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“Being brave isn't the same as not feeling scared. Being brave is about what you do, even when you do feel scared.”
―Gator

Tale of the Brave is the 2014 Thomas & Friends special.

Plot Summary

After a monstrous storm on the Island of Sodor, a landslide unearths some very unusual footprints.

Thomas and Percy are eager to find out what could have made these marks, but obstacles and danger seem to appear around every bend in the track. With the help of new friends, a little digging, and a heap of courage, they discover the surprising answer and, along the way, uncover the true meaning of bravery.

Characters

A Knapford station worker, possibly the stationmaster, also speaks. It is unknown who voices him.

Characters Introduced

Locations

Cast

UK, AUS and NZ

US and CAN

Bonus Features

UK/AUS

US/CAN

  • Let's Be Brave sing-along
  • Monsters Everywhere sing-along
  • Guess Who! puzzles

Trivia

  • This special takes place between the seventeenth and eighteenth seasons.
  • This special went through several title changes until it is settled with the final title. The working titles of the special were called "Tracks to Bravery" and "The Monster of Sodor."
  • This special marks the first of several things:
    • The first time Duck's Branch Line has been mentioned since the third season.
    • The Sodor China Clay Company, Tidmouth Tunnel and Crock's Scrap Yard's first appearance in full CGI.
    • The first time Great Waterton has been mentioned since the twelfth season.
    • Oliver's first appearance since the twelfth season episode Gordon Takes a Shortcut and his first appearance in full CGI.
    • The first Australian DVD to feature Mr. Perkins.
    • The first special in which the credits show who voiced each character.
    • The first special in which Toby does not appear (excluding his appearance in a music video).
    • The first special in which Diesel does not appear since his debut in the second season.
    • The first special in which Victor does not appear since his debut in Hero of the Rails.
    • The first special since Calling All Engines! where no narrow gauge engines appear.
    • The first special to have Tim Whitnall, Clive Mantle, and Olivia Colman in the voice cast, all having been in the eighteenth season beforehand.
    • The first special not to have David Bedella as part of the US voice cast.
    • Duck and Porter's first appearances in a special.
    • Not counting the original draft of Hero of the Rails, the first special to feature Kerry Shale in the US, but not the UK.
    • Salty's first speaking role in a special since Day of the Diesels.
    • The first DVD to have the "The End" title card since Thomas and the Special Letter VHS/DVD
    • This is the first DVD to be distributed by Universal in the US.
  • This special marks the last of a few things:
    • The last special where Ben Small and Martin Sherman are part of the voice cast. John Hasler took over the role of Thomas in the UK dub while Joseph May took over the role of Thomas in the US dub. Christopher Ragland took over the roles of Percy in the US dub and the Troublesome Trucks in both dubs.
    • The last special to air on Nick Jr Too.
    • The last special in which Kerry Shale voices James and Sir Topham Hatt in the US dub. Rob Rackstraw took over the role of James in The Adventure Begins while Keith Wickham took over the role of Sir Topham Hatt in the same special.
    • The last special to feature Marion Edwards as the executive producer.
    • The last special narrated by Kalle Øby in Norway.
    • The last special until Journey Beyond Sodor to have a stylized opening sequence.
    • The last special to be produced and released either during or after the season it takes place after.
  • The special was shown in Hoyts cinemas in Australia and New Zealand during July 2014, and in British Vue cinemas in late August 2014.
  • This special was shown on PBS in the US on 3rd November 2014 and on ABC4Kids in Australia on 16th November 2014, 11th January and 5th July 2015. In the PBS version, several scenes were edited or cut out to fit the time slot.
  • This special aired on the Mexican TV channel "Canal 5" on 23rd November 2014, and 21st December 2014, and on the channel "Discovery Kids" on 30th November 2014.
  • This special was broadcast in UK Television on Channel 5's Milkshake! on both New Years Day and Easter Sunday, 2015 and on Nick Jr Too on New Years Eve 2015.
  • Several references are made in this special:
    • The scene of the Fat Controller's silhouette walking on-screen in the intro is similar to that of the intro from classic anthology television series, "Alfred Hitchcock Presents."
    • The angle of James rushing through Wellsworth with the Flying Kipper is the same as when James rushed through Maron in Dirty Objects.
