Entertainer Peter Andre Announced as Australian Rally Car “Ace”, in THOMAS & FRIENDS” BIG WORLD BIG ADVENTURES! THE MOVIE
SINGER & ENTERTAINER PETER ANDRE TO GUEST STAR AS MISCHIEVOUS AUSTRALIAN RALLY CAR ‘ACE’ WHO INSPIRES THOMAS TO LEAVE SODOR AND TRAVEL AROUND THE WORLD WITH HIM IN BRAND NEW CG ANIMATED CHILDREN’S SPECIAL“THOMAS & FRIENDS™: BIG WORLD! BIG ADVENTURES! THE MOVIE”
THE MOVIE SHOWS IN 400 CINEMAS NATIONWIDE FROM JULY 20 BEFORE BEING SCREENED AROUND THE REST OF THE WORLD
The world’s most famous blue engine and pre-schoolers’ favourite, Thomas the Tank Engine, has extended a warm welcome to Australian entertainer Peter Andre, who becomes the latest celebrity to voice a character in Thomas & Friends™.
In the eagerly anticipated new 80-minute CG-animated special, “Thomas & Friends: Big World! Big Adventures! The Movie,” showing at 400 cinemas throughout the UK from 20th July 2018 before it then hits screens around the world, Peter brings to life the central character of Ace, a bright yellow and very cheeky Australian rally car that inspires Thomas to leave his home of Sodor and travel around the world with him. Peter has also recorded a new song for the movie called “Free and Easy” which will be available on Spotify for the launch of the movie.
Thomas & Friends™: Big World! Big Adventures! The Movie is the thirteenth feature-length film to be produced by the word-famous franchise and is released following a major refresh to Thomas & Friends™ content. It features a fun-packed plot full of wonder and curiosity, plus tons of animals and several musical songs that will captivate the imagination of young Thomas fans and parents alike. This is the biggest and best Thomas movie to date and one not to be missed!
Thomas & Friends: Big World! Big Adventures! The Movie sees Thomas undertake his most epic journey ever as he leaves Sodor to fulfil his dream of seeing the world! The action-packed adventure begins when a mischievous little racing car called Ace comes to Sodor and inspires Thomas to embark on an ambitious trip-without the Fat Controller’s permission! This heroic quest takes Thomas across deserts, through jungles and over dangerous mountains as he travels across five continents seeing sights he has never seen before! On his journey to discover new places and cultures, Thomas makes friends with an adventurous, inspiring and fun tank engine from Kenya called Nia. But with so much for Thomas to learn about the world, will Nia be successful in teaching him a lesson about the true meaning of friendship?
Peter Andre says “It is a real honour to be voicing the character of Ace in new movie and such a buzz for me to be doing my first worldwide movie voiceover for something that I grew up on and loved as a child and that my kids now love too. With Thomas leaving Sodor for the first time ever in this new movie and travelling around the world on his adventures, it is incredible for me to help introduce young viewers to the diverse range of cultures, different ways of life and animals that exist on our planet today. It’s really nice to see that Thomas & Friends has embraced this – it is a great new direction for the show and I think it’s going to be fantastic.
My character is a fun, energetic and cheeky little car called Ace, an Aussie who is a bit full of himself and he thinks he’s super cool, but when you peel away the layers he’s a real little softy and everyone loves him. He has a lot of bravado, but as soon as he sees an animal, he’s petrified. He’s a really cool character and he’s a great one for me to be able to play because, being Australian, I can relate to his attitude a little bit. A lot of people have this image of Australia as being very care-free and I live like that. It’s so nice to play a character that represents that. I can’t wait to unleash him onto screens when the film premieres around the world later this year.”
Products that support “Thomas & Friends™: Big World! Big Adventures! The Movie” include new Fisher-Price toys that will help kids bring to life Thomas’ newest adventure including the exciting Thomas & Friends™ Turbo Jungle Set (FJK50) and Nia engines in the TrackMaster, Wood and Adventures segments. The Turbo Jungle Set features a motorized Thomas train that can travel up to 2.5 times faster than normal TrackMaster engines so kids can recreate scenes from the movie. Peter’s character ‘Ace’ will be available as a toy in both the Adventures and TrackMaster ranges this summer.
Thomas the Tank Engine™ was created over 70 years ago and that story quickly grew through content to become the award-winning global brand franchise it is today, with multiple touch-points and formats, including apps; toy consumer products; publishing; live attractions and much more with over 1 engine sold per second. Watched in over 160 territories, in over 50 languages with over 1.16 billion lifetime views on YouTube, Thomas & Friends offers more than 80 hours of original content produced from 500 episodes and 12 specials.
THOMAS & FRIENDS™: BIG WORLD! BIG ADVENTURES! THE MOVIE IS OUT IN CINEMAS NATIONWIDE FROM JULY 20
ABOUT THE CHARACTER ACE
Ace is a rally car, who can be a bit full of himself. He thinks he’s cool and clever too and expects the admiration and support of everyone around him. If it’s not about him, he’s not likely to be interested. Ace is a thrill seeker, who lives for speed and loves to drive dangerously. But he’s not as brave as he’d like you to think, being rather frightened of both wild animals and water. Ace is a dreamer who sees the world as his oyster. If he could only get over himself, he might become a nice guy.
PETER ANDRE BIOGRAPHY
Peter Andre is an accomplished global media star prominently known for his successful music and television career. Peter is an iconic pop star who rose to fame in the 1990s when he became the sixth highest selling artist in the UK. He’s had numerous number one hit singles, two number one albums and toured all over the world collecting a multitude of national and international awards along the way. Peter is currently performing gigs across Europe, he is also touring Australia and New Zealand again at the end of this year.
