Australian Council on Children and the Media

Thomas and Friends: Sodor’s Legend of the Lost Treasure

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Short takes

Parental guidance recommended under 7 due to some scary scenes

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Thomas and Friends: Sodor’s Legend of the Lost Treasure
  • a review of Thomas and Friends: Sodor’s Legend of the Lost Treasure completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 12 August 2015.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 7 Parental guidance recommended due to some scary scenes
Children 7 and over OK for this age group, although it is likely to lack interest for older children

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Thomas and Friends: Sodor’s Legend of the Lost Treasure
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: One scene may frighten young children
Length 60 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Thomas and Friends: Sodor’s Legend of the Lost Treasure is a special feature-length instalment from the Thomas the Tank Engine animated series. The film follows Thomas (voice of Joseph May), who is exiled by the Fat Controller after he takes a joke too far and causes a major problem for the train station. When he is sent to work on another part of the island, Thomas accidentally falls down a mineshaft after a new track collapses, and subsequently discovers a hidden pirate ship.

The film follows Thomas and his friends as they search for the pirate’s lost treasure, battling an evil sailor (voice of John Hurt) who is willing to do anything to ensure that he obtains it first.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Friendship; bravery and courage; good versus evil

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie including:

  • Sailor John threatens to throw dynamite explosives at Thomas, who is chasing him at the time.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

There is a moment where Thomas almost runs head-first into another train while travelling on the tracks – this is suspenseful and may frighten young children, although Thomas manages to veer onto a different set of tracks before any collision occurs.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this age group may also be scared by the above-mentioned scene

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Nothing of concern

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Nothing of concern

Product placement

Nothing of concern in the film but plenty of associated merchandise for young children

Sexual references

Nothing of concern

Nudity and sexual activity

Nothing of concern

Use of substances

Nothing of concern

Coarse language

Nothing of concern

In a nutshell

Thomas and Friends: Sodor’s Legend of the Lost Treasure is an exciting animated film featuring well-known characters in a new adventure.  It depicts the importance of being brave, proactive and willing to get involved in things that might be new or unknown. It highlights the need for supportive friends, as well as the importance of always remaining loyal to the people who care about you. It also demonstrates that there are individuals who may behave callously and with little regard for the wellbeing and safety of others, when they have something to gain.

The film is likely to be enjoyed by most children under 10, although under sevens may need help with a couple of scary scenes.

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