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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)
Volker Michalowski ... Postbote
Michael Herbig ... Nepumuk (voice)
Uwe Ochsenknecht ... König Alfons
Henning Baum ... Lukas
Milan Peschel ... Tur Tur
Christoph Maria Herbst ... Herr Ärmel
Leighanne Esperanzate ... Prinzessin Li Si
Annette Frier ... Frau Waas
Judy Winter ... Frau Mahlzahn (voice)
Hon Ping Tang ... Guard Lieutenant
Thomas Fritsch ... Erzähler (voice)
Darryl Quon ... Langer Bonze
Rick Kavanian ... Die Wilde 13
Solomon Gordon Solomon Gordon ... Jim Knopf
Learn more

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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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Did You Know?


Although toned down in the movie, in the book, Jim refuses to learn how to read and write. This mirrors Michael Ende's own personal experience. The Nazis were trying to teach the author, born in 1929, these things, but he was horrified by the messages they wanted to convey. He did not subscribe to the ideology of racial purity and racial superiority. 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 »


Remake of Jim Knopf (2000) See more »

User Reviews

Excellent rendition of a German children's classic
30 January 2019 | by CommanderVimesSee all my reviews

Michael Ende didn't write as many books as others, but most of his books became instant classics. The tale of "Jim Knopf und Lukas, der Lokomotivführer" ist his best known, next to "Neverending story", which has become a classic both as a book and a film. While the latter aims for adults as well as for older kids, "Jim Knopf" is a great children's story - although it contains elements that will ring more with grown ups.

The book is great in it's detail, and the pictures are fantastic on their own account. Then there's the marionette-version, made for TV by the "Augsburger Puppenkiste", in the 1970s.

Now, Jim finally and well deservingly hits the big screen - and the makers did really, really well! They took lots of inspiration from the beloved TV-Version and didn't change a lot of the story: Jim being brought to the island of Lummerland with only a few habitants and a train engine as a baby, later sailing away (on the engine!) with his fatherly friend Lukas, to explore the secret of his heritage, trying to save princess Li Si from the dragon's city on the way, meeting lots of curious people on their journey...

The director tells the story very straight, the action is well paced, and there are hardly any important parts missing. The visuals are fine, except for Nepomuk, the half dragon, who REALLY looks animated! No 3D, thankfully! The actors are doing a great job, especially both leads, but also all the secondary characters.

A minor annoyance to me was the unnecessary change of the fact that Jim can't read or write at the beginning. That's why he has to DRAW a letter to Mrs. Waas when he's leaving. They kept the drawings in the movie but ADDED additional writing!

Apart from that there's hardly anything to criticise. I rate this fantastic adaption 9/10 and look forward to the sequel "Die Wilde 13"!

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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 »


Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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