Thomas & Friends Special to Get Theatrical Debut in China


LONDON: Mattel and HIT Entertainment’s Thomas & Friends special Sodor’s Legend of the Lost Treasure is due to be released in 5,000 theaters in China this month, marking a first for the company.

Sodor’s Legend of the Lost Treasure will also be the first non-native children’s movie to be released in the country’s cinemas in the Chinese New Year, debuting in theaters on February 20. The title has been specially dubbed into Mandarin. It will screen in cities across the country, including in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Chengdu and Shenyang, with a blue carpet premiere planned for February 18 in Shanghai.

The feature length film, which will be distributed by Huaxia Film Distribution in China, was produced to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Thomas the Tank Engine. Sodor’s Legend of the Lost Treasure sees Thomas on a fresh adventure that takes him to a new part of Sodor on a treasure quest that introduces a host of new characters and songs. The Thomas & Friends TV series is available in China through all major digital platforms, including iQiYi, YouKu, QQ, SoHu, LeTV, TMall Box and BesTV, among others.

Peter Broegger, the managing director of Mattel APAC, said: “This is an historic and unprecedented moment in the development of the Thomas & Friends franchise in China. The reach and scale of this theatrical release means we can engage with families and children in a whole new way by bringing Thomas to the big screen across the country.”

Christopher Keenan, the VP of global content and executive producer at HIT Entertainment, added: “One of the great joys of producing Thomas & Friends is the opportunity to introduce unique and engaging characters. We look forward to our Chinese audience’s reaction to Thomas’s new foes and friends in Sodor’s Legend of the Lost Treasure!”