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- “Thomas! What are you doing with a giant balloon attached to your buffers?”
- ―Farmer McColl, James and Emily
Thomas' Frosty Friend is the twentieth episode of the tenth season.
It's wintertime on the Island of Sodor, and all the engines are very busy. One morning, Thomas is on his way to Brendam Docks to collect logs for Farmer McColl. On his way, Thomas stops at a signal where Percy is waiting. Thomas looks in the field nearby, and there is a big snowman with children all around it. The two engines are surprised to see a snowman so big, and just then, the signal changes and Thomas steams off. But as he puffs away, a gust of wind lifts the snowman off the ground and towards Thomas, revealing it's only a balloon. The balloon's guide ropes get caught on Thomas's rear buffers, and now the balloon is following him.
Thomas stops at the level crossing, and the snowman drifts in front of Thomas. Thomas asks the snowman what he is doing there, but Mr. Snowman says nothing, and Thomas tells him to head back to the children. The wind blows the snowman back behind Thomas, and he races off to the Docks. He hopes the snowman doesn't follow him, unaware that it's a balloon.
Thomas reaches the Docks and reverses to his flatbed trucks loaded with logs. James is delivering coal, and asks Thomas why he has a snowman with him. Thomas is surprised to see Mr. Snowman again, and tells him to go back to the children again. Thomas steams off, pulling his flatbed and the snowman. James asks why Thomas has a giant balloon tied to his buffers, but Thomas doesn't hear him.
Thomas arrives at Farmer McColl's farm, and Farmer McColl is also surprised to see the giant snowman. Thomas once again tells the snowman to go back to the children, and he doesn't know what to say to Farmer McColl. So, Thomas steams off again. Then, Farmer McColl asks the same question as James, why Thomas has a giant balloon tied to his buffers, but Thomas doesn't hear him, either.
Thomas stops at Maithwaite, where Emily is collecting passengers. Emily laughs at the snowman, and asks Thomas about it. Once more, Thomas tells the snowman to go back to the children, and then he steams away. Emily also asks the question about the giant balloon, but Thomas doesn't hear her, either. By now, Thomas doesn't know what else to do, so he decides to hide so Mr. Snowman won't find him. So, Thomas steams into a lonely siding. There is no one else around, and Thomas feels relieved... until he sees Mr. Snowman once more. Realizing the snowman isn't going back to the children, Thomas decides to ask Sir Topham Hatt for help, so he steams away.
Back at Maithwaite Station, he finds Farmer McColl and Sir Topham Hatt, whom Thomas tells about Mr. Snowman. Sir Topham Hatt laughs, and he reveals that Mr. Snowman is really a balloon, and his guide ropes are caught on his buffers. Therefore, Thomas is pulling the balloon. Thomas is surprised to realize this, and now he understands what to do; he sets off for the children's field, pulling the balloon behind him.
Thomas soon arrives back at the field with the balloon, and the children are happy to see them again. Thomas is happy to have returned Mr. Snowman, and the balloon even shifts its arms and head as if it's waving at them.
- Sir Topham Hatt
- Farmer McColl
- Gordon (does not speak)
- Edward (cameo)
- Cyril the Fogman (cameo)
- Stock footage from James Goes Too Far is used.
- In the last shot, the snowman has been adjusted so that he is waving at the children.
- In a rare still, the Snowman does not have the chains attached to it.
- When the snowman is first seen being pulled out, the camera closes in on a hook holding it down being pulled out of the snow, and yet the ends of the rope do not have any hook whatsoever when it catches Thomas' buffers.
- The guide ropes are often depicted as chains, most evidently when the balloon dances in front of Thomas.
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