    • The opening premise of the film, where Thomas' Branch Line is closed due to bridgework and Thomas is sent to work with Bill and Ben is very similar to the Railway Series book, Thomas and the Twins.
    • When Sir Topham Hatt talks to Percy, he is called away with the exact same line ("Excuse me, sir, you are wanted on the telephone") as his butler says in Thomas in Trouble, and his response ("Bother that telephone!") is also the same.
    • When James has his accident with The Flying Kipper it is similar to Henry's accident from Something in the Air. Henry even remarks that James was "supposed to deliver the fish, not throw them back in the water" which is similar to what Sir Topham Hatt told Henry in the same episode.
    • When Percy tells Thomas "Guess what!" he says, "Umm... let's see... have you been asked to deliver a giant balloon on a flatbed?" This is a reference to Up, Up and Away!
    • When Percy stops at the sign warning engines about landslides, the narrator says that Percy had trouble with going past danger signs before. This is a reference to Percy Takes the Plunge.
    • Marion makes a reference to William Shakespeare's tragedy "Hamlet" when she catches the fossil of the dinosaur skull in her bucket and exclaims "Alas, poor dinosaur," similar to what Hamlet said as he held a human skull in his hand and said, "Alas poor Yorick, I knew him, Horatio, a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy."
    • When Gordon agrees with Sir Topham Hatt about Bill and Ben being mischievous, this could be a reference to Wrong Road.
  • This marks the only time in the CGI Series until the twenty-first season episode, The Fastest Red Engine on Sodor in which the trucks have British accents, though for some of them.
  • This is the only special in which James, one of the main cast, is the main antagonist.
  • This is the second special to feature Percy as the protagonist, the first being Day of the Diesels. This is also the second special to feature a character other than Thomas as the protagonist. The first being Day of the Diesels.
  • The US release is slowed down to 24 frames per second and adds an extra two minutes to the special's length. As a result, the audio is distorted. Only the iTunes version is presented with pitch adjustment.
  • The eighteenth season episode, Toad's Bright Idea takes place in this special.
  • Reused voice clips from The Afternoon Tea Express are used, as Stephen's voice can be heard saying "Careful!" at one point.
  • In the Dutch version of the film, the text "The End" is white instead of yellow.
  • This was the third special dubbed in Hebrew.
  • Like King of the Railway, the first trailer had some different footage from the final film, such as:
    • In the movie, it is foggy when Gator is first introduced, however in the trailer, no fog effects are used. Likewise, the scene where Percy mistakes Gator for a monster has reduced fog effects.
    • In the movie, it is stormy when Thomas finds the footprints at the Clay Pits, but in the trailer, it is nighttime and no rain effects are used.
    • When Timothy is first introduced in the movie, the sky is dark and cloudy, but in the trailer, it is sunny and little to no clouds are seen. Also in the first trailer, there are no trees on the cliff behind Timothy, and his trucks are red.
    • In the movie, Thomas and Percy had their lamps on when the second landslide at the Clay Pits happens, but in the trailer, their lamps are off.
    • Alternative angles are used for when Marion and Reg are shown in the trailers, and for one of the scenes where Cranky swings his hook out to the ship.
    • In the first trailer, Marion lacks her protective corners, which were later added in the final movie. Because of this, her lamp was slightly moved.
    • In the first trailer, Gator has thin, white lining on his front end and has coloured rivets on his filler cap, but in the final movie, the lining becomes gold and thicker and the rivets are painted black.
    • The scenes where Percy says "Wow, you're brave Gator" and when Gator says "You might be braver then you think" are different in the final film.
  • In the second trailer, Reg can be heard saying, "Now there's a surprise!" in a different tone than he did in the actual film.
  • During the special announcements at Knapford station, it says "Would the parents of a small boy named Christopher, please come to the stationmaster's office and collect him." This may be a reference to Christopher Awdry.
  • In Finland, this special was released before the seventeenth season premiered, this means that the audience may have not known who Porter was.
  • On 1st June 2018, the songs from this special were released on iTunes.

