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Thomas' Animal Friends (Thomas & Friends)

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Thomas' Animal Friends (Thomas & Friends)
Thomas'AnimalFriends.jpg
An awful way to permanently end a great 37 years of the original Thomas the Tank Engine series.
Episode Number: 584 (airing order)
Air Date: 1st September 2020 (US; Netflix); 20th January 2021 (UK)
Writer: Davey Moore
Director: Ian Cherry
Previous episode: "Cleo the Road Engine"


"Thomas' Animal Friends" is the twentieth and final episode of the twenty-fourth series of Thomas & Friends, as well as the final episode of the original series in general before the reboot, Thomas & Friends: All Engines Go!.

Why This Finale Derailed The Franchise

  1. To get the elephant out of the room, it's an extremely disappointing series finale of an iconic show that ran for over 30 years. To make matters worse, there is NO chance of the original show ever returning since Mattel has screwed every fan over since the announcement of Thomas and Friends: All Engines Go! because they wanted to pander to little kids and cannot accept that older people enjoyed the show as well as children do. Ultimately, this means that the Thomas franchise as people know is dead and gone forever.
    • Similar to Sonically Ever After, Things Change, Lumpus' Last Stand, and Octi-Gone, this episode also has no sense of finality to it or indication that it is the final episode and instead, it is a completely random, nonsensical and very stupid episode. Especially with its concept and execution, what the heck does ANIMALS have to do with trains???
    • This is also EXTREMELY unexcused, as Series Finales in previous shows now a days (E.G Power Rangers Ninja Storm, Kipo: Age Of The Wonderbeast, Gravity Falls, DinoTrucks and She-Ra and the Princess of Power) are more prevalent and are present in a more finalchle way, so this makes "Thomas' Animal Friends" stand out like a HUGE sour thumb.
    • To add even further salt to the wound, this "Series Final" aired on the same year that "The Future", the three-part series finale of Steven Universe, also aired, and not only was that (to some fans) a great finale(even if it was original not meant to be the series finale), but it aired nearly six months before "Thomas' Animal Friends" aired.
  2. Although Thomas is not really unlikable in this episode, the character choice to have him be the main role of the episode isn't 100% necessary here because Nia was already given the job to help out for the animal park in the episode, "Nia and the Unfriendly Elephant". Nia would have been the right role since she did manage to help out a stubborn elephant that wouldn't go onto her flatbed.
  3. The concept of the engines dressing up as animals is very stupid on practice and is another example of bad writing from this era. By now, who even cares about concepts that are only existent for actual merchandise and not actual episodes?
  4. The plot is rather weak, uninteresting and very boring. Similar to other episodes of BWBA, it stands out for all the wrong reasons.
  5. Speaking of the plot being uninteresting and boring, the pacing is boring because of how sluggish it is. Of course, there are slow paced episodes in the series, and they do a good job with the slow pacing in some episodes. But here it feels just as sluggish and bland as "The Other Side of The Mountain".
  6. Despite appearing for a couple seconds each, Percy, James, Diesel, and Gordon are all unlikable in this episode, as they make fun of Thomas for his monkey costume he has to wear.
    • Percy is also very out-of-character here, as he laughs along with the other engines about Thomas' monkey costume, when he is supposed to be Thomas' best friend.
    • To be fair, Diesel, James and Gordon were meant to act unlikable at times, so this flaw can easily be mostly forgiven.
  7. Just like "The Magic Lamp", the episode's existence is kind of pointless because Mattel already released toy packs made for the Motorized merchandise range relating to the engines being dressed as animals with rolling stock included. Let alone make the episode just a 7 minute long run advertisement than just an episode.
  8. Plot-Hole: Why couldn't Thomas just pull Annie and Clarabel instead of pulling two faceless red wagons? They, along with Rebecca, would have helped Thomas ignore the engines that made fun of him.
  9. Because of the statements made, "Thomas' Animal Friends" feels very rushed and is overall a very poor way to end the original series.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. The voice acting wasn't too bad in either English dub, aside from the annoying giggling.
  2. Thomas, The Fat Controller/Sir Topham Hatt, Salty, and Cranky are likable like usual.
    • Percy is likable in the first two minutes of the episode.
    • Rebecca, for once, is also likable as she cheers Thomas up and tells him not to let anyone make fun of him for the things he likes.
  3. The moral lesson and episode ending are both good:
    • The moral lesson is that you should never let other people's opinions disregard you from enjoying what you love.
    • Despite the cartoony visuals from both Thomas and Rebecca's imaginations, Rebecca helps cheer Thomas up and tells him he shouldn't let anyone make fun of him for what he likes.
  4. Speaking of how the episode gives out a good message, it's also at least a relatable episode to those that have been harshly judged for helping everyone in need by other people when other people do things for a cause, even when you're wearing a silly costume. Since you can sympathize with poor Thomas as what he is doing is try to advertise a special event for the Sodor Animal Park, this episode's premise actually makes sense.

Reception

This episode was panned by many for having no sense of it being the final episode and for ending the show badly. It has since gone on to be one of the worst, if not the worst series finale in animation/television history on par with Star vs. the Forces of Evil.

It got a rating of 2.3/10 on IMDb, making it the second lowest rated episode of the entire series, just behind Wonky Whistle with a 1.9/10, from season 15.

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