in 2014.

Plot

Summer is coming and the engines are looking forward to taking holidaymakers around the Island of Sodor. One day, the Fat Controller announces that an airport is to be built on Sodor, which will bring more holidaymakers than ever. Thomas and Percy go to the site of the new airport, only to discover that 'Arry and Bert (who start bullying the two) are on the same job.

That afternoon, Thomas goes to the timber yard and finds 'Arry and Bert there and they boast that they have a very important job. Thomas does not think so however and biffs their flatbeds just before the crane drops the timber. Whilst Thomas and Percy are shunting trucks, Diesel confronts Thomas about the trouble he had caused for 'Arry and Bert and boasts that he too has an important job. This gives Thomas another mischievous idea; he shunts trucks of bananas as a prank, instead of bricks and timber.

Later, Thomas and Percy go to the Smelters to collect some steel girders. Upon arrival, they see that Diesel 10 has returned and is working hard loading trucks of scrap metal. The two tank engines are very scared that they run away. On their way home, Thomas and Percy express concern to see the Sodor Suspension Bridge is not painted and the new airport is only half-built. Worse still, Tidmouth Sheds has been demolished. Diesel, 'Arry and Bert's important job was that they were rebuilding it, but since Thomas gave Diesel bananas the renovation is deferred. The engines are temporarily forced to sleep elsewhere; James is sleeping at the Coaling Plant, Edward is sleeping at the Quarry with Diesel, Henry and Percy are sleeping at the Smelter's Yards, Gordon is sleeping under a tent and Thomas is sleeping at Knapford Sheds with Emily.

That night, a fierce storm sweeps across Sodor and causes havoc, including the collapse of the suspension bridge. The next morning, the Fat Controller tells the engines that the storm damage must be cleared up before the work on the new sheds and the airport can continue. However, all the steam engines are cross with Diesel, 'Arry and Bert and refuse to talk to them.

The next morning, Thomas is sent to collect some iron beams for the suspension bridge from Brendam. Upon arrival at the suspension bridge, Thomas feels tired and declares that the beams need to be placed. When Diesel wants to do it, the foreman decides to let Thomas do it. Thomas manages to lower the beams into place, much to Diesel's fury.

When Thomas goes to collect some paint for the bridge, Diesel biffs Thomas' flatbed so hard that the paint splashes all over Thomas, making him very cross that he biffs 'Arry into a pile of gravel. In retaliation, 'Arry bumps James under the coal hopper. The matter escalates until all the steam and diesel engines are fighting all over the island. By the end of the day, everyone is dirty and no work has been done.

The Fat Controller is cross at the delays and tells the engines that no holidaymakers will come to Sodor. This leaves the engines deeply worried over their recent actions and several of them end up dreaming about what might happen to them if no holidaymakers came to Sodor and the engines are no longer useful; James' is that he has a dream that he turns into a coconut shy at a funfair, Gordon in that he has become a playground, Edward about how he is a scarecrow and Percy that he has been turned into a Roller Coaster. As for Thomas, he has a dream of how to make things better. In his dream, he sees Lady and Rusty working together. As Lady tells Thomas about teamwork, Thomas goes off to find Mavis as soon as he wakes up the next morning.

Thomas finds Mavis at the wash-down and tells her about his plan: the Diesels and steam engines must work together to save the new airport and their home. Mavis explains that they must talk to each other first, so Thomas suggests to have a meeting at the coaling plant the next day. When Thomas and Mavis tell the engines about the meeting, Thomas thinks about telling Diesel 10 about it but gets cold wheels and backs down. The next day, Thomas races to the coaling plant and gets there, just to see 'Arry and Bert almost calling the meeting off as the engines start to argue about who is to blame for starting the trouble. Thomas explains that they must work together and at last the engines put their differences aside. When Harold brings the Fat Controller, Thomas explains that the steam engines and Diesels have finally agreed to work together.

