Thomas & Friends: Sodor Boys is a 2017 CGI animated fantasy musical film. Written by Andrew Brenner and directed by David Stoten.
The film stars the voices of John Hasler and Joseph May as the voice of Thomas in the UK and the US, respectively. It also stars the voices of William Hope, Christopher Ragland, Rob Rackstraw, Steven Kynman, Kerry Shale and Taron Egerton, with Mark Moraghan narrating.
The film's plot focuses on Edward pursuing a rare magical stolen crown from Ulstead Castle into an alternate world where he transforms into a human, teenage boy. While learning how to behave as a human, Edward encounters human counterparts of her engine friends, who help her in her search for the magic crown.
|Directed by||David Stoten|
|Produced by||*Ian McCue (HiT)|
Robert Anderson (Arc)
Lynda Craigmyle (Arc)
Jane Sobol (Arc)
|Written by||Andrew Brener|
|Music by||Robert Hartshorne|
|Edited by||Matthew Ahrens|
HIT Entertainment (UK/US)
Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
|Release dates||*September 15, 2017|
|Running time||70 minutes|
The movie opens in Sodor, with Thomas and his friends heading to the Ulfstead Castle to place a rare crown found by the Duke of Sodor. Edward is excited mabout the Earl finding a crown that is really rare and magical.
When they arrive, Thomas and his friends meet with Sir Robert Norrambry, Sir Topham Hatt, Lady Hatt and a brilliant scientist name Professor Supersmart. Lady Hatt takes notice of how tired Thomas and his friends look from their trip and sends the seven of them off to various sheds.
Later that night, a tank engine stops outside the castle and his crew, past the patrol of royal guards and into the Jewel room where the crown is kept. Thnking quickly, the tank engine's driver switches the magic crown with a fake crown and attempts to make off with it. However, as the crew sneaks past Edward, he hits his knee so hard on Edward's buffer beam. The thiefs quickly rush back their engine as the driver makes loud groans of pain, waking Thomas and his friends from their sleep. Edward, noticing the crown in the driver's saddlebag, cries "Thiefs!" before giving chase. Her shouts wake the other Element bearers as they pass their rooms and they quickly join the pursuit. He attempts to stop the thiefs off but the Professor Supersmart's teleportation device is on and the crew quickly send the crown through the portal. Edward and co. surround the mysterious engine to the ground as they reach the portal device. When Edward asks where the crown went, the engine replies with a wicked grin and a sarcastic, insincere apology, and switches himself from on track to another and goes through the portal.
The next morning, Sir Topham Hatt identifies the engine as Xana, a former engine on the North Western Railway. She had her own Branch Line before Thomas and was happy until one day, she had turned cruel and dishonest when she was laughed at the other engiens for making a mistake with coaches. She subsequently abandoned her Branch Lune (eventually going a different portal to another world. Edward's driver brings out the fake crown, with Sir Robert Norrambry surmising that Xana hoped that Edward wouldn't notice the switch right away, and by the time she did, it would be too late to retrieve the real one. When Edward asks where Xana fled to, the earl, scientest and the Hatts show him and his friends Professor Supersmart's teleportation portal invention.
The portal is a gateway to another world, an alternate world, that opens once every six years. The humans choose Edward with venturing into this other world and retrieving her crown; without it, Ulstead Castle will be demolished. Not only that, Xana would likely use the crown's magic to harm the inhabitants of the alternate realm, and they will not be able to defend themselves against its power.
Unfortunately, such a task has its share of complications. For one, Edward must go alone, as sending him with all of her friends could upset the balance of the other world and complicate his mission further. What's more is that the gateway will only be open for another three days. When the moon reaches its peak in the night sky at that time, the gateway will close, and it will be another six years before Edward can use it to return to Sodor.
With some encouragement from his friends, Edward puffs through the gateway. Only moments later, when Oliver arrives, his brakevan Toad is seperated from his delivery train and goes into the portal after him.
