Didi Conn and Shire - Didi Conn, David Shire and Richard Maltby, Jr. New York City, USA - Opening night of 'Berg and Broadway: Broadway Show Stoppers and the Theatre Songs of Neil Berg' at Feinstein's at the Loews Regency Hotel - Reception. Tuesday 5th July 2011
She has done some things right: she's cast big stars, like Alec Baldwin as the Lilliputian Mr. Conductor, and Peter Fonda as the sad grandpa, Burnett Stone; her production designers have continued the show's happy train colors, with bright blues and reds, and have added bonus design touches to the live sets and wardrobe; her script applauds positive thinking, creativity, and foiling the bad guy. It's just that all of this is mired in a clunky set of hole-filled plots, confusing enough to make me want to interrogate the little guy sitting in front of me.
Continue reading: Thomas And The Magic Railroad Review
Desperately trying to ride the coattails of pop phenomenon kiddie TV shows that have cashed in at the box office, "Thomas and the Magic Railroad" is an depressing failure.
Little more than a tediously protracted and befuddled episode of "Shining Time Station" -- the very, very low-rent Brit import program featuring a perky little steam engine with self-esteem issues and three facial expressions -- the whole movie rings with the resounding thud of a contrived effort that nobody put their hearts into.
The TV show is simplistic but earnest toddler fare featuring talking miniature trains with wildly rolling eyes on otherwise freeze-framed faces ("animated" by a few different inert expressions swapped on and off the engines' front ends from time to time). One might reasonably expect a feature film version to at least offer a little real animation to give the trains some big-screen personality and distinguish it from the shoestring show. But instead "Thomas" stuck to its paltry production values and minimal storylines, using what budget it had to lure lead actors with faded marquee power.
Continue reading: Thomas & The Magic Railroad Review
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