Very soon, the new airport is complete and the first aeroplane is sent to Sodor. Unfortunately, Thomas' trucks derail due to a buckled rail and hit a water tower which collapses to the ground and cracks the runway. The workmen quickly repave the runway but find that they need George to finish the job and with Harvey, on the other side of Sodor there is no chance of the aeroplane landing. Thomas quickly has an idea and rushes off to find Diesel 10 and ask him to help them. Diesel 10 is hesitant at first, but Thomas tells him about how he will be the most useful engine if he were to help and so he agrees and follows Thomas to the airport. Mavis, Percy, Emily, Diesel, 'Arry and Bert are surprised to see Thomas and Diesel 10 working together. Seeing Diesel 10 working alongside a steam engine convinces 'Arry and Bert to finally respect the steam engines themselves. With the aid of the other engines, they clear up the mess and Thomas collects George to fix the runway.

With the runway smooth again, the first aeroplane safely lands. The engines have learnt that teamwork runs a railway, not opposition about their differences. That evening, the engines are happy to see Tidmouth Sheds rebuilt, especially Emily when she finds that she is staying at Tidmouth Sheds from now on, having grown to love sharing her shed since Thomas' brief stay.

Characters

  • Thomas
  • Edward
  • Henry
  • Gordon
  • James
  • Percy
  • Emily
  • Lady
  • Diesel
  • Mavis
  • 'Arry and Bert
  • Diesel 10
  • Harold
  • Sir Topham Hatt
  • The Coaling Plant Manager
  • Toby (does not speak)
  • Harvey (does not speak)
  • Daisy (does not speak)
  • Rusty (does not speak)
  • Annie and Clarabel (do not speak)
  • George (does not speak)
  • Farmer McColl (does not speak)
  • Salty (learning segments; does not speak)
  • Henrietta (cameo)
  • Caroline (cameo)
  • Butch (cameo)
  • Cranky (cameo)
  • Stephen Hatt (cameo)
  • Bridget Hatt (cameo)
  • Jem Cole (cameo)
  • Sodor Brass Band (cameo)
  • The Storyteller (cameo)
  • The Fire Brigade (cameo)
  • Märklin Engine (scrapped model cameo)
  • Toad (scrapped model cameo)
  • The Horrid Lorries (faceless; cameo)
  • Big Mickey (faceless, cameo)
  • Bill and Ben (music video cameo)
  • Derek (music video cameo)
  • Refreshment Lady (music video cameo)
  • Toad (faceless; music video cameo)
  • Mr. Jolly (factory logo cameo; music video)
  • Duck (dropped)
  • Trevor (appears in the "Island of Sodor" opening sequence)

Character Introduced

  • The Airport Manager

Locations

  • Tidmouth Sheds
    • The Works
    • Tidmouth Goods Station (music video)
  • The Coaling Plant
  • Sodor Suspension Bridge
  • The Valley Cliffs
  • Sodor Ironworks
  • Ffarquhar Quarry
    • Mavis' Shed
  • The Lumber Mill
  • The Washdown
  • Sodor Airport
  • Gordon's Hill
  • Kellsthorpe Road
  • Brendam Docks
    • Sodor Shipping Company
    • Brendam Warehouse
  • Tidmouth Tunnel
  • Sir Topham Hatt's Office
  • The Windmill
  • Knapford Sheds
  • Toby's Shed
  • Dryaw School
  • Knapford (stock footage)
  • Hackenbeck Bridge (stock footage)
  • Henry's Tunnel (stock footage)
  • Ffarquhar (music video)
  • Bulgy's Bridge (music video)
  • Maithwaite (music video)
  • Mr. Jolly's Chocolate Factory (music video)

Songs

  • Busy
  • Trying
  • Together
  • Engine Roll Call (Calling All Engines! version)
  • Dream Song (bonus feature)

Bonus Features

UK/AUSEdit

  • Learn with Thomas - Which Things are the Same? and Differences
  • Exclusive Song - The Dream Song
  • Deleted Scenes - Biffed Again, Bert n' Arry Tease Thomas and The Windmill
  • Day Out with Thomas preview (Only featured in the UK release)

US

(2005 Release only)

  • Calling All Engines! game
  • Diesel 10 Means Trouble - Read along
  • Character Gallery
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Music Video - Busy, Trying, Together and Dream Song
  • Web Fun
  • HiT Extras

