Thomas and the Magic Railroad
March 07, 2012
NC: Hello, I'm the Nostalgia Critic, I remember it so you don't have to. (movie trailer voice) This is a story...
(Cut to clips of Thomas and the Magic Railroad.)
NC (VO): ...about an old man, who has lost all hope in life, all because of his misguided faith in a simple engine. However, with the help of his granddaughter, and the courage of a small town, he may be able to find that special magic to make his engine run once more.
(The text "Academy Award Nominee Peter Fonda" appears over his clip.)
NC (VO): Academy Award Nominee Peter Fonda...
("Academy Award Nominee Alec Baldwn*" over Alec Baldwin's clip.)
(NOTE: *spelling mistake is included.)
NC (VO): Academy Award Nominee Alec Baldwin...
("Most Adorable Smile Award Mara Wilson" over her clip)
NC (vo): Most Adorable Smile Award Mara Wilson--(music stops)--really? That annoying Mrs. Doubtfire kid? ...Um, okay.
(The music plays again, with accompanying text before Thomas the Tank Engine's clip.)
NC (vo): And making his film debut...Thomas the Tank Engine--okay--
NC: (normal, as he holds up his script) Whose joke is this? Come on, come on, where's the real summary? Come on, I mean, there is no way that Thomas the Tank Engine is in a Peter Fonda and Alec Baldwin movie. (offscreen voice whispers to him) Oh, see? I'm right! (offscreen voice finishes whispering to him) ...Peter Fonda and Alec Baldwin are in a Thomas the Tank Engine movie?
NC (VO): ...WHAA--
(The title card cuts him off and clips of the movie are shown)
NC (VO): Trust me, most of America was as shocked as you are. What the hell are these two big, dramatic actors doing in something as brainless as Thomas the Tank Engine? I mean, it's not that it's a kids' film. Hell, a Disney movie, or a Pixar movie, or something of substance would make more sense, but--it's Thomas the fucking Tank Engine! The show that PBS puts on when Clifford the Dog is too intimidating!
NC: But does it all come together?
NC: (rhetorically) IT'S THOMAS THE FUCKING TA-- (normally) Let's take a look.
The movie starts.
Conductor: (narrating) Meet Thomas. He's our Number One hero.
NC (vo): So immediately, you're hoping Mr. Rogers' trolley comes in and kicks the oiled asses outta these characters, but unfortunately, we're not so lucky. We do, however, see our very first problem with this film.
Gordon: Seven, eight...
Thomas: Who do we appreciate? Practicing your numbers, Gordon?
Gordon: I'm counting how many seconds late you are.
NC: THE MOUTHS DON'T MOVE! It's just fucking creepy!
NC (vo): I mean, I understand on the show 'cause it looks like they have a budget that makes Gumby look like Studio Ghibli, but come on, you got Peter Fonda in this! You don't want Peter Fonda to think you're this goddamn lazy, do you?! You got enough facial expressions in your library, but you can't come up with one motor to go inside the characters' lips to make it move up and down?!
NC: Come on, I can do better! Watch! (snap)
Thomas: (with NC's lips over his) Say, Gordon, I was just wondering why we live in a town called Sodor. Is that a retirement home for Lord of the Rings villains?
Gordon: (with NC's lips over his) I'm just trying to put together how we procreate. I mean, do trains have sperm?
Thomas: (with NC's lips) Goodness gracious me.
NC: AND THAT'S SOMEHOW STILL LESS CREEPY THAN WHAT YOU'RE DOING!!!
NC (vo): So we're introduced to a place called "Shining Time," where the humans are just as lifeless as the trains. They even have their own obnoxiously fat, profanity-laced Tinker Bell, played by Alec Baldwin, who's going to sing to us about the town*!
*(Actually, it's just Neil Donell singing the song)
Neil: (singing) This is your Shining Time, climbing through stars to your own cloud nine...
NC (vo, singing): Here's a generic song. It sounds like hundreds of other songs. Things are always nice in this song. That's why no one remembers it. Generic song, generic song, some jackass wrote this in his sleep. Generic song, generic song, it shuts up your kids, so you can't complain.
Conductor: (narrating) And by the way, I think that you're going to help me and Thomas somewhere in this story.
NC (vo): Um, okay. (beat) Are you gonna fill us in on that at all? That's kind of a lot of pressure to throw on a little kid, and then suddenly not go into any detail. How would you like it if (clip of Barney the Dinosaur plays) Barney the Dinosaur, in the middle of a song, said...
Barney (singing): I love you, you love me...
NC (as Barney): Some shit's going down, be ready for it!
Barney (original): We're a happy family.
