ChildCare Action Project: Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP)


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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to parents and grandparents

Thomas and the Magic Railroad (2000), (G)
CAP Score: 97
CAP Influence Density: 0.05
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ALERT: To fully understand this report you should first visit the topics suggested by the CAP Table of Contents.

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NOTE: We make no scoring allowances for Hollywood's trumped-up "messages" to excuse, or its manufacturing of justification for aberrant behavior or imagery. This is NOT a movie review service. It is a movie analysis service to parents and grandparents to tell them the truth about movies using the Truth. If you do not want the plot, ending, or "secrets" of a movie spoiled for you, skip the Summary/Commentary. In any case, be sure to visit the Findings/Scoring section -- it is purely objective and is the heart of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie.

If Scriptural references appear in the Summary / Commentary, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary likely using a mix of KJV and NIV.


Thomas and the Magic Railroad (G) -- delightful romp for the preschool set and for bonding with them.

After running out of gold dust, Mr. Conductor (Alec Baldwin) must get back to the Isle of Sodor to replenish his supply. But he can't. The gold dust is what made it possible for him to travel between the "real world" of Shining Time Station and the fantasy world of the Isle of Sodor. What to do, what to do? Ah, there is a magic passageway between the two worlds and he must find it. Used to be that Lady, a lost locomotive could take people between Shinning Time Station and the Isle of Sodor, but it seems she is no where to be found. But all is not lost. Mr. Stone (Peter Fonda) has Lady in Muffle Mountain and has been trying for years to get her back up to operating status. Well, Mr. Stone and his granddaughter, Lily (Mara Wilson) make things happen ... which are for you to find out. And through all this is a bully diesel engine trying to destroy all the steam engines.

With a score of 97 it should be easy for the parent to use the possible developmental risks in this movie to teach their kids. Though the movie did seem to provide material to help the parent teach that determination is a good thing when properly applied, and that whether big or little we are each significant, throughout the plot was a constant threat of the steam engines being destroyed by the diesel engine [Luke 3:14]. Among other helpful aspects of this film is that there is no foul language at all. None of the three/four letter words were noted and not even God's name in vain with or without the four letter expletive were heard. However, twice human characters survived great falls with no consequences. And there were the "polite" lies to cover errors and wrongdoings [Prov. 14:5]. But there was not one instance noted of adolescent arrogance against fair authority. There was "magic" such as the Mary Poppins style, but as in Mary Poppins none of it was evil, sinister or even selfish. All of it was clean childhood fantasy.


  • Luke 3:14 And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man...
  • Prov. 14:5 A faithful witness will not lie: but a false witness will utter lies.


    FINDINGS / SCORING: Thomas and the Magic Railroad (2000) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
  • constant theme of being destroyed by a bully
  • two great falls with no consequences

    Impudence/Hate (I)(1):
  • "polite" and convenience lies

    Sex/Homosexuality (S):
  • note noted

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • note noted

    Offense to God (O)(2):
  • note noted

    Murder/Suicide (M)(3):
  • note noted

  • (1) As noted in CAP Special Report-001, "Investigation Area and Scoring Trend," of the six CAP Investigation Areas, Impudence/Hate was the strongest presence in all four movie classifications. It has a strong revelation about the entertainment media.

    (2) The use of the three/four letter word vocabulary without God's name in vain is incorporated into the Impudence/Hate Investigation Area. The use of God's name with or without the four letter expletive is incorporated into the Offense to God Investigation Area. There is no duplication.

    (3) Only portrayal of successful murder or suicide are incorporated into Murder/Suicide. Portrayal of attempts to commit murder or suicide and deaths by police action or war are incorporated into Wanton Violence/Crime.

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    Thomas A. Carder
    ChildCare Action Project: Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP)

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