February 1, 2006

Thomas And The Boys

nxnw_ending.jpgMoxie mentioned the shabby Thomas The Train boardbook adaptations. We got a box set of Thomas books, and while they're a little thin [and while I fail to see how "round" and "arched" are opposites in the SAT sense of the word], the real beef is that there are no girl trains. The only girl in the whole box set is Bertha, and she's a bus.

Maybe Hitchcock was right, sometimes a train is just a train. Except when it isn't.

10 Comments

As the parent of a little boy who looooves dem trains I can offer this:

There's actually a girl train named Emily...she's a bit of a know-it-all, but generally means well.

I also have a knock-off Thomas book with an engine named Daisy, too. But she's probably unique to the book series.

Then there's Elizabeth the truck....

Your point is well-made, however!

Is Cailou a big deal in the rest of the world? I know he's escaped into English Canada, but I don't know about anywhere else..

anyway, if the mom has to be shown how to do one more mechanical thing or if the father is shown as a bumbling git the kitchen once more...

Girl trains? I thought all the boy trains needed was a good tunnel?

According to Wikipedia, Daisy, Mavis, Emily, and (possibly -- it's a wikipedia controversy!) Rusty are female engines that have appeared on the Thomas and Friends TV show.

There are also lots of female coaches, including Annie and Clarabel, Henrietta, and Old Slowcoach.

[leave it to Wikipedia. and leave it to me to shoot my mouth off about something I know next to nothing about when it turns out there are generations of rabid fans. Of course, the same Wikipedia article talks about token female characters, charges of sexism, and female characters disappearing for seasons on end. Also, Daisy's face is actually Boco with eyelashes and makeup. And Bertie--not Bertha--is a dude. Although to know that the whole thing was cooked up by a dad telling a story to his sick son in 1942 helps explain why there are no girls, I think the criticism still stands. -ed.]

That's nice, make the girls that regularly appear in the books/videos (i.e. Annie and Clarabel, Thomas' coach cars) be cars that are pulled along behind the boy engines. Don't get me started on that one . . .
Always great to find social injustices in seemingly harmless children's books. he he he he.

Yeah, Caillou bugs me too. Not just for what you mentioned, but I also feel like in every episode Caillou will ask for help or for his parents to play with him and the standard answer is, "I'm too busy, Caillou!".

And why is every adult character on Caillou wearing maternity clothes? No one on the show is pregnant.

Cameron, is the French version of Caillou's voice whiny enough to scrape paint off the walls? The English version makes Dora sound like a meditation CD.

Thomas is remarkably tedious to me, but my son (almost two) loves it. Caillou, though -- I hate that whiny little bastridge. My daughter found the Caillou website once and had to play it with the headphones on or get off the computer because I thought I would lose my mind.

C'mon, now. In addition to all the coaches and other vehicles listed above, the one and only "Lady" is certain a girl. And she's the source of the magic gold dust, of course. Not a bad gig. She's also one of the few engines that comes in a battery-operated model. Maybe I've said too much.

Not that I'm pimpin for Thomas or anything, but there is a Thomas and the Magic Railroad game starring Lady and above mentioned goldust that my son still enjoys playing. Furthermore it is not cloying sweet or annoying for the parent either.

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