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‘Thomas & Friends’ Steams Into Feature Film

Mattel subsidiary HIT Entertainment announces a feature-length film for popular preschool series ‘Thomas & Friends’ called ‘Tale of The Brave.'

HIT Entertainment has announced the latest CGI feature length Thomas & Friends special Tale of The Brave which is set for release on DVD on September 1 in the UK; on digital HD on September 9 and on Blu-ray combo pack with DVD, Digital HD & Ultraviolet on September 16 in the US and Canada (Universal Studios Home Entertainment); and across other international territories including Australia, Germany, Benelux, Mexico and Brazil by the end of 2014.

In a spectacular new adventure, Tale of The Brave showcases the engines on a dramatic journey to discover what it truly means to be brave. The 60-minute movie is the first under direction of BAFTA award winning producer, Michael Carrington, and introduces a host of new characters including an unusual engine with sloping boilers, called Gator. This will be supported by Thomas & Friends regional partners worldwide and coordinated across all lines of the HIT business.

In Tale of the Brave, Thomas and his friends face their fears in their boldest adventure yet! After a monstrous storm on the Island of Sodor, a landslide unearths some very unusual footprints. Thomas and Percy are eager to find out what could have made these marks but obstacles and danger seem to appear around every bend in the track. With the help of new friends, a little digging, and a heap of courage, they discover the surprising answer and, along the way, uncover the true meaning of bravery.

To support this pre-school event, Fisher-Price, Mega Bloks, and best-in-class licensees around the world, including Ravensburger, Random House and Egmont will create 27 tie-in Tale of the Brave themed consumer products across toys, books, games, engines, construction sets, apparel, bedding and accessories. In addition Tale of the Brave will be featured in issues of Thomas & Friends magazines in the UK and US, with a special themed issue in September 2014. 

A dedicated Tale of the Brave microsite is set to launch globally in August. This site will feature new games such as Marion’s Mystery Dig, printable activities, video previews and character reveals.  Tale of The Brave will be profiled through the use of themed activity sheets at over 250 Day Out With Thomas events across the UK.

Screenings of the movie will take place in over 80 Vue cinemas across the UK and Ireland in the lead up to the DVD release. There will also be a celebrity filled, blue carpet launch event in London’s Leicester Square. The US broadcast premiere of Tale of the Brave will be on PBS KIDS (check local listings). In Mexico, Tale of the Brave will be premiered at a Thomas & Friends themed kids and family event, with cinema screenings to follow in Mexico City, Monterrey and Guadalajara. The movie will also be broadcast on Televisa in November, and in Brazil on SBT and TV Cultura.

Kate Schlomann, VP Global Brand, HIT Entertainment said “We are extremely excited to introduce Tale of the Brave this September; with new direction from Michael Carrington the movie lifts the bar offering viewers engaging storytelling with more dynamic and compelling animation. Together with HIT partners, we look forward to offering an array of themed consumer products and events across all channels including retail, live events, broadcast, digital and social media.”

Thomas & Friends is the number one license in the pre-school toys category, in the UK and US, according to The NPD Group Inc.  The unrivalled popularity of the global brand continues as Thomas & Friends has ranked top 10 for overall top license in the entire toy industry in the US and UK and also holds the number one pre-school toy license in Germany and Australia.

Source: HIT Entertainment

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.