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Meet the Characters!, also known as Meet Thomas' Friends, are a series of promotional videos that tie into Big World! Big Adventures! and Series 22. The videos are narrated by John Hasler and Joseph May as Thomas in their respective dubs and focus on a specific character, their personality and country of origin, with some specific scenes using specially-shot footage if there is not footage in the archives. They are available as DVD extras and uploaded to the official Thomas and Friends YouTube channels for both the US and UK. The characters being focused on are new characters from Big World! Big Adventures!, Series 22, 23 and 24. The first video was released on 24th August 2018.

Thomas' Narrations

Meet Ace of Australia

"Today I’d like to introduce you to a very cool friend of mine, Ace! Ace is from the other side of the world, Australia! Ace is a super-cool, super-fast racing car! I first met Ace when he came to Sodor. He was about to start a cross-country rally around the world! It was Ace who encouraged me to go on my big adventure! Ace can do all sorts of exciting things, like jumps, and spinning around in a circle. Ace loves to race, and is a free spirit. He won’t let anything get between him and the open road… unless if it’s a little orange monkey. I hope that one day, Ace shows me around Australia!"

Meet Nia of Kenya

"Today, I'd like to introduce you to my good friend, Nia! Nia is a steam engine from Kenya, who now works with me on the railway on Sodor. I first met Nia when I went on my big world adventure. Nia helped me find my way across Africa, but first I didn't want any help, but Nia taught me that two engines are better than one! Nia was right, everyone needs help sometimes. Now, Nia works with me on the Island of Sodor, where she helps to shunt trucks and pull passenger coaches. She's one of the cleverest engines on Sodor, and she's great at solving problems! We're so lucky Nia has joined the Steam Team on Sodor, and I can't wait to learn more about Kenya too!"

Meet Beau of America

"Today, I’d like to introduce you to my friend Beau, all the way from the United States of America! Yee-haa! Beau is a really cool mining engine, that works in the Wild West. The railway where Beau works is very different to the Island of Sodor. They don’t use breakdown cranes to rescue engines, they use horsepower! Beau taught me that there’s always another way of doing things. He’s a really useful engine. The American Railway is an amazing place. I can’t wait to see more of it with Beau!"

Meet Hong-Mei of China

"Today, I'd like to introduce you to my friend Hong-Mei, all the way from China! Hong-Mei is a steam engine who works on the Chinese Railway. Hong-Mei is a blue tank engine, just like me, and she has a number 1 painted on the side of her tank, just like me! Well, almost. It didn't quite look like a number 1. Hong-Mei often pulls two cheeky passenger coaches called An An and Yin-Long. Together, they know all the shortcuts on the Chinese Railway, which is particularly useful, as they love to race! But I bet they won't beat me when I continue my adventures in China!"

Meet Yong Bao of China

"Today, I'd like to introduce you to my good friend Yong Bao, from China! Yong Bao is a large tender engine, and the pride of the Chinese Railway. There are many steam engines in China, but none are as beautiful and majestic as Yong Bao. Yong Bao competed in the Best Decorated Engine competition at the Great Railway Show. He's especially known for the golden tiger painted on his tender. Yong Bao is really brave but he's also a very wise engine. He has taught me so much about China, and what it's like working on the railway. I can't wait to see what else my good friend Yong Bao has to teach me about China!"

Meet Noor Jehan of India

“Today, I’d like to introduce you to my friend Noor Jehan, all the way from India! Noor Jehan is a diesel-electric locomotive who pulls luxurious passenger coaches. Noor Jehan is so elegant and glamorous, that even Rajiv looks up to her. Noor Jehan has many jobs on the Indian Railway, but her favourite is taking passengers on jungle tours in her luxury coaches. If you’re lucky enough to ride on one of Noor Jehan’s jungle tours, you may even spot a beautiful tiger in the wild. Just like Noor Jehan, India is full of wonder and mystery!”

Meet Rajiv of India

"Today, I'd like to introduce you to my friend Rajiv, from India! Rajiv is a steam engine who works on the Indian Railway, which he's told me is the biggest and busiest railway in the world. He brings a bit of glamour to the railway. He once won the Best Decorated Engine competition, which he loves to remind everyone about! Rajiv likes to think he's a royal engine, though not everyone agrees. He thinks of himself as a real star, and would like nothing more than to feature in a movie! Rajiv has certainly got the confidence to be a good star, and I can't wait to visit him in India and see if he can achieve his dream!"

Meet Shane of Australia

"Today, I'd like to introduce you to my friend Shane, all the way from Down Under! Shane is a large and powerful steam engine who works on the railways of Australia. G'day mate! Shane is always up for having fun, and he always loves to tell a good story, but they're not always true. Shane often pulls two cheeky passenger coaches called Aubrey and Aiden. They've taught me all sorts of fun facts about working on the Australian Railway. My Australian friends are great! I can't wait for you to see what we got up to together!"

