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“Two engines are much better than one you know.”

Big World! Big Adventures! is the 2018 Thomas & Friends film.


A racing rally car called Ace inspires Thomas the Tank Engine to become the first engine to travel the world, so Thomas sets off on an adventure which takes him to five continents, across deserts, through jungles and over dangerous mountains. On his journey Thomas meets Nia, an engine who teaches him that everyone needs a little help from their friends.


Characters Introduced

  • Nia
  • Kwaku
  • Natalie
  • The American Diesels (one speaks; one cameos)
  • The Chinese Diesel
  • Ace
  • Angelique
  • Tony
  • Two Other Rally Cars
  • The Brazilian Tank Engine
  • Cowboys and Cowgirls
  • Beau (not named)
  • Fernando (not named)
  • Emerson (not named)
  • Kobe (not named)
  • Cassia (not named)
  • Carter (not named)
  • The Brown Tender Engine (cameo)
  • The Grey Tender Engine (cameo)
  • The White Tank Engine (cameo)
  • The Dark Red Tank Engine (cameo)
  • The Orange Tender Engine (cameo)
  • Shankar (cameo)
  • Another Brazilian Diesel Shunter (cameo)
  • The Chinese Breakdown Cranes (cameo)
  • Charubala (cameo)


Voice Cast

  • Joseph May as Thomas
  • William Hope as Edward and Toby
  • Kerry Shale as Henry, Gordon, Beau, Diesel, Harold and Mr. Percival
  • Rob Rackstraw as James, Donald, Sam, Big Mickey, the Thin Clergyman and the Senegal Race Announcer
  • Christopher Ragland as Percy, Racing Car 4 and the Cowboys
  • Jules de Jongh as Emily
  • Nicola Stapleton as Rosie
  • Rasmus Hardiker as Bill and Philip
  • Matt Wilkinson as Ben, Tony and Carter
  • Tim Whitnall as Timothy and the Moai Head
  • Teresa Gallagher as Marion, Natalie, the American Diesel, Cassia and Annie and Clarabel
  • Glenn Wrage as Cranky
  • Rufus Jones as the Flying Scotsman
  • Steven Kynman as Duck and Paxton
  • Bob Golding as Sidney
  • Lucy Montgomery as Carly and the Cowgirls
  • Keith Wickham as Bertie, Captain, Sir Topham Hatt and Dowager Hatt
  • Dan Li as Yong Bao
  • Gabriel Porras as Carlos, Emerson, the Coffee Trucks and various South American voices
  • Su-Lin Looi as the Chinese Diesel
  • Yvonne Grundy as Nia (Patricia Kihoro as Nia's singing voice)
  • Rachael Miller as Angelique
  • Abubakar Salim as Kwaku, the African Troublesome Trucks, Kobe and various African voices
  • Richie Campbell as the African Troublesome Trucks and various African voices
  • Akiya Henry as the African Troublesome Trucks and various African voices
  • Chipo Chung as the African Troublesome Trucks and various African voices
  • Dona Adwera as various African voices
  • Peter Andre as Ace
  • David Menkin as Racing Car 3
  • Joe Mills as Douglas and Oliver (uncredited)
  • Tracy-Ann Oberman as Daisy (uncredited)


