Happy 75th birthday Thomas!

It is 75 years since the Reverend R Awdry created Thomas The Tank Engine, and 12 May is officially the small tank engine’s birthday, as the book in which he first appeared – The Three Railway Engines – was published on 12 May 1945.

Since then, of course, Awdry’s creation has become a favourite amongst children, and the books about Thomas and his friends have also spawned movies, TV series, toys and games.

Most recently, Harry, Duke Of Sussex introduced a special episode of Thomas & Friends – The Royal Engine, but he’s not the only famous person to be linked to Thomas The Tank Engine – Ringo Starr was the narrator for early episodes, Alec Baldwin costarred alongside the chirpy little tank in the movie Thomas And The Magic Railroad and stars including Peter Andrew, Rosamund Pike, Hugh Bonneville, John Hurt, Olivia Coleman and Pierce Brosnan have also voiced characters.

Creative producer Ian McCue oversees every aspect of production on the TV series Thomas & Friends and the special spin-offs.

“It’s my job to ensure we make the most entertaining show for today’s young audience, whilst trying to retain the core DNA of the Reverend Awdry’s original railway series books,” he says. “I think the enduring appeal of Thomas & Friends is simply that children are mesmerised and enthralled by trains, the size, the power, and the recognisable sounds. All that, mixed with great characters and storytelling, are the perfect ingredients for fans young and old.”

Of course, you can find reviews of the Thomas & Friends movies – and Thomas And The Magic Railroad – at Movies4Kids and the links are below:

Thomas & Friends: Big World, Big Adventures

Thomas & Friends: The Great Race

Thomas And The Magic Railroad

And here is a trailer for Thomas’s royal adventure, which was broadcast in the UK earlier this month on Channel 5’s Milkshake (and is now available on DVD) and is available on Netflix in the US: