It is rare when shows have nostalgia associated with them—something that parents have grown up watching, and now their children are doing the same. Thomas & Friends is one of them. Since its debut in 1984, Thomas & Friends has been a beloved show among multiple generations of children. It is still relevant and is loved even today. Although it started off as a British children’s television series, over the years the show has been broadcast globally in different languages.
The characters are so lovable that they have become household names.
Who is Thomas, and who are his friends?
The show is set on the fictional island of Sodor. It follows the adventurous lives of anthropomorphic tank engines, Thomas and his friends James, Edward, Gordon, Percy, Henry, Emily, and many other locomotive steam engines. Not forgetting Sir Topham Hatt, who manages the Sodor Railway and is also another integral character in the series.
With an impressive airing history spanning over 75 years, the show has introduced more than 160 characters. We've handpicked some of our favourite engines and compiled a list for you.
Thomas is the No. 1 little blue engine and the main character of the show. He is smart, cheeky, curious, and very hard-working. Thomas is one of the bravest and smartest locomotives in the series, and he is often found thinking on his wheels. The little engine is always enthusiastic TO DO things and always ready to help his friends in need.
Next is James, the bright red No. 5 engine. He is a mixed-traffic engine that can pull both passenger coaches as well as freight cars. James is a bit of a diva, but he always means well. He is a proud engine who thinks highly of himself. He adores his bright scarlet coat and brass dome and considers himself splendid. Kudos to his self-confidence, I’d say. However, sometimes his self-confidence turns into overconfidence, which lands him in trouble.
Percy is the small, green, No. 6 engine. He may be the smallest engine on the island, but he has a big heart. He is Thomas’ best friend and is always willing to go the extra mile for his friends. Percy is small, adorable, and always happy. A little content tank engine, Percy’s favourite job is delivering the mail.
Sir Topham Hatt aka The Fat Controller
Sir Topham Hatt, the head of the Sodor railway, is also known as the Fat Controller. He is responsible for keeping everything from the railway to the tank engines running smoothly. The Fat Controller is a stern but fair boss who always has the best interests of the railway at heart. He is so professional that Sir Hatt was awarded a knighthood for his services to the railway industry.
The big express engine, Gordon, is one of the senior members of the engine family at Sodor railway. He is a fast and powerful No. 4 blue engine that pulls the express. Gordon is kind and forgiving. In the show, he very often uses his wisdom and strength to help smaller engines get out of trouble.
Emily, on the other hand, is the newest addition to the Sodor railway family. She is a little bossy but always helpful to her friends. She is one of the most beautiful locomotives in the series, with an emerald green engine, shiny paint, and brass fittings.
Edward is one of the oldest and wisest tank engines on the Sodor railway. Like most, he is friendly. He is also the No. 2 blue engine in the show.
The no. 3 green engine, Henry, is fast. He looks like a thoroughbred and has a long engine. Like any thoroughbred, he tends to be a little anxious and high-strung. However, given how agile he is on the track, he can compete with any engine on any given day.
Why is Thomas & Friends loved by millions?
There are many reasons for the show’s success and why Thomas & Friends is loved by millions of children and adults. It teaches children about the importance of hard work, teamwork, and friendship. All the characters in the series are unique and have their own personalities that children can relate to. The show also features catchy songs and bright, colourful animation that is sure to capture the attention of young viewers.
Another reason for the show's popularity is its longevity. The show has also evolved over time, with new characters and storylines being introduced to keep things fresh and exciting. The trust built around the show allows adults to rest assured about the kind of story or graphics that will be shown to the little ones. Since a few of them have grown up watching the series, they are now confident enough to let their kids watch it.
Thomas & Friends is a beloved children's show that has captured the hearts of viewers all around the world. With some engaging storytelling, the show boasts lovely characters. Furthermore, it also shares valuable life lessons that young kids can adopt and learn. We love the show, and we love Thomas and his friends at Sodor railway.
Now that you've read all about Thomas & Friends, you may also like our Roy's Boys official licensed Thomas products for yourself and your little fans.
Check out our Roy's Boys Thomas & Friends collection here.
Do you have any favourite characters that you absolutely love? Let us know in the comments below.
*Thomas & Friends Image credit: Mattel (thomasandfriends.com)