26 FEB, 2015

New friends introduced to mark 70th anniversary year voiced by all-star talent Eddie Redmayne, John Hurt, and Jamie Campbell Bower 


HIT Entertainment, one of the world’s leading children’s entertainment producers and a subsidiary of Mattel, Inc., has today announced the latest CG animated feature length Thomas & Friends® special Sodor’s Legend of the Lost Treasure which is set for release on DVD and digital HD this fall.  


Under the direction of Executive Producer Christopher Keenan, the 60-minute movie Sodor’s Legend of the Lost Treasure is a spectacular new adventure that takes Thomas to a new part of Sodor and on a curious quest that introduces a host of new characters; and the stellar voice cast bringing them to life. New engine Ryan will be voiced by Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything, Les Misérables, Elizabeth I), while John Hurt (Harry Potter, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) will assume the part of Sailor John and Jamie Campbell Bower (Harry Potter, Twilight) will voice trusted sail boat Skiff. 


Eddie Redmayne, who voices new tank engine Ryan, commented: “I grew up loving to watch Thomas and his pals getting caught up in unexpected and mischievous adventures. I jumped at the opportunity to get involved and what fun it was! I have never voiced an animated character before, and I had a complete blast.” 


Actor John Hurt, who plays Sailor John, explained: "I remember watching Thomas the Tank Engine with my children when they were young and I'm delighted that it continues to appeal to each successive generation. I enjoy working vocally and have voiced many animated characters. Sailor John was something of a departure from what I usually do and a lot of fun to play as you can see from the pictures." 


Voice of Skiff, Jamie Campbell Bower, added: “I’m thrilled to be a part of this project. I grew up with Thomas & Friends so it’s been really exciting to be able to get involved in this new feature special and voice the character of Skiff. It is a great show to be involved in and incredibly fun to record. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my first animation and I look forward to everyone seeing the end result.”


It’s a big year for content and also for the brand in 2015 as Thomas & Friends celebrates 70 years of friendship with a year-long program of friendship-themed activity around the world. 


Christopher Keenan, VP Global Content & Executive Producer, HIT Entertainment said “Sodor’s Legend of the Lost Treasure is an epic story of friendship, betrayal and, ultimately, loyalty where Thomas is at the center of the action. We’re introducing a whole host of exciting new characters which is one of the great joys of writing for Thomas & Friends.


“We have introduced a wide variety of friends over the years and look forward to the audience’s reaction to these unique characters”.


Thomas & Friends special Sodor’s Legend of the Lost Treasure will roll out globally through 2015.  For the latest news, visit the all new Thomas & Friends website www.thomasandfriends.com.


-ENDS-


For more information, please contact:


Katie Kajumba / HIT Entertainment – Global Public Relations


+44 (0)20 755 42581/ katie.kajumba@mattel.com


Noelle Dong / HIT Entertainment – The Americas


(646) 467-5336 / noelle.dong@mattel.com


 


Notes to Editors:


About Thomas & Friends


Thomas the Tank Engine was created by a father for his son 70 years ago and today is enjoyed by families in more than 300 territories and in over 40 languages.  The No.1 blue engine and his friends invite children to enter a world of imagination through the tracks of a train and the words of a story. Children embark on adventures with their engine friends while experiencing timeless life lessons of discovery, friendship and cooperation. Thomas & Friends makes tracks to great destinations on PBS KIDS® and Sprout® in the US and on Five’s Milkshake! and Nick Jr in the UK and on CCTV in China.  Downloadable episodes are available through iTunes. For more information about the world of Thomas the Tank Engine™ and his friends, please visit www.thomasandfriends.com


About HIT Entertainment


HIT Entertainment is one of the world's leading pre-school entertainment companies, specialising in building powerful brands based on engaging stories.  HIT Entertainment’s world-class portfolio includes  Thomas & Friends®, Mike the Knight™, Fireman Sam®, Bob the Builder™, Barney®, Angelina Ballerina®, Pingu® and Rainbow Magic®.


HIT Entertainment excels at creating and building globally successful brands which capture the hearts and imaginations of pre-schoolers and their families.  This is achieved through exceptional storytelling in multiple formats, enhanced by creating high quality character-based products and experiences with best-in-class partners. HIT Entertainment’s lines of business span television and home entertainment production, content distribution, digital media and live events and attractions.  HIT Entertainment, a subsidiary of Mattel, Inc., has operations in the UK, US, Canada, Hong Kong and Japan. For more information visit www.hitentertainment.com


About Mattel


The Mattel family of companies (Nasdaq: MAT) is the worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of toys and family products. Mattel’s portfolio of best-selling brands includes Barbie®, the most popular fashion doll ever produced, Hot Wheels®, Monster High®, American Girl®, Thomas & Friends® and Fisher-Price® brands, including Little People® and Power


Wheels®, MEGA® Brands, including MEGA BLOKS® and RoseArt®, as well as a wide array of entertainment-inspired toy lines. In 2013, Mattel was named one of the "World's Most Ethical Companies" by Ethisphere Magazine and in 2014 ranked No. 5 on Corporate Responsibility Magazine's "100 Best Corporate Citizens" list. With worldwide headquarters in El Segundo, Calif., Mattel’s companies employ nearly 30,000 people in 40 countries and territories and sell products in more than 150 nations. At Mattel, we are Creating the Future of Play. Visit us at www.mattel.com, www.facebook.com/mattel or www.twitter.com/mattel


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