NC (vo): So I guess they find out a bad train named Diesel* has come to town for no other reason than to cause trouble.
*(His name is actually Diesel 10)
Diesel: I've come back to find a lost steam engine, and I'm going to destroy her, and dominate you!
NC: Whoa, keep it in the bedroom, Diesel!
Diesel (voiced by NC): I'm tired of being the bottom bitch! Just for once, I wanna be in control of my train sperm!
Thomas (voiced by NC): We were just talking about that. Do trains have sperm?
Diesel (voiced by NC): Silence!
Patch: There, Mutt. The paint job's finished! I reckon Shining Time's the best welcome sign in any town in our valley!
[Mutt the dog barks]
Patch: Huh, well, I'm glad you agree!
NC (vo): Wow, kid, you gotta start seeing some girls.
Patch: You hear that train whistle sooner than it hears itself!
NC (vo): Well, all that excitement gets him working his way up to Muffle Mountain, where Peter Fonda plays the owner of a tank engine he's named Lady, who we heard about earlier.
Burnett: Long ago, I made a mistake as Lady's caretaker. An evil diesel found Lady and threatened to destroy her. He chased her, used up all her coal, and then he crashed her. I tried my best to fix her up, but I've never been able to make up for the mistake I've made.
NC (vo): Okay, Peter, I'm just gonna tell you right now, you're trying waaaaaaaay too hard here. This isn't Ulee's Gold, it's Thomas the fucking Tank Engine!
NC: I don't usually say this, but...we'd understand if you don't put your all into it. I mean, why can't you be more like...
Cut to Alec Baldwin as Mr. Conductor.
Conductor: (laughs) It is a very important day!
NC (vo): ...well, maybe not like this. Yes, if Peter Fonda is too miserable in this movie, then Alec Baldwin is far too happy! He plays Mr. Conductor. Think Bob the Builder's lobotomized grandpa, and you'll have a pretty good idea of what he's like.
Mr. Conductor speaks to a girl named Stacy while being a shrunken, tiny man.
Conductor: Stacy, where did you find this painting?
Stacy: An old locker.
NC (vo): Uh, (chuckles) no, lady. The proper response is...AAAAHH! DEMON! DEMON! AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!
Conductor: This place looks like the island of Sodor, but how would Burnett Stone travel there without gold dust?
NC (vo): I guess he travels back and forth between Shining Time and Sodor and that's why people aren't pissing themselves with terror whenever he arrives, but what's so weird about it is that there's nothing really magical about Sodor except for the fact that the trains talk! Wouldn't it make more sense just to have it all take place in one world? Why not just have a world where trains talk, and that's it? Why have the real world in it at all?
Cut to NC and some magical guy wearing a cowboy hat played by Doug, on his desk.
Magical Guy: Hey, would you like to go to the magical land of Corodor?
NC: I sure would!
Magical guy flashes, and...they're in the exact same place they just were.
NC: This is just like the real world, what's so magical about it?
Magical Guy: Well, that mask over there can smell garlic chicken spring rolls.
NC holds a box of garlic chicken spring rolls in front of a mask.
Mask: (demonic voice) Yum!
NC: This isn't really magical.
Cut back to movie.
Conductor: (narrating) Like Stacy, Mutt sensed danger. He didn't want either Billy or me to leave Shining Time.
NC (vo; sarcastically): Oh, yeah, he looks really distressed there.
Conductor: I have to concentrate now, Mutt. Goodbye, Mutt. Sparkle, sparkle, sparkle.
NC (vo): I know, you're thinking to yourself, 'How could any successful actor bring himself to star in a movie that requires him to say the line "Sparkle, sparkle, sparkle"?' Well, I think you underestimate the power of those words. I think Baldwin saw the possibilities of that line, the magic it possesses, and the ability to touch an entire generation.
NC: Don't act like these words haven't had a HUGE impact on your life!
He slams down on his desk, then gets up and goes outside, where he sees a man, played by Jim Jarosz, walking by.
NC: Hey! (The man turns around) Sparkle, sparkle, sparkle!
Sparkle, Sparkle, Sparkle Guy: Fuck, yeah, sparkle, sparkle, sparkle!
Sparkle Guy: Yeah! You're right! Fuck, yeah!
NC (vo): Meanwhile, we see Fonda continuing to mope. Get used to this, folks, there's a lot of it!
Tasha (in voiceover): The man with the sparkle told me, one day, one of his family will return. But until then, to guard her well, Young Burnett.
Burnett: But I didn't guard you well.
NC (vo): For God's sake, lighten up! ITS THOMAS THE FUCKING TANK ENGINE!!! Save it for a movie that deserves it! Like 3:10 to Yuma, or The Limey! Even Ghost Rider deserves more energy than THIS!!!