Dizzy from the journey across worlds, Edward opens his eyes, surprised to find Toad—now a small dwarf—standing before him. They are both shocked and surprised to see Toad like this. Toad gets even more surprised and shocked when he sees Edward as a human teenager. The two find themselves outside what appears to be a castle, and immediately begin their search for the magic crown. However, Twilight struggles to get used to his new body, learning to walk upright and get around without magic. Edward and Toad enter the seemingly empty "castle", and Edward gets a first look at her new body through a display case's glass windowpane. Suddenly, a bell rings, and dozens of multi-colored teenagers pour into the hallway. An overwhelmed Edward stumbles her way out of the crowd and falls on his back on the floor but is not hurt. As Edward gets up, it becomes apparent to him and Toad that it's not a castle they're in but an American school.
Edward grows more accustomed to his human body and closely observes the inhabitants of the alternate world he's in. As he passes by faces both new and familiar to her, she listens in on a conversation between two boys: one is being considerably cruel and verbally abusive to the other. Edward steps in to defend the boy being bullied, but her oppressor shrugs Edward off and walks away, saying she can speak to anyone any way he wants. As Edward comes to discover, that was Xana. The boy Edward stood up for introduces herself as Henry, much to Edward's surprise. Edward asks Henry about the crown; Henry tells her that she had indeed found the crown. While attempting to sell fish for charity to save a national park (but no one bought any), the crown came through the portal and struck on the back. Not wanting anything to happen to it, she then turned it over to Principal Hatt (Lady Hatt). With this information, Edward and Toad head to the principal's office.
Edward enters Principal Hatt's office and asks her about the crown. Having given it to Vice Principal Percival (Mrs. Percival) for safekeeping, Principal Hatt is mystified as to how the crown ended up on the front lawn. Edward learns from the principal that the crown is to be awarded to the Prince of the upcoming Spring dance. Leaving the office, Toad questions why Edward didn't just explain the truth to the principal. She was going to, but she came to realize during the conversation how Principal Hatt would react to it; if a human ended up in sodor and told its people about the human world, everyone would consider them crazy (As Edward is saying that to Toad, a human version of Whiff is secretly hearing everything). With few to no alternatives, Edward decides to run for Prince of the Spring Dance to get her crown back, but he just has no idea how to do so.
At lunch, Edward meets Henry again in the cafeteria and shares with her decision to run for Prince of the Spring Dance. This news comes as a shock to Henry, who warns Edward that Xana makes life miserable for those who oppose her. It's here that Edward also learns about how isolated all the social groups of the school are from one another, from the athletes to the fashionistas to the rockers, and that she'd have to get all of them to vote for him. Edward is still determined however, and asks where to find the head of the Spring Dance planning committee.
He and Toad enter the school auditorium, which is in the process of being decorated. There, they meet another familiar—and at the same time unfamiliar—face: Percy, who is revealed to be a food loving chubby boy. While the chubby boy is more than happy to put Edward's name on the ballot, she's less than thrilled to know Henry is involved. As the two of them talk, in enters another face Twilight recognizes: Duck (a human version of him actually with a Southern American accent and wears cowboy like clothes), delivering cases of a lifetime supply of super fizzy Orange Soda with the help of Boco. Upon learning that Edward will be running against Xana for Prince, Duck warns that Xana is not to be trusted, commenting that the only girl in the school who's even less trustworthy is Thomas. Edward leaves the auditorium just as Xana enters just moments later with Bill & Ben (who are both dorky twin brothers). He spares no harsh words regarding the decorations and choice of refreshments, inciting Duck's anger. When Xana learns that Edward will be running against him, he goes to find him.
Xana confronts Edward in a barely lit, dead end hallway and gives her a verbal lashing, scoffing at her efforts to run for Prince of the Spring Dance, outright insulting and belittling her, and even threatening Toad's safety.