Trivia

  • This special was made to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the franchise.
  • This special marked the first of several things:
    • The first full-length, one hour special released directly on home-media.
    • The first special narrated by Jon Kabira in Japan as well as the first produced with the involvement of 81 Produce.
    • This is the first special filmed interlaced on Digibeta technology.
    • The first appearances of Edward, Bill, Ben, Emily, Harvey, Diesel, Daisy, Mavis, Derek, 'Arry, Bert, Salty, Rusty, George, Sir Topham Hatt, Stephen Hatt, Bridget Hatt, Farmer McColl, Jem Cole, the Sodor Brass Band and the Refreshment Lady in a special.
    • The first special to adapt the standard storytelling style of narration seen in the television series, as Thomas and the Magic Railroad was primarily dialogue and script acting.
    • Daisy's first appearance since the fourth series episode Bulls Eyes.
    • Derek's since his debut in the fifth series.
    • Rusty's first appearance since the seventh series episode Trusty Rusty.
    • Lady and Diesel 10's first appearances since Thomas and the Magic Railroad.
    • The first special to feature a narrow gauge engine, in this case, Rusty.
    • The first DVD/VHS released by 2Entertain though a VCI version of the VHS exists.
    • The first Thomas & Friends production to acknowledge the Steam Team.
  • This special also marked a few one-time things:
    • The only special written by Paul Larson, though fifteen years later he wrote two major productions such as the double-length special episodes of the Marvelous Machinery miniseries, A New Arrival and World of Tomorrow for the twenty-fourth series along with Laura Beaumont.
    • To date, the only special not to introduce any new non-human characters.
    • The only special that features stock footage from Learning Segments incorporated into the narrative and the storyline.
    • The only special to have a different logo design for the US and UK respectively.
    • The only special until The Adventure Begins to celebrate the franchise's anniversary.
    • The only special until The Great Race in which the narrator does not read the title and Toby appears but does not speak.
    • Daisy and Derek's only appearances in the HiT Entertainment model era.
    • The only special released on VHS.
    • The only special not to have a theatrical release of any kind.
    • The only special where Rusty's gender is neutral.
  • This special marked the last of a few things:
    • Daisy's last appearance until Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure and her last appearance in the model series.
    • Lady and Derek's last appearances to date.
    • George's last non-cameo appearance to date.
    • The last VHS release in the UK.
    • The last time where Rusty's gender is neutral.
    • The last time a scrapped piece of the Märklin Engine appeared.
    • The last DVD to feature a bonus episode of the children's television series Kipper.
    • The last production to use stock footage produced by Gullane Entertainment. Although here, it is from the Jack and the Sodor Construction Company series.
  • Stock footage from Fish, Thomas and the Circus, Emily's Adventure, Percy's New Whistle, Thomas and the Firework Display, James Gets a New Coat, Edward the Great, Emily's New Route and some Learning Segments such as Being Blue, How Does Emily Get to the Station?, Toby is Surprised to see... and How Does Thomas Get to the Timber Yards? as well as alternate footage from Percy's Scary Tale is used.
  • Almost four years after the release, the songs were re-released with extended versions with lyrics on the Songs from Sodor UK DVD.
  • This special aired on Channel Five's Milkshake in the UK on Christmas Eve 2007, on Boxing Day 2008, and finally on Christmas Eve 2009.
  • This special was originally going to be released on VHS in Australia, but it was cancelled due to VHS releases no longer being available in Australia from late 2005 onwards.
  • This is the only DVD special in Australia to feature its own interactive menu instead of copying the UK release.
  • This is the second time an engine has been pushed onto the coal tipper. The first time was in the sixth series episode, Middle Engine.
  • A blackboard in the airport manager's office shows flights from Athens, Madrid, Brussels, Paris, Istanbul, Milan, Canterbury, Bristol and London.
  • Toad's scrap model from the third series episode Escape is seen when Henry and Percy are at the smelter's yard.
  • This special takes place between the eighth and ninth series.
  • Several props including a yellow paint pot along with two paint pot lids, that have all landed on top of Thomas when he gets covered in paint, were sold to The Coffey Man Preservation from The Prop Store.
  • Mavis receives a new horn sound starting with this special.
  • Rusty's small scale model is used.
  • This special was shown for one week only in Cinemax cinemas in Germany in September 2006.
  • An edited image from the seventh series episode Toby's Windmill is on the back cover of the UK DVD, with Toby's face changed from sad to happy.
  • The US cover of this special was reused for a box of fruit snacks based on the series and included a mail-away offer for a Wooden Railway Paint Splattered Thomas. One box of them made a background appearance in the CBS television show, The Big Bang Theory in an episode called "The Terminator Decoupling" in the second series.
  • In the close-up of Percy sleeping, his sleeping face was edited to make him look like he is frowning. During his nightmare, Percy was wearing goggles.
  • When re-released in 2014, the bonus features were removed for unknown reasons.
  • When the special was shown on Nick Jr. UK, the learning segments and songs were removed.
  • The original US DVD back cover says the film is 150 minutes. This was later fixed on the Lionsgate and Universal releases.
  • In the Calling All Engines game, Diesel 10's animated picture was illustrated by Richard Courtney, the same man who illustrated the book Diesel 10 Means Trouble.
  • Thomas and the Magic Railroad was never shown in Norway, Finland, Denmark and Poland, so the Norwegian and Polish audiences would not know who Lady and Diesel 10 are.
  • All the Nordic DVD Menus use an image from the sixth series episode, A Friend in Need and the Classic Series theme was used in the background.
  • A grey building from Tugs appears when Henry is pushed under the oil pipe.
  • While Thomas was sleeping with Emily in the carriage shed for the third time, his sleeping face is edited to make it look like he is neutral.
  • While Edward is sleeping at Tidmouth Sheds, his wincing face mask, which was originally made for the second series episode, Edward's Exploit since its adaption from The Railway Series book Main Line Engines, was used. This would mark the third of four appearances, with the others being Halloween, You Can Do it, Toby! and Henry's Lucky Day.
  • According to Sam Barlow, the reason why Lady and Diesel 10 were in the movie was that they were successful in the merchandise and because it was a requirement by HIT Entertainment to add them into the plot.
  • In a behind the scenes photo of James as a coconut shy from his nightmare, he was seen with his red-nosed angry face from the third series episode, Buzz, Buzz.[1]
  • The Taiwanese DVD back cover shows a picture of Thomas and the Treasure.
  • The Taiwanese DVD main menu shows an image of Thomas from Thomas and the Magic Railroad.

