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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Ever since seeing Misty Island Rescue last spring with Diesel 10 coming
into the last scene and vowing revenge, I've been flat out excited
about seeing Day of the Diesels and Diesel 10 get his revenge. Diesel
10 is by far my favorite character on the show. My son loves him too so
when I realized that it was fall already I remembered about the movie
and took my kid down to the store to buy it. Both of us were excited
about watching it.
It starts out great. There is a big fire on Sodor and all of a sudden Belle the fire engine train pulls up out of nowhere and just starts hosing down the flames. Everyone is impressed. Sir Topham Hat acts surprised, he didn't know that there was a fire fighting train on the island. Stop right here. This ignorance by Topham Hat plagues the movie and just isn't in his character and just doesn't make sense. He owns the railway on Sodor and the docks, how can this "rogue" fire fighting train be running about the island getting fueled up with coal and water all unnoticed. I think that the writers were quite a bit lazy here and didn't want to give a back story to Belle. Okay back to the story. After Belle's brilliance Topham Hat expresses his desire for another fire fighter. Belle recommends her buddy Flynn who is a high-rail vehicle that can ride on the rails or on pavement.
Thomas is infatuated with Belle and spends all of his time with her and Flynn leaving his best friend Percy in the cold. Diesel, apparently acting on orders from Diesel 10, senses Percy's weakness and works his way in telling Percy that he should hang with the diesels because they would have time for him and treat him real special. Eventually Diesel's manipulation works and Percy finds himself rolling into the Diesel Works. If ever any of you have had any doubt as to whether or not there was racist implications to Thomas and Friends, your doubt will be erased here. Of course there are Thomas' comments about diesels being "dirty and devious" and "never go to the Diesel Works," that is expected. However it is the visage of the Diesel Works that will erase any and all doubt. The Diesel Works are on the "other" side of the island, and when Percy rolls through its gates are we in for a treat. The Diesel Works is a shanty building constructed of corrugate metal in a haphazard fashion. Every building is run down and dilapidated. Burned out cars and other junk litter the entrance to the home of the diesels and there are even rats shown moving about. Percy is scared, and why not he just entered the ghetto. Cabrini Green, Magnolia, Treme. The effect is not subtle.
As Percy drives up to the main structure, he is greeted by Diesel 10. Yes! This time they used a much better voice actor than in Magic Railway. Diesel 10 now has affected English accent reminiscent of the stereotypical homosexual villains of the past (think Malcolm McDowell in Blue Thunder). Much better than the dumb Brooklyn accent that he had in Magic Railway. So this new, improved Diesel 10 with 20% more evil shows Percy how Topham Hat has neglected the diesels and their Diesel Works. They can't fix themselves because the crane is broken and they don't have essential equipment. Again, here is where the writers were just plain lazy. Why would Topham Hat neglect his diesels and not give them equipment necessary for repairs and maintenance? I mean they are on his railway and the friendly diesels like Mavis, and Salty are just about every show. Why would he want them to fall into disrepair? By the way they are hanging with Diesel 10 at the works.
So Diesel 10 pleads his case for a new Diesel Works to Percy who agrees that it isn't fair that the facilities for the diesels are deplorable. Percy tells Diesel 10 that he will give the information to Thomas who will then in turn tell Sir Topham Hat about the need for updated diesel facilities. Apparently Thomas' word carries a lot of weight on Sodor.
Meanwhile, Percy gets Kevin to fill in for the broken crane at the Diesel Works. Then all hell breaks loose as Thomas and Victor go to retrieve Kevin. That is when Diesel 10 and crew decide to take over the Steam Works as it lies vacant. Here is where the movie gets disappointing.
The diesels end up just playing in the Steam Works spinning fast on the turntable, lifting each other with the crane and just goofing off. I really thought that they were going to trash the place and burn it down to the ground. That is where it looked where it was headed since Diesel 10 had one of his henchmen incapacitate Flynn by stealing his fire-hose. Disappointing indeed.
The final disappointment is when Sir Topham Hat arrives at the Steam Works to put a stop to the shenanigans. He scolds Diesel 10 who cowers at Hat's stern voice. I was under the impression that Diesel 10 was his own man and didn't follow anyone's rules. Apparently he is just another slave on the plantation.
I won't give away the big happy ending but while the movie looks great and Diesel 10 shows potential, it is ultimately a disappointment in my eyes. When are we going to see a truly evil Diesel 10 who maims Sir Topham Hat and destroys a few of the goody goody steamies? I thought this movie was going to be it, but it is not. Let me just add that while I was let down by the movie my kid loves and has already watched it 20 times. Great for kids but not for adults hoping for evil and terror on the island of Sodor.
Day of the Diesels sees two new steam trains "steamies" arrive on the
island of Sodor; Belle, a vibrant blue and red female train with water
jets to put out fires, and Flynn, an American fire truck with two sets
of wheels, one for roads and one for rail tracks. Their arrival is
greeted by all, though more so by Thomas, who takes time out to show
To balance up the new entries to the island, the steamies' rivals, the diesels, also gain two new trains and we get to see their home for the first time, the diesel works.
There are typical rivalries between the two types of trains and an interesting story that develops in the hour long movie. For me, the CGI version of Thomas works really well and gives the characters more scope.
For those who love the series and previous films, you will not be disappointed. The new trains fit in very well and they end up interacting with all of the old familiar faces. An enjoyable film, especially for the kids and one not to be missed for true 'Thomas' fans.
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