When the feature film "Thomas and the Magic Railroad" was released in 2000, it was not a major box office success, only barely breaking budget. Film critics noticed several plot holes and held the movie's Writer and Director, Britt Allcroft (Award-Winning TV Series Creator), responsible for the failure. However, over the years, the story of why the movie suffered began to unfold...
The original movie, as it was written in the script, was excellent and filmed accordingly, but it suffered at the hands of the test audience who viewed the original cut. Changes made include replacement of voice talent (John Bellis as Thomas and Michael Angelis as Percy and James). John Bellis is a full time firefighter and, at the time of the film, a part-time taxi driver on the Isle of Man, and was discovered personally by Britt when scouting locations on the Island to film the movie. Ultimately, Bellis was cut because the test audience found Bellis's voice for Thomas to be "too old". Thomas’s voice was handed to Canadian actor Eddie Glenn, who gave Thomas a more youthful accent.
Also cut from the film was the original main antagonist, PT Boomer (portrayed by the late Doug Lennox). The script describes him as "a drifter through choice and not circumstances", and was the real cause of Lady's crash and not Diesel 10 as explained in the final released version. Jealous of Burnett Stone's relationship with his now-deceased wife, Tasha, Boomer crashed Lady as an act of revenge. He returns 40 years later as a dark and bitter character, determined to destroy Lady once and for all to finish his revenge. In the end, however, the test audience found him to be too frightening, and the studio demanded he was cut from the film against Britt's wishes.
In 2007, the original script for the film was discovered by Sodor Island Forums, who then contacted Britt Allcroft about the changes. However, despite various efforts to show interest to HIT Entertainment (who owns the rights to the Thomas franchise as a whole, as well as the movie's redistribution rights), Britt's original cut still remains unreleased.
Items we currently know: - The original audio elements are preserved on digital linear tape, but they can't be reproduced without permission from the studio. - Several licensing issues are also impeding the release. The main issue is the temp track (a temporary soundtrack used to give the composer a feel for the movie's scenes) is utilized in the current scenes.
The goal of this movement is to convince the powers that be to release the original version of the motion picture "Thomas and the Magic Railroad." With combined efforts of a variety of people everywhere, Britt Allcroft's original vision would finally be seen, including experiencing the talents of John Bellis, Doug Lennox, and the entire cast as they truly deserve.
To everyone everywhere, it is time to Restore the Magic to Thomas and the Magic Railroad! #RestoreTheMagic #MagicRailroadOriginal