Xana orders Bill and Ben to follow Edward and bring him something he can use to discredit Edward in the eyes of the student body.
A hungry Edward comes across a vending machine, and unable to get it open, is about to kick it donkeu-style when she's interrupted by Diesel (whose human version has a similar design to Robbie Valentino form Gravity Falls), who easily buys a bag of chips from it. Realizing that she really doesn't know anything about this world, Edward decides to do research about the school to better familiarize himself with it. Much to his delight, the school has an extensive library.
Edwards attempts at using a computer are inept and awkward: he makes a mess of library books (handling a number of them by mouth rather than by hand) and he has trouble figuring out how to use a copy machine. Unbeknownst to her, Bill and Ben are recording his every embarrassing move with their camera phones.
That evening, as the library nears closing time, it occurs to Edward that she hadn't thought about where she and Toad are going to sleep. Luckily, Toad had thought ahead and assembled a bed out of books for them to sleep on, having discovered a rarely used section tucked away on the second floor of the library. Meanwhile, Edward's research into the school has yielded a yearbook. Inside, she found an old photo of young Percy, Thomas, Duck, Henry and James. Although the five appear to be friends in the photo, they don't seem to be friends now. Toad reminds Edward that she can't focus on why the five boys are no longer friends: making friends and beating Xana comes first.
The next morning, Edward is ready to make a good first impression on his fellow students, but she finds that everyone she passes in the hallway is laughing at her. As he wonders why, a hand suddenly pulls him into an empty classroom and dresses him in a new outfit and wig. At that moment, the human reveals to be James (whose human version is a costume designer). Within the next few seconds, Duck, Henry and Percy enter the room. They show Edward a video that Xana had posted online, showing Edward struggling to adapt to his human form and embarrassing himself on camera. Mortified, Edward believes that his chances of getting voted Spring Dance king are hopeless.
Percy offers to help, but Henry advises Edward against accepting it. Within moments, they, James and Duck begin to argue. Edward breaks up the argument and with the yearbook photo, reminds the four that they were all friends once; the boys fondly remember the photo as being at the school's Freshman Fair. Edward believes that Xana somehow broke them apart, but the boys claim it wasn't Xana that dismantled the four's friendship but a series of text messages and e-mails sent between them that ruined school events they put together: a text from Henry to Percy that ruined a silent auction for the animal sanctuary at the national forest, a message from Duck to Thomas that ruined a bake sale, and so on. However, as the girls come to realize, none of them had sent these alleged messages.
At Edward's encouragement, Duck approaches Thomas (introduced for the first time) on the school soccer pitch, where the two work out their misunderstandings and reconcile. With him and Duck's friendship mended, Thomas agrees to help Edward become Prince of the Spring Dance on one condition: beat him in a game of one-on-one. Unfortunately, despite Edward's best effort throughout, his lack of athleticism and inexperience with sports lead to him thoroughly losing the match. However, Thomas agrees to help regardless, explaining that what he was actually doing was testing His "heart and determination", two qualities that the Spring Dance should have; Edward proved that he has both. Behind the bleachers nearby, Bill and Ben show Xana photos they'd taken on their phones, eliciting an evil grin from the other engine-turned-human.
In a coffee shop run by The Refreshment Lady, the six friends brainstorm ways to boost Edward's popularity and get him the votes he needs to be named Prince. James comes up with the idea of getting everyone in the school to wear fake engine funnels and buffers, to foster unity and school spirit.