Burnett: I just don't seem to understand about... about magic anymore.
NC slams down on his desk, pulls out his cellphone, and starts calling someone as he says this line.
NC: Okay, we're going to break while I get someone to clearly show him how NOT to give a shit in a performance!
Man on phone: Yes, sir?
NC: Yes, give me the girl from the remake... of Miracle on 34th Street!
Camera zooms in on NC, and a dramatic sting is heard; camera suddenly zooms out.
Man on phone: Oh, by the way, sir...
Man on phone: Sparkle, sparkle, sparkle.
NC: Fuck, yeah, sparkle, sparkle, sparkle!
The two scream while NC sticks his tongue out and makes a gesture on his hand; cuts to a commercial break on the site; then cut back to movie with a scene with Mara Wilson, playing a girl named Lily.
NC (voiceover): Here we go, Fonda. This is the proper performance to give in this movie. Mara Wilson. Clearly going through puberty, clearly at the age where she's embarrassed to be seen in this crap, and clearly just doing this to pay off her future student loans. Watch this performance, and tell me if at any moment, she looks invested.
Lily: Grandpa's been so sad since Grandma Tasha died.
Mother: Did you get him his present?
Lily: Here. I'm making him a friendship bracelet.
NC (voiceover): Awkward expression...
Mother: Honey, that's beautiful.
NC (voiceover): ...don't know how or where to look...
Lily: But I'd rather just stay here with you.
NC (voiceover): ...no commitment whatsoever...
Mother: I know. Come here. (hugs Lily)
NC (voiceover): ...give the same uncomfortable hug you'd give a Chuck E. Cheese animatronic...
Lily: I'm gonna go up this way.
NC (voiceover): ...and leave the actress you obviously just met today.
NC: You see, Fonda? That's what we're expecting. Learn from the master, she clearly doesn't give a crap.
NC (voiceover): So we find out a little bit more about that Lady engine and why Diesel wants to destroy her so much.
Henry: Diesel knows that the lost engine in legend really exists.
Percy: What legend?
Henry: Of an engine that makes her more powerful than Diesel will ever be. That's why he wants to find her.
NC (voiceover): By the way, you notice something seriously lacking in Thomas the Tank Eng- yeah, THOMAS THE TANK ENGINE!! He's barely in this! He shows up, smiles, and then we cut to either overacting (Baldwin), underacting (Wilson), or "Good God, it's Thomas the fucking Tank Engine!!!" acting (Fonda)!!! Oh, well, maybe Baldwin can bring some balance back to this flick, as he stands here completely alone and yet talks to himself.
(The Conductor is talking to a baseball bat...for some reason)
Conductor: So who dropped the ball, then?
(Suddenly, a ball comes bouncing in out of nowhere, and the Conductor talks to it, too)
Conductor: Oh, there you are. I'd like to have a nice cup of hot cocoa. Would you fellas care to join me? No? What would rather do instead?
(Cut to NC making a weirded and creeped out "WTF" face)
Conductor: Go outside and play? Well, I can understand that. What do you think? (hits the ball with the bat) Why do you keep hitting him like that? You're going to have to have a time-out.
NC (voiceover): Oh, 30 Rock, please give him a career. I'm sure he'll gladly sacrifice his thin physique and black hair if you only give him a hit show. But Diesel arrives as Baldwin discovers he suddenly can't use his "sparkle, sparkle, sparkle."
Diesel: (laughs maniacally) Losing your sparkle, eh?
NC (voiceover; as the engines): All we can do is hold our blowjob faces!
(Conductor holds up a bag of sugar)
Diesel: Ah... What... is that?!
Conductor: That's right, it's sugar, Diesel! And if I throw this in your tank, it'll seize you up for good!
NC (voiceover): Wait, so sugar is the big kryptonite in this world? Well, why doesn't he just carry around a packet of Splenda around all the time, then?
NC: Or, hell, if the magic dust is so magical, can't he just bring a normal-sized person into the world? They'll be a giant there!
Diesel (voiced by NC): So, where's that...
(A normal-sized person/giant steps on Diesel, and causes an explosion)
NC: Think, people, think!
Conductor: My family never really told me what to do in a gold dust crisis. They only said if you can't remember the clue, the windmill will remind you, but where is the windmill?
NC (voiceover): So he tries to figure out his sparkle impotency, but thankfully, hope comes in the form of Haley Joel Osment in a wig.
(Lily is shown being guided to a train by Mutt)
Lily: (to Mutt) I don't suppose you know where Track 3 is, do you? Is it that one? Well, why not?
