Elliot M. Bour
| 5.4/10 |
| March 22, 2011 (2011-03-22)|
David Koepp (screenplay), John Kamps (screenplay), Cliff Ruby (screenplay), Elana Lesser (screenplay), David Koepp (screen story), John Kamps (screen story), Watty Piper (book)
The Little Engine That Could
Alyson Stoner, Jamie Lee Curtis, Brenda Song, Whoopi Goldberg, Corbin Bleu
Jeff Bennett appears in The Little Engine That Could and Curious George 2: Follow That Monkey!
The Little Engine That Could (2011 film) Wikipedia
The Little Engine That Could is a 2011 computer-animated film based on the story by Watty Piper. The film was released to DVD after a limited theatrical release in the United States on March 22, 2011.
In DreamLand, Little E. wakes the control tower and the other dream hauler engines up, so she can start work while also dreaming of being a dream hauler. She comes by the birthday train, which consists of a locomotive named Red Engine #35 and a wagon containing a female clown named Beverly, a toy solider named Major, a toy plane named Ace (who can fly), a ballerina doll named Jillian, two stuffed giraffes named Lou and Bud, and a sock monkey named Hudson. After finding the Caboose for the birthday train, she attempts to follow it to the real world but is stopped by the Tower. She then attempts to pull several boxcars to the Big Locomotive but ends up causing traffic for the other engines, with the Tower reminding her that she is supposed to pull one boxcar at a time due to her small size. She gets a little help from Rusty, an old and wise Engine.
In the real world, a boy named Richard shows his friend Marcus, his grandfather's watch. Two bullies named Scott and Stretch throw a snowball at Richard, which makes him slip and hand the watch over to them. He is worried that his dad would be unhappy that he lost the watch. Marcus tries to help him, but Richard does not want help from him at all. Richard decides to take a walk in the park, but trips over some train tracks he has never noticed before and find a train nearby. He boards one of its cars to take shelter from the cold, unaware that it is pulled by Rusty (who is sleeping on the job again) and suddenly wakes him up. He immediately returns to DreamLand (with the tracks appearing at the front and disappearing at the back of him) with Richard inside. While passing through the tunnel to DreamLand, the tunnel collapses, trapping Richard and the trains in DreamLand while the junction goes crazy. After Rusty informs the others what happened, Richard climbs out and is confused and scared by the talking trains. The Tower realizes that Richard's presence in DreamLand has damaged the dream-reality continuum and can only be fixed if Richard is returned to the real world. She sends some of the engines to dig out the tunnel and is forced to demote Rusty to a track-cleaner (in which he accepts the consequences), much to Little E's dismay. She then offers to take Richard home on the rumored tracks that lead over the mountain. The Tower, looking for a way to preoccupy Little E. and Richard while the other trains try to do the important work of clearing the tunnel, agrees, sending them both on their way while also promising to give Rusty his job back afterwards and even throw him a Ticker-Tape Parade. While searching for the track, they find themselves being chased by the Evening Express, who can't slow down to avoid hitting them. Richard, who suddenly believes that he is dreaming, tries to fly but ends up falling on the Evening Express. He manages to get back on Little E. but they are pushed off the track by the Evening Express. After rolling through the hills, they manage to get back on the tracks. They suddenly find the birthday train, which had derailed when the tunnel collapses. Little E. decides to take the train to the real world herself and attempts to get information from the other engines about the old track, but they don't believe the track even exists. Little E., Richard, and the toys decide to find the track themselves.
Little E. manages to finds the track leading up the mountain. Along the way, they come across an old bridge that partly collapses when trying to cross it. Richard nearby falls off but is saved by Little E. and Ace. They use an old cargo hook pole as a makeshift rail for the bridge to get across. Later, they enter a dark area in the mountain and while climbing up a hill, Little E. runs out of water due to a leak in her water tank, causing the train to roll backward until Richard manages to stop it by applying Little E.'s brakes. A black engine appears and offers to take them back to the real world for her. She agrees but he suddenly reveals himself as the Nightmare Train, an evil, nightmarish, locomotive who can create nightmares and plans to use Richard as a means to send nightmares to the real world and leaves after derailing Little E. and the birthday train. In the Nightmare Train, Richard is confronted by illusions of the bullies but the others encourage him to stand up to them. Ace escapes and goes to help Little E. After refilling her tank using water from a nearby water tower, she and the Caboose find themselves still unable to get back on the track. Little E. sees another stretch of tracks below and drops down the cliff, successful landing back on the tracks. Meanwhile, Richard escapes and falls off the train after a failed attempt to uncouple the cars. Little E. finds him and they quickly chase down the Nightmare Train. While confronting him, the toys sneak out while Little E., Richard, and Ace trick him into speeding down a side-track at rapid speed. Major then uses his badge to plug the leak in Little E.'s tank (as well as admitting his feelings to Jillian) and they continue their way up the mountain. They eventually make it to the top and travel through a portal that leads them to the real world, where no time has passed at all.