Goofs

  • At the beginning when Emily passes the Windmill, the middle wheel of the rear coach has been pushed out of its housing.
  • When Thomas and Percy pass each other at Brendam Docks, the truck in front of Thomas wobbles.
  • When Henry says "Now where will we sleep?", his eyes are wonky.
  • In the third interactive segment, Annie is facing backwards.
  • In some scenes of Diesel, his eyes are wonky.
  • During Diesel 10's second scene, his pupils become smaller.
  • When Diesel was preparing to biff the flatbed of paint pots, his eyes popped out for a few seconds.
  • When 'Arry biffs James, he is missing the dust from the gravel pile that Thomas shoved him into. But at the washdown, the gravel dust on 'Arry reappeared.
  • Percy is smiling in his dream before he says "Bust my buffers!"
  • Lady's wheels stop moving in the close-up shot of her.
  • Due to stock footage being used, when the narrator says "Soon all the engines on the island knew about the meeting," a fish can be seen on Thomas' boiler.
  • In the Greek version, James' English name is used once by accident.
  • Edward's whistle is bent when he was on his way to the Coaling Plant.
  • During the meeting at the Coaling Plant, a purple mark can be seen on the bottom right corner of 'Arry's front. That's because 'Arry's model was repainted from Splatter after Thomas and the Magic Railroad.
  • During the learning segment of Percy and Mavis, five of the paint pots on the two flatbeds are missing their cover lids.
  • After Toby arrived at Kellsthorpe, his eyes are wonky.
  • Wires are visible through Daisy's windows.
  • In the shot of the Sodor Airport office, the water tower was seen standing outside the window when it was already crashed down the runway.
  • As Harvey unloaded some cargo from the flatbed, the top of his face almost falls off.
  • Due to faces being reused from Thomas and the Magic Railroad and having new faces in the special, the size of Diesel 10's face changes throughout the special.
  • The narrator says Thomas and Diesel 10 puffed as fast as they could, but Diesel 10 is a diesel and therefore does not puff.
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