Meet Rebecca of England

"Today, I'd like to introduce you to my new friend, Rebecca of England! Rebecca is a steam engine who's recently come here, to work on the Island of Sodor. When Rebecca first arrived, she was so nervous. She made some clumsy mistakes and was worried she wouldn't fit in. But Rebecca is a very special engine. She's one of the biggest engines we have on Sodor! She's as big as Gordon, and she's just as fast! Rebecca has become very popular on Sodor. Rebecca's now joined us at Tidmouth Sheds, and we all love having her around. Welcome to Sodor, Rebecca!"

Meet Shankar of India

"Today, I'd like to introduce you to my friend Shankar, all the way from India! Shankar is a diesel engine and although he's not the most glamorous engine, he's very hardworking! He works on the Indian Railway, which is usually quite busy. He takes a lot of pride in making sure he delivers his trucks on time! Shankar really cares about protecting the environment. He taught me all about looking after animals! One time we had a big adventure. We came up with a clever plan to stop some pesky poachers catching tigers from the jungles in India. Shankar is a really useful engine!"

Meet Tamika of Australia

"Today, I'd like to introduce you to Tamika, my friend from the other side of the world. Tamika is a historic steam engine from Australia. She works in the Kuranda Rainforest, taking passengers on tours. There are so many wonderful animals in the rainforest. Tamika taught me all about them, and how important it is to protect them. I'm so glad I met Tamika in Australia. I can't wait for her to show me what other animals live in the rainforest!"

Meet Isla of Australia

“Today, I’d like to introduce you to my friend Isla, all the way from Australia! Isla is a brave Flying Doctor’s plane. She carries doctors to places which are too far away from hospitals for people to get to. She’s a real life hero! High in the sky, Isla can fly much faster than an engine can travel on tracks, so she’s always quick to help in an emergency. She’s even helped me out a few times! I’m so glad that I met Isla in Australia. She’s great at being really useful and helping people!“

Meet Ashima of India

“Today, I’d like to introduce you to my friend Ashima, from India! Ashima is a steam engine who works on the Indian Railway, but I first met her when she came to Sodor, on her way to the Great Railway Show. Everyone thought that Ashima would be entering the Best Decorated Engine competition, as she's so beautifully painted. But, Ashima is also great at shunting! I wonder if she learned that from the elephants on the Indian Railway. The Indian Railway is one of the busiest in the world. Ashima has been so kind to show me the amazing sights of India!“

Meet Lorenzo & Beppe of Italy

"Today, I'd like to introduce you to my new friends, Lorenzo and Beppe, from Italy! Lorenzo and Beppe are two best friends who compliment each other perfectly. Lorenzo is a vintage locomotive who is a little too curious. He likes looking for lost treasure, and sometimes he takes the scenic route to find it. He loves being the center of attention, but his best friend Beppe helps him remember that working together as a team is better than going solo! Beppe is a small coach with a flair for the dramatic, who idolises Lorenzo. Together, they are a dynamic duo who love to sing operatic duets!"

Meet Gina of Italy

"Today, I'd like to introduce you to my new friend Gina, from Italy! Gina is a small and smart tank engine who is very proud of her homeland of Italy. She's the perfect tour guide, and shows me all the fun secrets about her native country. Sometimes, she gets a little frustrated when I talk too much about what I think I know about Italy. But like a good friend, she always forgives me right away! Gina is extremely loyal, and goes out of her way to help friends in trouble. She even helped rescue me!"

Meet Stefano of Italy

"Today, I'd like to introduce you to my new friend Stefano, from Italy! Stefano is a big amphibious vehicle that can travel on both water and land. This makes Stefano the perfect vehicle for moving large cargo by sea to the many ports of Italy. Stefano is so big and strong, that he can also transport vehicles, from construction lorries to steam engines! He's a storyteller who likes to share fun tales of adventures from around the world. Stefano loves to show off his skills, and has a great sense of humour!"

Meet the Sodor Construction Company

"Today, I'd like to introduce you to my friends from the Sodor Construction Crew! There's Jack, the friendly front loader and leader of the crew. Max and Monty are two naughty dump trucks who are a little bit gruff, but always mean well. There's Oliver the excavator, the wise old worker who's seen it all. Alfie is the happy-go-lucky excavator. He's a team player who doesn't mind getting dirty! Darcy is the newest member of the team. She likes to chat while she works! With her long drilling arm, Darcy can cut holes in any mountain. Brenda is a friendly and strong bulldozer who likes to keep everything tidy. If there's a job that needs doing, then the Sodor Construction Crew are the team for you!"

Meet Raul of Brazil

"Today, I'd like to introduce you to my new friend Raul, from Brazil! Raul is a vertical boiler tank engine, who's sporty and playful. He's very competitive, and loves turning everyday work into exciting games! He often feels he has to come first at everything he does, which sometimes causes problems, but he's learning how to make his games friendlier and fun for everyone!"