NC (voiceover): The hell could go wrong? Just getting on a train that could go anywhere that was advised by a dog to board? It's not like it could lead to another crazy Alec Baldwin breakdown.
(In the middle of a garden filled with vegetables, Mr. Conductor reads a note)
Conductor: "I notice you left your thinking cap behind. Try these instead, they're good for the brain."
(He eats a carrot, then starts acting weird, scaring NC)
Conductor: Plain, drain. (Takes another bite of the carrot, then acts weird again) Mountain, fountain. That might be something. I think I'll try the celery.
NC (voiceover): No, you need to try the anti-psychotics, honey.
(The Conductor eats the celery, and this time starts reciting non-rhyming words, confusing NC even more)
Conductor: Sausage, bicycle... (hiccups) toothpaste, beach... (hiccups) Beach. (Smiles) Beach, that's it! That's it! HA-HA!
NC (voiceover): Okay, I have no idea what that scene was about. I am now totally convinced that Alec Baldwin went nuts, and they just shot a movie around it. Hell, maybe it was supposed to be about a grandfather, his granddaughter, and a train. But Baldwin just started shouting "gold dust" and "sparkle, sparkle, sparkle," and they had to make a kids' movie out of it. This is sadly starting to make sense.
(The Conductor is talking to flowers)
NC (voiceover): Now he's talking to flowers. It's all good! In this world, a mental breakdown is totally understandable!
NC: But not always acceptable. Just look at how he reacted when Percy came in late.
(A picture of Baldwin is shown next to a picture of Percy, with the text "Phone Call to Percy" at the bottom)
Baldwin: I'm gonna let you know just how disappointed in you I am, and how angry I am with you, that you've done this to me again! You are a rude, thoughtless little pig, and I'm gonna straighten your ass out!
NC: Don't piss off Mr. Conductor.
(At Shining Time Station, Lily comes across Mr. Conductor's son Junior, who also has the power to shrink)
NC (voiceover): So Mara comes across Mr. Conductor's son named Junior. And in answer to your question, I have no idea why he's Scottish. But really, if that's the biggest concern in this movie, you're in a good place.
Junior: Hey, there. Who are you?
Lily: I'm Lily. Who are you?
Junior: C. Junior.
NC (voiceover, as Lily): I'm totally stoned, so none of this surprises me.
Junior: See you, Lily.
NC (voiceover): Well, that was pointless. So she's picked up and driven to her grandpa's place, where they form an immediate connection by him poking the fireplace and her going straight to sleep. It's the human bonding that makes this film work, folks. But Diesel finds Mr. Conductor and threatens to throw him off a bridge.
Diesel: Ten, nine, eight, seven, six...
Conductor is reaching for a nearby pair of scissors; in the process, he "flips off" the camera.
NC (voiceover): Normally, I'd say that's by accident, but it's Alec Baldwin. He knew what he was doing.
Diesel: Four, three, two...
Conductor cuts a cord, causing him to be flung towards the windmill while a scream from Ren and Stimpy plays; he lands on a pile of cushions, and he thinks the audience placed them there, confusing NC.
Conductor: Did you put all this here for me? Well, you must've known that I was coming. How kind of you.
NC: (scared) Am I Alec Baldwin's delusion? Is this ALL Alec Baldwin's delusion?!!
NC (voiceover): And for that matter, is this the so-called "help" the audience was supposed to give that was mentioned earlier? Come on, even Care Bears was more interactive than that! They at least asked you to DO something! Any movie can just SHOW something being done and claim that YOU did that!
A scene from Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope in which the Death Star explodes is shown.
NC: You did that, you!
A scene from Scarface in which Tony Montana is fatally shot by The Skull and falls into a small fountain in the lobby of his mansion in a cloud of his own blood is shown.
NC: You did that, you!
A scene from Twilight in which Edward saves Bella from being crushed between a parked pickup truck and a sliding Chevrolet van by stopping it dead with his left hand is shown.
NC: You did that, you! (pause) For shaaaaaaaaaaame!
Conductor: This must be the clue to unlock the source of the gold dust. "Stoke up the magic in the mountain and the lady will smile."
NC (voiceover): Uh, are you sure that's not "Toke up the magic?" Because I think a lot of that was going on while this movie was made.
Patch: Good morning, Mr. Stone. I'm running into Shining Time. Could Lily come with me, if she'd like to?
Lily: I'd like to.
NC (voiceover): Yeah, by the way, something else to keep in mind in this movie is that Mara Wilson never keeps her lip closed. It hangs out like in every single scene!
Lily: I'd like to.
NC (voiceover, mocking Lily's lips): Ah......
