7.2/10
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6 user

The Little Engine That Could (1991)

A little switch engine named Tillie must help the birthday train reach a town that holds a kid's upcoming birthday party. Unfortunetly, it is past by a treacherous mountain.

Director:

Dave Edwards

Writers:

Ray Rhamey (screenplay by), Watty Piper (based on the book by)
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Cast

Cast overview:
Kath Soucie ... Tillie / Missy / Little Wolf (voice)
Frank Welker ... Farnsworth / Jebediah / Rollo / Perky / Eagle / Jeepers / Big Wolf (voice)
B.J. Ward ... Grumpella (voice)
Neil Ross ... Doc / Tower / Panda (voice)
Bever-Leigh Banfield ... Georgia (voice)
Peter Cullen ... Pete / The Cave (voice)
Scott Menville ... Chip / Stretch (voice)
Billy O'Sullivan ... Eric (voice)
Dina Sherman ... Jill (voice)
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Storyline

A little switch engine named Tillie must help the birthday train reach a town that holds a kid's upcoming birthday party. Unfortunetly, it is past by a treacherous mountain.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Thrilling Animated Adaption of the Cherished Children's Classic


Certificate:

TV-Y | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 November 1991 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

First film role for Kath Soucie. See more »

Goofs

When Pete is about to be flagged down by Rollo, his mouth goes from black to white. See more »

Quotes

Chip: You did it, Tillie!
Tillie the Little Engine: Yes, I did it. And it was worth it!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Big Bang Theory: The Locomotion Reverberation (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Nothing Can Stop Us Now
Lyrics and Music by Mark Mueller
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Still an instant classic
8 September 2017 | by mattwill-76313See all my reviews

This is a pretty great special, even to this day. Kids from 3-6 would especially love it. It's colorful, bright, and true to the book, not just to the point of the art style and the characters, but to it's very core and emotion.

The music with the happy, gloomy, and sometimes even scary images displayed (don't worry, nothing your kids can't handle!) gives kids, and perhaps even adults alike, a sense of empowerment towards the end. This is especially important, because everyone and their grandmother knows what happens in the story: birthday train breaks down, other snooty but powerful trains come along (excepting the old, less well-to-do engine) refusing to pull the train, when along comes a little engine who ends up pulling the whole train over the mountain against all odds. Knowing very well the ending, you would think that you wouldn't necessarily feel as worried for Tillie (little engine) as you would when you first read the book, but the story is told in such a wonderful, unique and perhaps even Expressionistic way that you forget about the ending for 20 minutes and immerse in the world that is Tillie's home and the gloomy mountain.

Animation fans will recognize the work of Dave Edwards, who, prior to working on this special, is known for the UK animated classic SuperTed. The cuddly bouncy style fits well in this half-hour special, and as mentioned earlier fits well with the style of the book. Fans of TV music in the late 80s will recognize Mark Mueller, who prior to this has done work with the theme songs for DuckTales, and Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers.

One of the few things keeping the score to go any higher is the bland setting and story, but keeping The Little Engine That Could interesting is no easy task, and the team has done the best they Could to keep it as interesting as it is. Recommended over the 2011 special any day.


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