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.


Dave Edwards


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

Watch Now

With Prime Video


Learn more

More Like This 

Animation | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Featuring an all-star cast, the timeless story comes to life in this all-new, feature-length film filled with fun and adventure!

Director: Elliot M. Bour
Stars: Jodi Benson, Corbin Bleu, Jamie Lee Curtis
Animation | Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A group of dated appliances embarks on a journey to the city to find its master after being abandoned in its cabin in the woods.

Director: Jerry Rees
Stars: Jon Lovitz, Timothy Stack, Timothy E. Day
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

The Care Bears watch over a young brother and sister who have lost their trust in humanity. Meanwhile an evil wizard wishes to cover the Earth in concrete.

Director: Arna Selznick
Stars: Georgia Engel, Mickey Rooney, Jackie Burroughs
The Magic School Bus (1994–1997)
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

An eccentric school-teacher takes her class on wondrous educational field trips with the help of a magical school bus.

Stars: Lily Tomlin, Daniel DeSanto, Erica Luttrell
Documentary | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Scientist/comedian Bill Nye explores various aspects of science for young viewers.

Stars: Bill Nye, Pat Cashman, Michaela Leslie-Rule
Animation | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The kingdom of Atlantica where music is forbidden, the youngest daughter of King Triton, named Ariel, discovers her love to an underground music club and sets off to a daring adventure to bring restoration of music back to Atlantica.

Director: Peggy Holmes
Stars: Jodi Benson, Samuel E. Wright, Jim Cummings
Osmosis Jones (2001)
Animation | Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A policeman white blood cell, with the help of a cold pill, must stop a deadly virus from destroying the human they live in, Frank.

Directors: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly
Stars: Laurence Fishburne, Chris Rock, David Hyde Pierce
Arthur (TV Series 1996)
Animation | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Based on the books by Marc Brown, these are the adventures of Arthur, an 8-year-old aardvark, and his family and friends as they grow up and learn how to be good neighbors to one another.

Stars: J.T. Turner, Melissa Altro, Daniel Brochu
Adventure | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Kermit and his newfound friends trek across America to find success in Hollywood, but a frog legs merchant is after Kermit.

Director: James Frawley
Stars: Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Jerry Nelson
Frosty the Snowman (TV Short 1969)
Animation | Short | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A living snowman and a little girl struggle to elude a greedy magician who is after the snowman's magic hat.

Directors: Jules Bass, Arthur Rankin Jr.
Stars: Jackie Vernon, Billy De Wolfe, Jimmy Durante
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A misfit reindeer and his friends look for a place that will accept them.

Director: Larry Roemer
Stars: Billie Mae Richards, Burl Ives, Larry D. Mann


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)


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


The Thrilling Animated Adaption of the Cherished Children's Classic


TV-Y | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

22 November 1991 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


First film role for Kath Soucie. See more »


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


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


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


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.

0 of 0 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 6 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed