The true magic of Thomas and the Magic Railroad continues to remain untapped.
The release of Thomas and the Magic Railroad in July 2000 was a critical and box office flop and cost Britt Allcroft her position within her own company. In the years that have followed, the criticism of the movie’s performance, particularly in terms of its writing and structure, have seen Allcroft unfairly receive most of the blame and criticism.
The product released however, was not the one she had invisioned at all, but a pure manifestation of what could have been.
The film saw a number of cast members lose their positions and a number of pivotal scenes in light of hastily made changes. This was done to provide a film that was supposed to have universal appeal, but instead resulted in disaster, which needs to be put right.
Our past goal — to petition the current rights holders, HiT Entertainment and Destination Films (Sony) — had failed on people signing under pseudonyms and one person signing way too many times to count. But forget petitions; long-time fans including Sodor Island Forums’ own ShiningTime95 and Metamorphical have recently put together a campaign of their own. Their aim is to have individuals raise their voices to Shout! Factory, hoping for them to respond and act on our requests.
Shout! Factory may not have a stake currently in the Thomas franchise, but their track record shouldn’t be dismissed. First, they are skilled in licensing for rights of releases, even in difficult situations. For instance, Sodor Island Forums member whyofbladez has informed us that their release of Mystery Science Theater 3000 was realized through licensing, which proved to be difficult because of the show’s riffs off of other movies. They are also skilled in getting music rights cleared, so a temp track is no hassle for them. Furthermore, they accept fan’s requests for releases via email and social media. If enough people voice the same request, they’ll look into its release.
And that brings us to today. SiF is fully behind these efforts to get a release of a director’s cut of the movie. So far support looks to be forthcoming from Doug Lennox (a cast member whose role was completely cut out of the film) and a handful of Thomas fans, with Britt Allcroft hoping the version of the movie she envisioned would see the light of day some time soon. However, we need to gather up a groundswell of support from the fanbase at large.
We urge you to like Restore the Magic’s page and share your support to Shout! Factory. Don’t hesitate to spread the word about the campaign on social media, tagging both this and requests to Shout! with #RestoreTheMagic. Please help us achieve the goal. Thomas has brought happiness and enjoyment to a lot of people’s lives across the globe, and the cut of the film released by the studio in charge is in no way a fitting tribute to what he represents in the hearts of fans.
So if you’re a parent, participate for your children; if you’ve gone and grown up, participate for the sake of your childhood self; if you’ve got an appreciation of the characters and stories, participate for yourself. But above all else, do it for the sake of Thomas himself.
(Link to Metamorphical’s WordPress)
(Link to the Facebook Page)
(Link to Twitter Account @restorethemagic)