The Thomas & Friends Institute of Innovation (partially found informational short film; 2013-2014)
The Thomas & Friends Institute of Innovation is an informational short film created by British advertising company Studio Hansa that was produced at some point between 2013 and 2014. The short was commissioned by HIT Entertainment, the then-copyright holders of Thomas & Friends, and was designed to pitch and promote the Thomas & Friends brand to potential commissioners and merchandising partners all across the world.
The short was narrated by British actor Paul Freeman, and was described as taking place in a "distinctly British, Monty Python and Willy Wonka-esque world where all manner of research takes place". The short focuses on two scientists who work in the titular Institute of Innovation experimenting with various ways of making the Thomas brand more appealing to a modern audience, including giving Thomas wings, injecting Percy with Botox, and injecting the Fat Controller with steroids and putting him on a treadmill to get rid of his "gut problem".
These bizarre, comedic experiments are meant to serve as "a flippant look at some of the more fanciful suggestions people have made" in terms of modernizing the Thomas brand for the current day. They are then countered by showing some of the actual efforts being made to keep the Thomas brand fresh, all of which focus on "scrupulous detail and genuine cutting edge innovation" whilst avoiding being "overtly bombastic" to stay true to the franchise's heritage.
The film then ends with a reaffirmation of Thomas' enduring popularity by showing Thomas as one of the few surviving relics of a post-apocalyptic world, still drawing the attention of new audiences over a millennium into the future.
While private screenings of the film can still be arranged for brands interested in collaborating with the Thomas & Friends IP, the film has yet to be fully released publicly, and is likely to remain confidential in the years to come. Whilst Studio Hansa have released various clips and stills from the film in the years since its production, they have confirmed that they are unable to release the entire product, with art director Gary Roberts stating in an interview with the Thomas & Friends fan blog Roll Along Thomas that "Sadly due to the confidentially of the project, everything and what's on the site is as much as we can share about the project, by all means."
Thomas & Friends
- Thomas & Friends: All Engines Go (partially found test animation of reboot of British children TV series; 2019)
- Thomas & Friends: Day of the Diesels (lost original cut of direct-to-DVD film; existence unconfirmed; 2011)
- Thomas & Friends "Jack Jumps In" (found Alec Baldwin narration of British children's TV series episode; 2002)
- Thomas & Friends "Series 7" (partially found original music of British children's TV series American dub; mid-2000s)
- Thomas & Friends "Series 12" (partially found Pierce Brosnan narrations of British children's animated series; 2008)
Thomas the Tank Engine
- Thomas the Tank Engine (lost pilot episode of unproduced 2D animated adaptation of "The Railway Series" books; 1976)
- Thomas the Tank Engine "Down the Mine" (partially found pitch pilot version of British children's TV series episode; 1983)
- Thomas the Tank Engine "The Missing Coach" (partially found footage from cancelled British children's TV series episode; 1986)
- Thomas the Tank Engine "Season 3" (found original Michael Angelis narrations of British children's TV series episodes; 1991)
- Thomas the Tank Engine "Season 4" (found pre-recorded version of British children's TV series episodes; 1994)
- Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends (partially lost deleted scenes of British children's TV series; 1984-2021)
- The Adventures of Thomas (partially found production material of cancelled "Thomas the Tank Engine" live-action film; early-mid 2010s)
- Barry the Rescue Engine (lost production material of cancelled "The Railway Series" book; 1980s)
- Jack and the Sodor Construction Company (partially lost episodes and production material of cancelled spin-off series; 2002)
- Storytime with Thomas (partially found Fox Family series; 1999-2000)
- Thomas and the Magic Railroad (found deleted scenes of children's fantasy adventure film; 2000)
- Thomas and the Magic Railroad (lost test footage of 3.5" character models for British children's TV series; 1995)
- Thomas and the U.K. Trip & Thomas Number 1 (found Japanese "Thomas the Tank Engine" crossover TV special and music video; 1991)
- Thomas the Tank Engine (found original illustrated edition of book; 1946)
- Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends (found build of cancelled NES port of educational game; 1993)
- Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends (lost build of cancelled PlayStation educational game; 1999)
- The Three Railway Engines (lost live BBC broadcast adaptation of "The Railway Series" books; 1953)
- The Three Railway Engines (found original edition of book; 1945)
- Page about the film on Studio Hansa's website. Retrieved 31 Jul '22
- Roll Along Thomas blog post featuring Roberts' comments. Retrieved 31 Jul '22