Burnett: Sure. She can go. (Walks back to the garage where Lady is) Well, Lady, what are we to do? It all seemed so much easier when Tasha and I were children.
NC (voiceover): (sighs) IT'S THOMAS THE FUCKING TANK ENGINE!!!!!!!! Every time you appear onscreen, you make me wanna slit my wrist!!! Don't ever host a birthday party!!!
NC (as Burnett): Come on, kids. Let's go hit the pinata.
Cut to a clip of a birthday party, where a kid is hitting a pinata.
NC (as Burnett): The pinata is dead and you killed him.
Clip of a little girl making a sad face, then back to NC making a disappointed face.
NC (voiceover): But Mara comes across Junior again, as she convinces him to take her with him to Sodor.
Lily: Can we be back here by sunset?
Junior: I hope so.
NC (voiceover): Yeah. Probably should've waited for them to meet at THIS moment as opposed to earlier. Just would've saved time. So he shrinks her down to his size, and you'll never guess who they come across. Thomas! Yeah! Remember, he's in this damn thing, too! He goes ahead and takes them to Mr. Conductor, who's still trying to figure out the clue he was given.
Junior: Hey, cous. It'll get terrible.
NC (voiceover): Wait, are they father and son or cousins*? He calls him Junior, yet he's constantly saying "cous."
*(They're actually cousins)
Conductor: Junior, I want you to listen to me, and I want you to listen to me very carefully.
Junior: This is his cousin.
NC: Maybe they're both. If the...
Poster of the Super Mario Bros. Movie.
NC (voiceover): ...Mario Bros. can be father and son...
NC: ...anything's fucking possible!
NC (voiceover): So they figure out they can't travel through worlds without gold dust, but somehow trains can still travel okay, but there's some kind of magic that makes Lady work, but they don't know what it is, but it might have something do with this coal that they found in the tunnel way in between worlds, which will allow Lady to make gold dust as she rides, and...
NC: When did this plot become the kids' version of Memento?!
NC (voiceover): Yeah, it gets really needlessly complicated, especially for a film that's meant to be so simple. But I guess the coal they find does get Lady working and they ride her off again.
Burnett: Well, my Lady, the lights are all green for you now.
NC: Oh, take some Prozac.
NC (voiceover): But they come across the evil Diesel and they have to outrun him.
A chase scene ensues, and Mr. Conductor screams.
NC: Ah, he just sobered up and realized the movie he was in.
Conductor: She's part of the clue to the source of the...
Both Conductors: GOLD DUST!
Cut back to Diesel chasing Thomas, Lady and Burnett.
Diesel: Now I'll get you, Burnett Stone!
Burnett: No, you won't, because the magic you refused to believe in... will get the better of you.
NC looks disappointed.
NC: You know what? Go back to being depressed. I think I like you better that way.
NC (voiceover): But they come across an unstable bridge, where Diesel meets his end.
Diesel: Ah, oh! Ooh, what's going on?! Whoa, whoa, whoa, hold it! (starts falling off the bridge) Ahhhhh!
NC (as Indiana Jones): Prepare to meet Amtrak...in hell!
Diesel falls off the bridge and lands on a passing boat.
NC (voiceover): So he's saved by a boat, but they do figure out that the shavings from Lady mixed with water from the well makes gold dust. Whoopity-hoopity.
Conductor: (narrating) And so we've come to the happy end of our story. And it's time for all of us to go home. Just like Thomas.
NC: Oh, yeah! There was a "Thomas" in this movie, wasn't there?! I almost FORGOT!
Clips from the movie play once more.
NC (voiceover): I mean, sheesh, between all the subplots, confusing stories, needless celebrities, and horrible editing, I can't remember what the hell I just witnessed! This movie is so bizarre in its existence. Why is it here? Why did it need to be made? Why did it have these people in it? Is it supposed to increase viewership of the show? Well, I've never seen the show, and I don't think I ever will either. It's an odd film with creepy trains that look soulless, and the less I can remember it, the better!
NC: I mean, I can't think of one good thing that this movie gave us!
Sparkle Guy: Hey! Sparkle, sparkle, sparkle!
NC: Oh, yeah, good point. I'm the Nostalgia Critic, I remember it so you don't have to.
Sparkle Guy: Sparkle, sparkle, sparkle!
NC: Fuck, yeah, sparkle, sparkle, sparkle! Sparkle, sparkle, man! Sparkle, sparkle, sparkle!
End credits, after which, a blooper from the Sparkle, Sparkle, Sparkle Guy's first appearance is shown.
Channel Awesome Tagline: Burnett: Because the magic you refused to believe in... will get the better of you.