On 28 April 2020 Mattel announced, as part of the 75th anniversary of the Thomas the Tank Engine stories a new 22-minute special Thomas & Friends: The Royal Engine that will be screened in the US on Netflix on Friday 1 May and in the UK on Channel 5 Milkshake! at 8am on Saturday 2 May, with more countries to follow throughout the year.
The Royal Engine celebrates the British heritage of the brand and tells the story of Sir Topham Hatt (The Fat Controller) going to London on the invitation of Her Majesty The Queen to receive an award for distinguished service to the railway. Her son, a young Prince Charles, HRH The Prince of Wales, has asked that Thomas be the engine to bring him to the Mainland. As this is Thomas’ first time visiting London, he gets lost along the way and finds himself in all sorts of predicaments. During the journey, Thomas encounters a very important-looking new engine called Duchess of Loughborough, voiced by actor Rosamund Pike (‘Gone Girl’, ‘Pride & Prejudice’), who helps him get to Buckingham Palace. Continuing the royal theme, the special includes an on-camera introduction from Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex.
Global plans for the Thomas & Friends 75th anniversary includes more storytelling opportunities than ever before with new specials and episodes, exclusive YouTube content, a birthday music album, podcasts for kids in the form of audio stories and all-new book titles along with exciting new partnerships where Thomas & Friends will show up in unexpected places. For more information on Thomas & Friends anniversary activities, visit thomasandfriends.com.
Fonic worked with Mattel on the audio post-production of this episode and other episodes and specials as part of this upcoming series and 75th anniversary celebrations. Fonic is proud to have been responsible for the audio for Thomas & Friends since series 13, back in 2009. We look forward to celebrating more milestones with Thomas in the years to come!