Goofs

  • A few characters are not listed in the credits with the voice actors who voice them, such as:
    • Edward is not shown in the UK end credits with the characters voiced by Keith Wickham.
    • Gordon is not shown in the US credits with the characters voiced by Kerry Shale.
    • The Troublesome Trucks are not shown in the UK credits with the characters voiced by Ben Small.
  • Also, two character pictures show different pictures instead of pictures of the actual characters, such as:
    • William Hope's list has a picture of a dinosaur footprint instead of Edward and the Dock Manager in the US credits.
    • The Dock Manager is also not listed in Steven Kynman's characters in the UK credits.
    • Mike Grady has a picture of the dinosaur skeleton instead of Sir Robert Norramby in the US credits, this is corrected in the UK credits.
  • During the prologue, the bridge that James crosses over is actually a road bridge.
  • In the scene of Thomas arriving at the Clay Pits, Timothy can be seen in the background with his trucks. However in the next scene, the trucks have disappeared. They later reappear when Thomas comes to pull them.
  • In the Norwegian dub, Timothy is incorrectly described as a diesel engine, despite the fact that he is a steam engine.
  • When Thomas puffs away from Marion, his trucks are red, but in the next shot they are green.
  • When Percy is backing down on his train at Brendam Docks after staying awake all night, his UK and US voices are mixed up in both dubs.
  • Gator uses the US term "cars" when he discusses his new job with Percy in the UK dub.
  • In Gator's flashback:
    • The bottom half of Gator's bufferbeam is black instead of red.
    • Gator's middle lamp-iron and brakepipe are missing.
    • During the beginning of the flashback, Gator has three trucks, but when he crosses the bridge, he gains a fourth truck.
  • When James falls into the lake, Gator and Percy are shown to have turned around.
  • When Percy leaves Tidmouth Sheds with the mail train his brake van is grey, but when he is out on the tracks his brake van is orange.
  • Percy's eyes spread apart when he is backing down on his train at Brendam Docks.
  • When the Fat Controller arrives at Tidmouth Sheds, the image reflecting in the bumper of his car does not match up with its surroundings.
  • On the UK DVD, the subtitles for Tale of the Brave read "On Tale of the Brave," when it should say "Our Tale of the Brave."
  • When James screeches to a stop at the clay pits, his leading wheels spark, but these are not fitted with brakes.
  • The way in which Gator is lifted at the end is impossible, as there is no way the winch could be positioned between his wheels.
  • When Timothy says to Thomas "See you met Marion then," he is shunting flatbeds, but in the next scene he is shunting normal trucks.
  • When Duck and Oliver whistle in the shot where they pass each other, no steam is emitted.
  • When the Fat Controller gets out of his car at Tidmouth Sheds, he gets out the passenger's side door, but no one is seen in the driver's seat.
  • In the opening shot after the title card, when the engines are gathered, Bill and Ben's wheel sets are not rendered on their chassis' properly, as their cylinders appear to be protruding through their buffer beams. Also in this scene, Stanley seems animated too low, making it seem like his wheels are inside the rails.
  • When Percy is at Knapford, his piston appears to be protruding through his cylinders.
  • When James is pushing the Scrap Monster, he is not coupled to the flatbed.
  • When Percy rushes back into the docks, Porter comes through warning everyone about the runaway trucks, and he is on the track next to Thomas. But then when Gator arrives, Salty pulls up next to Thomas on the same track Porter was on, but facing the other direction.
  • When Bill and Ben push Thomas clear of the avalanche, neither of them are puffing steam.
  • When Gator chuffs past Percy, the seventh truck in his train is not on the rails.

In Other Languages

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Language Title
Chinese 勇者历险记
Czech Příběh hrdiny
Danish En historie om mod
Dutch HeldenVerhaal
Finnish Tarina urheudesta
French Une Histoire de Courage
German Die Geschichte der mutigen Loks
Greek Η Ιστορία των Θαραλλέων
Hebrew סיפור על אומץ
Hungarian Mese a bátorságról
Italian Thomas e i Trenini Coraggiosi
Japanese 勇者とソドー島の怪物
Korean 용감한 기관차와 괴물소동
Norwegian En historie om mot
Polish Opowieść o Odwadze
Portuguese Aventura de Coragem
Romanian Povestea Celor Curajoși
Serbian Priča o hrabrosti
Spanish Misterio en las Vias
Swedish En berättelse om mod
Thai ชุด การผจญภัยของรถไฟผู้กล้า
Ukrainian Сага про Відвагу

Merchandise

Wooden Railway

  • Gator
  • Timothy
  • Marion
  • The Scrap Monster
  • Thomas' Fossil Run
  • James' Roaring Delivery
  • Oliver's Fossil Freight
  • Reg and Percy at the Scrapyard
  • Fossil Discovery

TrackMaster

  • Gator
  • Timothy
  • Scared James
  • Rail Repair
  • Troublesome Traps Set
  • Avalanche Escape Set

Motor Road and Rail

  • Gator and Marion

Take-n-Play

  • Timothy
  • Gator
  • Marion
  • The Scrap Monster
  • Gator's Mysterious Cargo
  • Percy's Fossil Dig
  • Scrapyard Cleanup Team
  • Ben's Cement Mix-Up
  • Toby and the Spooky Barn
  • Thomas and Cranky's Cargo Drop
  • Roaring Dino Run

Capsule Plarail

  • Gator
  • Timothy
  • Marion
  • The Scrap Monster

Collectible Railway

  • Gator
  • Timothy
  • Marion

Motorized Railway

  • Gator
  • Thomas' Spooky Tracks

Mega Bloks

  • Percy's Brave Adventure
  • Zooming Around Brendam Docks

Minis

  • Fossil Cargo Car

Books

Clothes

  • Handcraft Underwear

DVD Packs

UK

US

AUS

FIN

Trailers and Featurettes