The next day, the six friends put their plan into action: a lively song and dance in the school cafeteria that rouses everyone into dancing. But even as he watches on from outside the cafeteria, Xana isn't deterred; he has yet another task for Bill and Ben. Later that day, everyone in the school is seen wearing James' engine funnels and buffers, and school spirit and pride are at an all-time high. But as Duck points out, Xana still walks down the hall with a smirk. She knocks on the office door of Vice Principal Percival and feigns distress, informing her that the Fall Formal decorations have been destroyed. She accuses Edward of committing the deed, even presenting photos as evidence. A suspicious student (Whole body not seen) listens in on their conversation, then slips away.Edit
Edward is brought to Percival's office, where Percival shows her the photos and says that the school can't let someone who'd do such a thing run for Spring Dance Prince. Edward is about to lose herself to despair when there's a knock at the door. A human version of Ryan enters, presenting evidence he found in the library trash can, revealing that he was the student overhearing the coversation. The photos Percival was given were in fact altered to incriminate Edward, by using cutouts of Edward from the soccer pitch, superimposed onto backgrounds of the gym decorations being destroyed. In light of this, Percival allows Edward to continue his Prince bid. But the damage done to the auditorium means the Spring Dance will have to be postponed until the following evening. Twilight soon realizes what the dance's postponement means: The portal back to Sodor will close so he rushes out.
Edward dashes into a boutique where his friends are trying out different shoes to wear and ducks behind a changing room curtain, where she takes stock of the situation: if she doesn't get the magic crown back by that evening, the portal to Sodor will close and he'll be trapped in this world for six year. Toad suggests they tell her friends the truth and let them know what's at stake, but Edward is uncertain, worried that they'll reject her for not being human. Toad encourages her, saying that they rallied around her because they saw what was in her heart and won't care that she's actually a engine, at which Edward tells him that he's glad he followed him, even if he slipped into the portal by accident after him. Edward tells his friends the whole truth, much to their surprise and amazement.
With that, Edward rallies his friends together in cleaning up and redecorating the school auditorium, an effort that many of the school's students lend a helping hand in. When the renovations are finished, Principal Hatt is so impressed by the students' efforts that she doesn't postpone the Spring Dance. As everyone leaves to get ready for the dance, Hatt reminds the students to vote for the Spring Dance Prince as they leave the gym and a number of students cast their ballot for Twilight. In a gym equipment storage room, Xana chews out Bill and Ben for going overboard in their trashing of the auditorium, as she needs the Dance to go on that night just as much as Edward does.
The boys return to the boutique to get themselves ready for the dance tonight. They change into fancier shoes and suits. That night, the boys arrive at Sodor High later that evening on board a bus.
Inside the auditorium, the boys and the rest of the students dance to a band's live performance. Edward notices Xana is nowhere to be seen and asks Thomas about it, to which he replies that he isn't there because he most likely knew Edward won the Fall Formal crown. After the band finishes their song, Principals Hatt and Percivals walk on stage to announce the Prince of the Spring Dance. After some words of praise to the students for their hard work, Principal Hatt announces the winner—Edward. As Principal Hatt congratulates Edward and places the magic crown on his head, Bill and Ben sneak into the auditorium through a back door and kidnap Toad. Toad screams out for Edward, and he runs out after the duo, followed quickly by her friends. Bill and Ben take Toad into the school courtyard near the statue, where Xana is waiting.
Edward and his friends find themselves face-to-face with Xana, brandishing a sledgehammer and ready to destroy the portal back to Sodor. Edward tells Xana not to hurt Toad; Xana, replies saying he "wouldn't dream of it", tells Bill and Ben to let Toad go. Xana then gives Edward an ultimatum: give the crown back and be allowed to return to Sodor, or keep the crown and never go back. Edward, maintaining his fortitude, keeps the crown. Surprised by this, Xana tries to reason with Edward to hand over the crown, to which Edward replies by explaining he's seen what Xana has been able to do to Sodor High, even without the magic the crown will give him.
