The classic children’s railway adventures of the blue engine and his chums have remained hugely popular – but Thomas the Tank Engine’s ‘scary’ new look has left many parents seeing red
Thomas the Tank Engine has defined generations of childhood since he chugged onto TV screens in the 1980s after being brought to life as a children’s book.
But despite still proving hugely popular today it appears the character’s latest remake for his upcoming movie, Race For The Sodor Cup, may have run out of steam.
Scores of parents have vented over the latest make-over of the iconic blue engine – even branding it “menacing” and too “frightening” for kids.
The new 2D makeover of Thomas has wiped his trademark cheeky-face and swapped it for a ‘menacing’ cartoon creation which has has even left kids in tears.
Parents of children who watch the much-loved character have now vented on a Thomas & Friends Facebook group about the new-look engine and his new found identity.
One parent told how their kids did not recognise Thomas and brandished the new engine a ‘thug’.
A mum raged: “Why have they made him look like Dennis the Menace? It’s frightening. My five-year-old son is so upset.”
Another added: “My six-year-old daughter almost cried. She hates it.”
A third fumed: “My Thomas-obsessed three-year-old said ‘That’s not Thomas!’”
Although fans of Thomas were left reeling by the new-look, there’s further sad news for the engine’s chums Edwards and Henry who have retired from service and have been replaced by newcomers Nia and Rebbeca.
Thomas first appeared in Rev Wilbert Awdry’s books The Railway Series in 1946.
He made his small screen appearance in 1984 with Liverpool legend Ringo Starr narrating the tales on the island of Sodor.
US toy giant Mattel, which bought Thomas’s owner for £500million in 2011, has masterminded the controversial makeover, turning the characters into kids.
The revamp, the fourth in the franchise’s 75-year history, reportedly aims to appeal to “contemporary audiences’ sensibilities while maintaining Thomas’s core message about the value of friendship”.
But fans will be able to make their own mind up when Thomas chugs into the big screen with Race For The Sodor Cup out next Friday.
Meanwhile the new TV series featuring the remodeled engines, Thomas And Friends: All Engines Go, produced by Mattel Television in partnership with Corus Entertainment’s Nelvana Studio, will arrive on Channel 5 Milkshake! on Monday November 8.
According to the creators, the episodes will incorporate 26 “social-emotional, cognitive, and physical life lessons” including friendship, teamwork and self-help.