Bonus Features


  • This film ties in with the twenty-second series.
  • This special takes place between Journey Beyond Sodor and the twenty-second series.
  • This is the longest special to date at a total runtime of eighty minutes.
  • The spine on the DVD release of this special reuses an image of Thomas from the previous special, Journey Beyond Sodor.
  • Yvonne Grundy, Patricia Kihoro, Peter Andre, Dan Li, Gabriel Porras, Su-Lin Looi, Rachael Miller, Abubakar Salim, Richie Campbell, Akiya Henry, Chipo Chung and Dona Adwera join the voice cast.
  • This special is the first of several things:
    • The first special fully animated by Jam Filled Toronto.
    • The first Thomas & Friends production not to have Mark Moraghan involved since he was cast as the narrator in 2013, as well as the first special to not use narration.
    • The first time a new Steam Team member is introduced since the seventh series episode, Emily's New Coaches.
    • The first special in which Rasmus Hardiker and Matt Wilkinson voice Bill and Ben since Jonathan Broadbent's departure from the series sometime in 2017 or 2018.
    • The first special in which the Sodor Steamworks does not appear since its introduction in Hero of the Rails. However it was present in the background of a portrait of Victor from the thirteenth series episode, Percy's Parcel inside Sir Topham Hatt's office.
    • Yong Bao, Carlos, Vinnie and Rajiv's first appearances since their debuts in The Great Race.
    • Yong Bao, Big Mickey and The Thin Clergyman's first speaking roles in a special. It also marks Yong Bao's first speaking role in the main franchise and Big Mickey's first speaking role since his first in Thomas & Friends, New Crane on the Dock from the twenty-first series.
    • Sam's first appearance in the series rather than an online promotional video.
    • The first special to currently not to receive a home video (DVD) release in North America.
    • The first DVD released in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland since Wobbly Wheels and Whistles.
    • The first special dubbed in Danish, Finnish and Swedish since Tale of the Brave.
    • The first special to be dubbed in Norwegian since Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure.
  • This special was also the first time for many crew members:
    • Tigh Walker's first production as art director.
    • Shannon Nettleton's first and only production as executive in charge of production.
    • The first and only special to have Micaela Winter as producer.
    • Sarah Serata's first and only production as production supervisor.
    • Meagan Borosch's first production as assistant production manager.
    • Mike Kirkwood's first production as assistant editor.
    • Alexandra Morgan's first production as on-line editor.
    • Holly Churches' first production as post-production coordinator.
    • Flynn Jarvis' first production as production intern.
    • The Royal African Society's first production as cultural consultant.
  • This special also marks the only occurrences of a few things:
    • The only special to date in which Samson, Bert, Rex and Mike do not appear since their introductions in the eighteenth series and Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure.
    • The only special to date where Connor appears, but without Caitlin.
    • The only special to have Micaela Winter as producer, as well as the last special written by Andrew Brenner, prior to them both leaving Mattel in 2018.
  • A CGI recreation of a scene of the second series episode Thomas Comes to Breakfast is used during the song, "Where in the World is Thomas?" as references to said episode, the first series episode, Down the Mine, the second series episode, Percy Takes the Plunge, the fourth series episode, Thomas and the Special Letter, the seventh series episodes Percy Gets it Right and Something Fishy, the seventeenth series episode, Thomas' Shortcut, the nineteenth series episode, Who's Geoffrey? and the specials, Hero of the Rails, Misty Island Rescue, Blue Mountain Mystery and Journey Beyond Sodor are made.
  • A reference to the special, The Great Race is made.
  • A reused voice clip of Rob Rackstraw from the Meet the Contenders videos is used for the Senegal Race Announcer.
  • Pictures of Victor from the thirteenth series episode, Percy's Parcel and of Thomas from the same series's episode, Creaky Cranky appear inside Sir Topham Hatt's Office.
  • Pictures of Arlesburgh from the third series and of Donald and Douglas with the pirate ship from Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure, along with an edited picture of Skiff and Sailor John from the latter, with John made to look like another sailor and Skiff being recoloured red with his face removed, appear inside the Sailor's Cafe in San Francisco.
  • Reskins/colours of Edward, Henry, Oliver, Ryan, Raul, Dart, Ivan, The Mainland Diesels, Frankie, Bert, Judy/Jerome, Beresford, Carly and Big Mickey appear.
  • Bertie is heard singing Somebody Has to be the Favourite before Ace races past him.
  • This is the final special to air at least sixty minutes, as future specials will have a runtime of twenty-two minutes, similar to Diesel's Ghostly Christmas.
  • The scrap engine that Beau was talking about was a reskin of Bert's model.
  • This special aired on Nickelodeon USA on 7th September 2018 and aired on Treehouse TV on 13th October 2018. The special later re-aired on Nick Jr. on 19th April 2019.
  • The special aired on ABC Kids in Australia on Christmas Eve, 2018.
  • The special aired on Milkshake! in the UK on New Years Day, 2019.
  • Ace breaks the fourth wall at the beginning of the film by winking at the camera and saying "G'day!" to the audience.
  • Sailor John's model is reused for one of the patrons in the Sailor's Cafe at San Francisco.
  • The special was nominated for the 2019 Kidscreen Awards for the Best One-Off, Special or TV Movie.
  • This special aired in a private cinema on the NSW/VIC border of Australia.
  • A deleted scene shows that Carlos mistook Ace for a sun worshipper and shows him what their faces look like once he deploys the Aztec calendar around his face. The view made Ace wait anxiously for the green signal. It was unknown why the scene was cut, either the writing team thought it too racist/offensive to Mexicans or perhaps it did not add any value to the music video.
  • From this special onwards, random reflective patches appear on the engines.
  • This special marks Timothy and Captain's last appearances and speaking roles to date (not counting a stock footage appearance in the twenty-second series episode, The Case of the Puzzling Parts, for the former).
  • According to The Fan Carpet, the film took 21 months to produce, 9 months to animate and took over 9,500 hours of animation to complete.
  • Sir Topham Hatt is seen wearing his safari hat from the twentieth series episode, Buckled Tracks and Bumpy Trucks.