Meet Gabriela & Cassia of Brazil

"Today, I'd like to introduce you to my new friends, Gabriela and Cassia the Crane, from Brazil! Gabriela is a fast-talking, fun-loving engine who loves to share her knowledge about the culture and railways of Brazil. She's excited and passionate about her country, especially when it's carnival time! She's always cheerful, and she's a great friend to know when you're travelling through Brazil. Cassia the Crane is based on the busy docks of sunny Rio de Janiero. She's a strong and steady crane who lifts and loads cargo carefully from the ships... well, usually. She loves working to rhythmic music, like the Bossa Nova and Batucada! Even when there's no music, Cassia will find her own rhythms and beats from sounds around the docks!"

Meet Ester of Italy

"Today, I'd like to introduce you to my new friend Ester, from Italy! Ester is an excavator who loves her job and is happy to spend all day digging the perfect hole! She's very laid-back, and often works around delicate archaeological sites, where she has to be very gentle and dig very carefully. By being patient, she knows that eventually, she will uncover something amazing! Everyone's always excited to see what Ester will dig up next!"

Meet Gustavo of Brazil

"Today, I'd like to introduce you to my new friend Gustavo, from Brazil! Gustavo is a large blue engine with an electric personality, because he's electric powered! He's an express engine, who's very independent and proud about being different. At first, Gustavo reminded me of my other big blue friend Gordon, back home on Sodor. But, Gustavo is a lot friendlier, and always helpful. Gustavo is wise, fast, strong and loves tooting his special sounding horn to let everyone know he's on his way!"

Meet Duchess of England

"This is Duchess. Not only is she really special, but she's also really important! That's because she's the Royal Engine, which means she gets to pull the Royal Coaches, and take the Queen to all her royal appointments. Duchess is very hardworking, and proud to do her best for the Queen. I was lucky enough to meet them both, when I took Sir Topham Hatt to collect a special award from the Queen for his services to the railway. Although, I didn't feel very lucky the first time I met Duchess, nor the second time. In fact, I thought she had forgotten all of her manners! But then I discovered, it was all because she was worried about being late. And who wouldn't be, if you had to carry the Queen! So, it all turned out to be a big misunderstanding, and Duchess and I soon became good friends. It's a great honour being the Royal Engine, but only truly special engines like Duchess get the royal seal of approval!"

Meet Ruth of America

"Meet Ruth! Ruth's from America, and she's very clever because she's an inventor. Hi Thomas! Hi Ruth! Ruth, can you start by telling us all what an inventor is? Well, an inventor is somebody who makes things that have never been made before. And what are some of your inventions, Ruth? Well, for starters, there's my road plane. We all thought it was an alien from outer space! Oh nope, only me! It's built from a special kind of metal called aluminium, which makes it super light. And then, there's my walking bridge! Nobody had ever seen one of those before! Thank you, Thomas! I was rather pleased with that one. So, what made you become an inventor in the first place? Well, I always wanted to be a railway engineer, because the railway is one of the greatest inventions ever, which makes you, Thomas, one of the most marvelous machines ever! Thank you, Ruth, and a special thanks to you for watching!"

Meet Kenji of Japan

"Behold the spectacular, super-charged, Kenji! Kenji is from Japan. He's one of the greatest inventions of the railway, and he's the fastest engine in the world! Wow! What makes him go so fast, Ruth? Well, Thomas, Kenji's not a steam engine like you. He's powered by electricity! Electricity makes things turn on! Oh, does that mean he has to be plugged in? No, Thomas, Kenji has a special rod called a pantograph, that connects to wires above his head. The electricity moves down his pantograph and it goes all the way down to his wheels, and that's what makes him move! I wish I was as fast as Kenji! Well, you never know, Thomas. One day in the future, you might be. Ah, Kenji really is a marvelous machine! Thank you, Ruth, and a special thanks to you for watching!"

Meet Sonny of England

"Behold the magnificent, trailblazing, Sonny! Sonny came to Sodor from the United Kingdom. He was designed to work in the coal mines and to pull heavy trains up steep hills. What makes him so strong, Ruth? Well, Thomas, Sonny was one of the first engines to use piston valves to help turn his wheels. That gives him extra pulling power! What's a piston valve, Ruth? It's a special part of the train that controls how much steam is going to be used. It means Sonny can choose how strong he wants to be. Sonny may be an old mining engine, but he sure was ahead of his time! Wow! Could you invent something that will make me ahead of my time, Ruth? Oh, I'm sure I could, Thomas, but for now, let's enjoy you as you are. Sonny really is a marvelous machine! Thank you, Ruth, and a special thanks to you for watching!"

Characters

Voice Cast

UK

US

Goofs

  • Nia's "passport" shot displays the flag of South Africa instead of Kenya.
  • In the turntable shot of Max and Monty, Monty incorrectly has the number 15 on him.

Video Gallery (US Narration)

Video Gallery (UK Narration)

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