4 user 17 critic

Jim Button and Luke the Engine Driver (2018)

Jim Knopf und Lukas der Lokomotivführer (original title)
An orphan boy in search of his origin. A young princess held prisoner in deadly Dragon City. Jim and his friend Luke discovering mysterious lands on the quest of a lifetime.


Dennis Gansel
2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »




Credited cast:
Shirley MacLaine ... Mrs. Grindtooth (voice)
Michael Herbig ... Nepumuk (voice)
Milan Peschel ... Tur Tur
Uwe Ochsenknecht ... König Alfons
Annette Frier ... Frau Waas
Christoph Maria Herbst ... Herr Ärmel
Henning Baum ... Lukas
Hon Ping Tang ... Guard Lieutenant
Volker Michalowski ... Postbote
Rick Kavanian ... Die Wilde 13
Thomas Fritsch ... Erzähler (voice)
Thuy-Van Truong ... Mandala Woman
Darryl Quon ... Langer Bonze
Leighanne Esperanzate ... Prinzessin Li Si
Kao Chenmin ... Kaiser von Mandala


An orphan boy in search of his origin. A young princess held prisoner in deadly Dragon City. Jim and his friend Luke discovering mysterious lands on the quest of a lifetime.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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English | German

Release Date:

8 November 2019 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Jim Button and Luke the Engine Driver See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Dennis Gansel said in an interview that he grew up with the audio drama version of that story, that was released in 1973 and was also written and narrated by the novel's writer Michael Ende. See more »


Lukas: You'll become a great explorer.
Jim Knopf: I rather be an engine driver, just like you.
Lukas: Engine drivers only follow the tracks that were found by explorers.
See more »

Crazy Credits

While the final closing credits are rolling the words "Jim Button" are moving slowly in the background. See more »


Followed by Jim Button and the Dragon of Wisdom See more »

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User Reviews

A very childish live action representation of Jim Knopf
15 June 2019 | by MihaiSorinTomaSee all my reviews

This live action movie tries to bring to the big screen the story of the Jim Knopf cartoons which once entertained my childhood, but as far as I'm concerned, it quite fails. The biggest problem with it is by far its screen time. As you might have guessed, it's simply impossible to fit an entire tv series into a movie, let alone a very short one like this one is, thus you're going to miss a lot of events. Another side effect to this is that the characters are not very well introduced and developed, fact which the series manages without breaking a sweat, thus for someone who hasn't seen the cartoons it would be unpleasant to link them all together. They'll figure it out as it is after all a film intended for children, but again, not the best experience.

Speaking of children, this one seems to have been made solely for them. I'm speaking of course about the way it treats every single situation it encounters. Everything gets sorted out very easily without any drama, through inexplicable exaggerations (even by fantasy standards) or head scratching events, thus expect to be quite a lack of emotion or suspense throughout the entire film. It might be good if you're a little boy/girl watching a movie at the cinema with your parents but for someone like me, it's simply way too childish. The action is meh at best, even if they chose to include a couple of more "intense" events from the series, hoping to impress the viewers but from my point of view, it did a bit too little in this direction. The cast could also have been better if you ask me, as too many actors don't manage to transmit anything through their characters which are very expressive in the animated show.

It's a movie which unfortunately misses the point, or at least the one that I was expecting. It indeed manages to be a movie for the small ones who obviously haven't seen the series but for me who simply loved the cartoons it's a bit too hard to bare.

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