Xana appears to give up, throwing the sledgehammer down. Edward's friends surround him and compliment him on his selflessness. Hearing the flurry of kind words directed towards Edward, Xana loses his temper and charges at Edward, tackling him and knocking the crown off his head. During the minutes that follow, the crown repeatedly trades hands as Edward and his friends attempt to keep it out of Xana's, Bill's and Ben's hands. In a moment of absentmindedness, Edward tosses the crown away, and it ends up in Xana's hands. A giddy Xana immediately places the crown on his head. As soon as he does this, a magical aura surrounds him and he is lifted up into the air. Edward, her friends and onlooking Spring Dance attendees watch in horror as Xana is surrounded by a dark aura and transformed into a demonic creature, with red skin, fiery hair, wings, and a tail. Using his magic, Sunset proceeds to turn Bill and Ben into demons similar in appearance. The students retreat to the supposed safety of the school doors, but the transformed Xana tears away the entire front entrance, declaring himself the students' "prince" and demanding their loyalty. He flies into the school and projects his magic onto the fleeing students, hypnotizing them into submission.
With the student body under his control, Xana explains to Edward that it was never his intention to destroy the portal; he wanted the crown not just to rule the school but to rule Sodor, with the help of her brainwashed followers. Edward stands his ground however, and his friends back him up. Unfazed by their defiance, Xana hurls a fireball at Edward to take him out. Just before the spell hits, Edward's friends huddle around him.
Xana cackles at his apparent victory but is shocked to find her attack had no effect. A pink force field surrounding Edward and his friends had protected them from Xana's attack. Edward reasons that the magic contained in the crown united with "those that helped create it". An aura from the crown engulfs Edward and his friends in light, linking each of them to their Element of Harmony and giving them engine-like traits, including actual funnels. Edward finally proclaims that while Xana may have the crown on her head, but he cannot wield its power because she lacks the most powerful magic of all: the magic of friendship.The magic surrounding Edward and his friends explodes, causing a double-helical rainbow to shoot out and engulf Xana in a rainbow-colored tornado that strips his of his power and releases the students of her mind control.
As the bright light dissipates, the students congregate at the front of the school. Toad runs out to Edward, who is lying on the ground with his friends unconscious. Edward wakes up and hugs Toad, while their friends approach him. The seven of them notice a large crater in the ground, with Xana—returned to normal—lying at the bottom of it. Edward tells Xana that she will never be able to rule in Sodor and that she has shown everyone who he really is. Xana, reduced to tears, apologizes to everyone for what he's done. Edward goes on to say that the magic of friendship exists everywhere, not just in Sodor, and that Xana can either seek it out or "forever be alone". Xana explains he doesn't know anything about friendship, to which Edward points to his friends and says they can teach him.
As Toad cheers the boys on, Principal Hatt walks up to give Edward the crown back, announcing that what everyone had seen that night was exemplary of how a prince should act. The scene cuts to the auditorium once more, with the students dancing. The gang has a great time just before The Photographer takes a group picture of Edward, his friends and Toad. Edward embraces his friends in the school courtyard and asks them to look out for Xana. As she asks this, Vice Principal Percival hands Xana a masonry trowel, with Bill and Ben following up with a wheelbarrow of bricks and a bucket of cement in order to repair the wall. Edward tells his friends that although they had only known each other for a short time, he will miss them dearly. Toad compliments Edward on his magic crown on the way to the portal, and the two finally step through. The moon rises to its peak to cover over the center star and with a flash of moonlight, the portal closes behind them, causing Edward's friends to lose their engine funnels and buffers. Percy attempts to follow Edward and Toad through the portal, only to smack into a solid surface.
Back in Sodor, Edward's friends and the humans wait patiently for his return. Edward emerges through the portal and is once again a steam egnine. His friends run up to greet her, congratulating him on his return and the retrieval of the magic crown. Sir Topham Hatt asks about Xana, and Edward replies that he's been left in good "hands". Toad comes through the portal shortly after and is reunited with Oliver. Edward's friends walk through the castle with him and bombard her with questions, but Edward tells them she's too tired from all the dancing, eliciting a shocked reaction from them.
After the Earl places the crown in Jewel room, he quickly has it locked with the other jewels. The film ends with everyone cheering just before the screen turns black and the credits roll