Japanese friend for Thomas The Tank Engine



CANNES- The popular pre-school TV show featuring a cast of talking steam trains headed by tank engine Thomas celebrates 65 years in the life of the character with a new engine from Japan and a new computer-generated look.
The new Thomas series launched on Britain's Channel 5 early this year will roll out globally to Canada, Tokyo and the United States later this year, its makers Hit Entertainment told AFP at the four-day MIPTV audiovisual industry trade fair taking place on the French Riviera.



Japanese friend for Thomas The Tank Engine
Also announced at MIPTV is a new show based on another famous book that for years helped very young children learn to read -- The Cat In The Hat Knows A Lot About That!, based on the zany Dr. Seuss characters.
Portfolio Entertainment said it has secured international distribution rights to the first animated TV series to star the Cat and his friends Nick and Sally. The series will air later this year in Canada and the United States.
In a novel move for Thomas, computer-generated imagery sees the old-time steam engines and road vehicles themselves recounting their adventures on the island of Sodor, rather than using a narrator, the most famous having been Beatle Ringo Starr.
New characters include Hiro, a wise, dignified, friendly engine from Japan that should appeal to the show's huge fan base in the Asia Pacific region.
The Thomas series are based on a book by Reverend W. Awdry, who 65 years ago penned a story about a small blue steam engine named Thomas to amuse his son. It grew into a phenomenon, with over 200 million books now sold globally.
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Wednesday, April 14th 2010
AFP
           


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