Several years ago, Peter made the decision to bring his reality show ‘Peter Andre: My Life’ to a close after a very successful tenth series. Peter’s reality show focussed around family life and established him as one of the most doting celebrity fathers in the UK.
Peter was a firm favourite on our television screens appearing in such shows as; ‘Peter Andre’s 60 Minute Makeover’, ‘Give a Pet a Home’ and ‘Tonight at the Palladium’.
Alongside his television work he has not lost his love for music and performing and continues to perform to sell-out crowds including his fantastic fan base.
This year has seen Peter appear on BBC primetime show All Round to Mrs Brown’s Boys, shoot a TV commercial for Oykos in South Africa, appear on Saturday Night Takeaway and shoot a series of strands for This Morning and Loose Women. Recently, Peter has also worked on a healthy options campaign for McDonald’s and Johnson & Johnson as well as working on a new children’s book publishing deal.
Peter has a large global social media following with 3.54 million Twitter followers, 1.4 million Facebook likes and 700k Instagram followers.
FUN FACTS ABOUT THE MOVIE
Thomas & Friends™: Big World! Big Adventures! The Movie is the thirteenth Thomas & Friends film to be produced and the longest one to date, running for 80 minutes!
Thomas & Friends™: Big World! Big Adventures! The Movie took 21 months to produce, 9 months to animate and took over 9500 hours of animation to complete! Did you know 25 frames are created per second of Thomas & Friends CGI animation?
There are a total of 7 new songs in the movie including ‘Free and Easy’ guest-voiced by Australian singer and entertainer Peter Andre. Did you know the complete sound track will be available on Spotify in the summer?
Did you know the song ‘Wake Up’ was recorded with local session musicians from Kenya?
Nia (pronounced “Nee-Yah”) is a new tank engine from the African country of Kenya and her name in Swahili means “purpose” which perfectly suits her character! Nia’s engine design is based off the East African Railway’s ED1 class (EAR ED1 class) and she is a tank engine just like Thomas!
In the movie, the Fat Controller wears 6 different hats including a Carnival headdress in Brazil and a turban while in the Sahara Desert, adopting the style of each country he visits!! Can you spot all the different hats?
While Thomas travels around the world, we bump into old friends Carlos from Mexico and Yong Bao from China from previous movie ‘The Great Race’
Look carefully and you can see a cameo of the The Rev. Awdry, the original creator of Thomas the tank engine. This is not the first time he appears in a movie ! Did you know the Rev. Awdry appears in 2 other Thomas & Friends movies: Sodor’s Legend of the Lost Treasure (2015) and The Great Race (2016); as well as 1 episode in Series 20 (Tit for Tat). The producers originally decided to include this feature for the 70th Anniversary in 2015 as a special nod towards Sodor’s creator. The Rev. Awdry had his first speaking role in the Season 20 episode Tit for Tat, reprising his role of “The Thin Clergyman” from the original story, which he wrote. These cameos have been well received by the Awdry family, who found the initial appearance ‘hilarious and a wonderful tribute to their Granpuff’. Ian McCue, Director of Creative Content, says: “Since the 70th anniversary, we have included cameos of the Rev. Awdry in all our Thomas & Friends movies as a subtle yet amusing nod to Thomas’ heritage and the family who created him.”
In the movie, Thomas travels through 5 different continents and crosses several different countries including:
• Africa: Thomas travels over 5000 miles across Africa, passing through many countries as he travels from Dakar in Senegal, West Africa, all the way to Dar Es Salaam, in Tanzania, East Africa.
• South and Central America: Through a song sequence we see Thomas and Nia in search of Ace. They travel through several countries in the region including Rio De Janeiro in Brazil and The Amazon Rainforest.
• USA: They then travel to San Francisco, the Salt Flats in Utah and find themselves in The Morenci Loop in Arizona.
• China: Towards the end of his adventure, we see Thomas travelling through the Chinese countryside and famous National Park Rainbow Mountains (Zhangye Danxia).
About Mattel, Inc.
Mattel is a global learning, development and play company that inspires the next generation of kids to shape a brighter tomorrow. Through our portfolio of iconic consumer brands, including American Girl®, Barbie®, Fisher-Price®, Hot Wheels® and Thomas & Friends™, we create systems of play, content and experiences that help kids unlock their full potential. Mattel also creates inspiring and innovative products in collaboration with leading entertainment and technology companies as well as other partners. With a global workforce of approximately 32,000 people, Mattel operates in 40 countries and territories and sells products in more than 150 nations.
About Thomas & Friends™
Thomas the Tank Engine™ was created over 70 years ago, by a British clergyman, the Rev W Awdry, as a storybook for his son. That story quickly grew to become the award-winning #1 preschool train brand franchise it is today, enjoyed by families in more than 160 territories and over 55 languages across multiple touch-points and formats, including: 500+ original TV shows; 12 feature-length films; selling 1 engine every second; apps; toys; consumer products; publishing; live attractions and much more. Thomas & Friends is viewable on more than 30 world-class broadcasters including Nick Jr. in the US, Super RTL in Germany, and on Five’s Milkshake! in the UK. Thomas & Friends can also be viewed across digital platforms including Hulu, iTunes, YouTube and more. On YouTube, the Thomas & Friends channel has had over 1.16 billion lifetime views, over 909k subscribers and 2.6MM engagements. For more information about the world of Thomas & Friends, please visit Facebook.