Little E. returns to DreamLand, tells her story about her trip over the mountain, and is promoted to a dream hauler as a reward for her bravery while Rusty gets his job back. Once back, Richard has gained the confidence to confront the bullies and get his watch back and the bullies are caught by the principle, who is annoyed that they aren't in detention. During the credits, the following photos are shown: Richard showing his watch to his class, the toys with their new owners, the Nightmare Train defeated and derailed on a snow bank, Rusty's Ticker-Tape Parade, and lastly, Little E. taking more trains through the mountain.Little E. (Alyson Stoner) - A little steam shunter who dreams of being a Dream Hauler. Becomes close friends with Richard. At first she is unsure about taking the birthday train over the mountain, but with encouragement from Richard and the toys, and remembering Rusty's advice, Little E. manages to bring the train over the mountain to the real world all by herself. Her wheel arrangement is 4-2-0 and her eyes are on the sides of her cab and mouth on her smokebox. She seems to be based upon Tillie from the 1991 film.
The Tower (Whoopi Goldberg) - A control tower who is in charge of everyone in the train yard. Tries to maintain order. She seems to be based upon the Tower from the 1991 film.
The Caboose (Patrick Warburton) - A red caboose who is coupled by the birthday train. Seems to be pessimistic, and isn't too fond of flying.
Red Engine #35 (Jeff Bennett) - The Dream Hauler engine who was supposed to take the birthday train through the mountain to the real world. He is red and can sometimes have accidents. His wheel arrangement is 2-6-0. He seems to be based upon Georgia from the 1991 film.
The Big Locomotive (Mocean Melvin) - A silver streamlined diesel Dream Hauler with a purple/orange stripe who's missing a tooth. He is one of the Dream Haulers who was sent to help dig out the tunnel after it collapses.
Rusty (Jim Cummings) - A senior Dream Hauler who offers advice to Little E.. After accidentally bringing Richard to Dreamland, Rusty is demoted to track cleaner. Explains that before the Dream Tunnel was made, Dream Haulers had to go over the mountain. But because it was too dangerous, they decided to make the tunnel. His wheel arrangement is a 2-8-0. He seems to be based upon Jebidiah from the 1991 film.
The Freight Train (Rodney Saulsberry) - A green and orange Dream Hauler engine who hauls heavy freight trains. One of many who was sent to help dig out the tunnel. Calls Little E. "Peanut Roaster". His wheel arrangement is a 2-4-2 on an EMD GP28-2. He seems to be based upon Pete from the 1991 film.
The Shiny Passenger Train (Brenda Song) - A yellow passenger engine who is very full of herself, she is one of many who was sent to help dig out the tunnel. Her wheel arrangement is a 4-8-0. She seems to be based upon Farnsworth from the 1991 film.
The Girl Train (Chelsea Erinne Evered) - A pink and white diesel engine who gives Rusty a broom-plow in place of his cowcatcher, and gives his cowcatcher back at the end of the film. She seems to be based upon Doc from the 1991 film.
The Evening Express (Jim Cummings) - A white streamlined diesel who pulls a fast express.
The Nightmare Train (Ray Porter) - A black scary steam engine who wanted to deliver scary creepy trains. Tricks Little E. into giving him the toys and Richard. Little E. manages to outwit him by taking a wrong track. His wheel arrangement is 0-6-4.
Richard (Dominic Scott Kay) - A boy who wanders into Dreamland when Rusty accidentally falls asleep on the job, ripping a hole in the dream-reality continuum. Becomes close friends with the Little Engine, whom he names "Little E". He seems to be based upon Eric from the 1991 film.
Marcus (Khamani Griffin) - Richard's friend at school. He seems to be based upon Jill from the 1991 film.
Scott and Stretch (Michael Rodrigo and Luke Williams) - A pair of bullies who antagonize Richard in the real world.
Beverly (Jamie Lee Curtis) - A female clown toy who serves as leader of the toys. Likes to do various clown tricks in her spare time - her favorite is the "Pie in the face". She seems to be based upon Rollo from the 1991 film.
Major (Charlie Schlatter) - A toy soldier who sometimes finishes his sentences with "sir". Gives up his badge to help bandage a leak in Little E.'s water tank. Has a crush on Jillian.
Ace - A small toy plane who doesn't speak. When the toys are taken by the Nightmare Train, Ace manages to escape and warn Little E.
Jillian (Jodi Benson) - A ballerina doll who dances when she is happy. Has a crush on Major. She seems to be based upon Missy from the 1991 film.
Lou and Bud (Corbin Bleu and Rodney Saulsberry) - A pair of twin stuffed giraffe toys. Lou has spots while Bud has yellow and orange squares. Lou is the more talkative one while Bud doesn't speak until near the end of the film.
Hudson (Jeff Bennett) - A green and white sock monkey with a British accent. Hopes to be fun for his child. Richard noted that he once had a sock monkey. He seems to be based upon Jeepers from the 1991 film.
The Little Engine That Could holds a 5.5 rating on IMDB, and 68% on Rotten Tomatoes, indicating a generally positive response.
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