  • Some actors and actresses are not credited for voicing their characters:
    • Joe Mills and Tracy-Ann Oberman in both dubs for voicing Douglas, Oliver and Daisy.
  • When Ace jumps over the fence near Flying Scotsman, his front bumper clips through the rails as he lands. When he lands, his wheels stop moving.
  • When Thomas rerails the tankers, his side rod does not move, resulting in both it and his wheels being out of place.
  • A workman uncouples Thomas from the tankers when they are rerailed, but in the next scene, he is still coupled to them.
  • When at Knapford Station, the fish trucks are shown to have no faces, but at Vicarstown Station they have gained faces.
  • "Where in the World is Thomas?" has a few animation errors:
    • When Percy enters the yard at the beginning of the song, a loading bay can be seen beside him but in the next shot, it is gone.
    • In the overhead shot of Knapford Yards, Norman, Stanley and Stafford's eyes are not animated and appear closed.
    • Ben's body has been raised noticeably higher compared to his chassis.
  • After Nia says "I didn't mean to hurt your feelings," Thomas' train disappears before the scene changes. Thomas' very long train in this same scene has a brake van at the end of the train, but for the rest of the time it is on screen, it is absent.
  • In the wide shot of Guanabara Bay upon Thomas and Nia's arrival, the train pulled by the grey tender engine has a narrow gauge brakevan.
  • Ace clips through a bush when he is racing in the Amazon.
  • Kobe tells Sir Topham Hatt that he loaded Thomas onto the ship to Brazil, when earlier in the special, the faceless grey crane near him was shown to actually be the one loading the engines.
  • In some scenes in Colombia in "Free and Easy," Thomas' footplate is blue instead of white.
  • In the wide shot of Sir Topham Hatt talking to the Brazilian Diesel Shunter at Guanabara Bay, Cassia and the pink hammerhead crane are missing.
  • When Yong Bao saves Thomas and Nia, the chain between the latter two clips through his snowplough.
  • In the UK dub at the end of the special, Rob Rackstraw gives James an American accent when he says, "Welcome to Sodor!"

In Other Languages

Language Title
Brazilian Portuguese Um Grande Mundo de Aventuras
Chinese 湯馬仕大電影之世界大冒險
Danish Stor Verden! Store Eventyr!
Dutch Grote Avonturen In De Grote Wereld
Finnish Suuri Maailma! Suuret Seikkailut!
French À la découverte du monde!
German Große Welt! Große Abenteuer!
Hebrew !הרפתקאות מסביב לעולם
Japanese Go!Go!地球まるごとアドベンチャー
Norwegian Stor Verden! Store Eventyr!
Polish Wielki Świat! Wielkie Przygody!
Russian Кругосветное путешествие!
Spanish Un Gran Mundo de Aventuras
Swedish Stor Värld! Stora Äventyr!


View content



  • Nia
  • Yong Bao
  • Beau
  • Ace


  • Thomas and Ace the Racer
  • Nia


  • Thomas and Ace the Racer
  • Nia and the Elephant
  • Yong Bao the Hero
  • Boat and Sea Set
  • Turbo Jungle Set
  • Around the World 3-Pack

Motor Road and Rail

  • Yong Bao
  • Thomas and Nia and Ace Go! Go! Adventure Set


  • Nia
  • Yong Bao

Motorized Railway

  • Nia
  • Raul
  • Railway Rainbow Mountain Set
  • Raul's Busy Day

Railway Pals

  • Nia
  • Yong Bao

Mega Bloks

  • Nia
  • Travel Sticker Thomas


  • Nia
  • Ace

Capsule Plarail

  • Leaf Funnel Thomas
  • Nia
  • Yong Bao
  • Racing Thomas
  • Grass Painting Thomas