Thomas and the Magic Railroad

Rated 2.0 Live action meets animation in this gooey fairy tale for preschoolers. The cheerful British steam engine Thomas and the other engines on a fantasy rail line roll their eyes while talking—but their mouths remain stationary. The effect is bizarrely seductive. The story in which a mean diesel engine, a hidden locomotive named Lady and a depleted supply of magic gold dust add up to a lesson in cooperation and determination is mind-numbing. Alec Baldwin is sunshiny as the foot-tall Mr. Conductor. Peter Fonda plays the depressed keeper of a local secret. Based on characters created by Wilbert Awdry and adapted to PBS television.