Thomas and Friends: Sodor's Christmas Disaster is a 90 minute special released in December 2017. It will be a direct-to-DVD special with limited theatrical appearances.
It is wintertime on the Island of Sodor, and all of the engines are excited. Wintertime is filled with happy celebrations and children playing in the snow. The engines, however, are very busy getting ready for the winter holidays. One wintry morning, Thomas is helping Percy to deliver the morning mail at Town Square when an unfamiliar engine rolls over to the duo. It is pulling one coach and passengers fill the coach as well as the engine itself. As it pulls up to the platform, Sir Topham Hat steps out of the engine. He introduces the new engine as Isabel and tells them that she is assigned to pull the Dining Car Express, in which passengers can have full-cooked meals while travelling long distances. Thomas and Percy are interested in Isabel and wish to talk with her, but Sir Topham Hat refuses for the time being. He tells Thomas and Percy to meet at Knapford with the rest of their friends. With that, he and Isabel purr away and Thomas and Percy race to Knapford Station.
When they arrive, Thomas and Percy notice that all of their friends are already at Knapford Station. They talk about what the meeting could be about when Isabel arrives with Sir Topham Hat. He announces that, within the next week, Hilltop Town will be preparing for their annual Christmas celebration. Then, he says that one lucky engine will have the honor of bringing the village Christmas tree from Brendam Docks all the way to Hilltop Town. After a fair amount of debating and arguing, Sir Topham Hat eventually elects Gordon for the task, much to the disappointment of the other engines.
Over the next couple of days, all the engines help with the preparations for the celebration at Hilltop Town – all, except Gordon. He refuses to do any work, for it “might spoil [his] ability to pull the ever-important Christmas tree.” The engines are clearly annoyed by Gordon’s lax work ethic, but then the tables are turned. A few days before Gordon’s excursion with the Christmas tree, he decides to flaunt and boast about his task to the entire island. While puffing down the line, he ignores Edward’s warning about slippery rails and races down Gordon’s Hill, which has been coated in ice. Unable to stop, Gordon crashes into Stanley and his heavy snow-clearing equipment, bashing his front end and leaving him immobile. He is taken to the Sodor Steamworks where it is revealed that Gordon’s injuries are more extensive and serious than initially observed and will have to stay for the week. Now there is no engine to pull the Christmas tree to the Hilltop Town celebration, which is in just two days!
That night, at Tidmoth Sheds, Sir Topham Hat tells his engines about the day’s events. He recaps on the urgency of the situation at hand and asks if any of the engines are able to fulfill Gordon’s task. Thomas, after hearing that all of the other engines are too busy, volunteers himself for the task at the approval of his friends. Sir Topham Hat agrees and tells Thomas to arrive at Brendam Docks no later than teatime tomorrow.
The next day, Thomas arrives at the docks early to wait for his special. While waiting, he meets two new twin tank engines, Adam and Agnes, who are busy shunting nearby. The twins, however, seem more interested in biffing and bashing freight cars into each other rather than working! Soon, Cranky lowers the Christmas tree onto Thomas’ flatbed just as Sir Topham Hat arrives to make sure everything is ship-shape. He tells Thomas that, in order to avoid any further calamities, he is to pick up Butch at the Sodor Search and Rescue Center. When Thomas arrives, Butch is patiently waiting on a flatbed, “ready to rumble and roll!” As Thomas and Butch leave, all of the Sodor Rescue Crew wishes them good luck on their travels.
Thomas and Butch make their way across the Island of Sodor with the village Christmas tree in tow. They are making great time as they stop at a nearby signal. It reads “all clear ahead”, so Thomas believes that they should continue on, but Butch has his doubts. He argues with Thomas about the possibility of the signal being frozen in place, but Thomas does not listen to Butch, saying that “all should be fine.” So, they continue on down the line, despite Butch’s consistent worrying thoughts. Suddenly, upon rounding a bend, they nearly collide with a deep snow drift blocking the mainline. Butch suggests that they should wait for Stanley with the snow-clearing equipment, but Thomas believes that it would take too long and decides to find another route to Hilltop Town. They back down the main line until they find an old branchline that leads to Hilltop Town. Meanwhile, at Hilltop Town, there is hustle and bustle. Townspeople and engines race back and forth getting the village ready for the annual Christmas celebration. However, Percy is beginning to worry for Thomas’ safety in the snow. After some reassuring words from Toby, he soon gets back to work.
Back on the branchline, Thomas and Butch encounter the Valley Bridge, with the icy-cold river rushing beneath it. Butch is not confident with crossing the old bridge, but Thomas is determined to reach Hilltop Town in time for the celebration. What he does not know is that ice build-up had formed cracks in the foundations and the bridge is on the verge of collapse. As Thomas puffs onto the bridge, the cracks widen, and the bridge fails within itself. Thomas tries to hurry, but he is not fast enough. Just before puffing off the bridge, a huge section of track falls away directly behind the train! Thomas struggles to keep Butch, himself, and the Christmas tree from falling into the gap. His wheels slip and skid on the icy rails, but Thomas is able to pull him, Butch, and the Christmas tree to safety.
At Hilltop Town, Percy’s anxiety increases with every minute that passes. He insists that something must have gone wrong, that Thomas is stuck somewhere with no one to help. Emily tries to reassure him, that Thomas will be alright, but Percy refuses to believe her, so she just continues on with her jobs. Then, Henry puffs up and says that “maybe Thomas does need help, but standing around worrying will so, not get the job at hand done,” and “Sir Topham Hat needs all of the engines to work hard.” So, Percy proceeds to push some freight cars of decorations – and almost crashes them into James at the coal bunker! Percy apologizes and gets back to work, still thinking about Thomas.
Thomas and Butch get back onto the main line and puff closer to Hilltop Town. As they pass snow-covered town after another, they can see Hilltop Town in the distance, indicating that their journey is almost at an end. They stop at a signal close by a town near Hilltop Mountain where they see Charlie waiting with a load of decorations bound for Hilltop Town. The friends exchange greetings and Thomas informs Charlie about his and Butch’s special task. Charlie warns Thomas about loose snow drifts on the mountainside and tells them both to take care, but Thomas assures him that nothing will go wrong. After Charlie utters one of his famous riddles, Thomas and Butch continue on their journey. Meanwhile, on the hilltop, preparations for the celebration are almost complete, but soon, all of the engines share Percy’s previous anxiety. Gordon did not trust Thomas with the task from the start, which, along with his jealousy, makes him the only engine not concerned with Thomas and his journey. The other engines, however, wonder if it was right to agree to let Thomas go on such a perilous journey.
Soon, Thomas and Butch enter the valley just below Hilltop Town. Thomas notices that the festivities are almost underway, so he attempts to whistle to get the village’s attention. Butch tries to remind him about Charlie’s warning, but it is too late; Thomas blows the longest, loudest whistle of all, which is loud enough for the town to hear, bringing slight relief to the other engines on the hilltop. Unfortunately, Thomas’ whistle is so loud that it disturbs a huge pile of snow, which breaks free from the mountain. The engines hear the avalanche barreling down the cliffside towards Thomas and try to whistle a warning, but Thomas does not hear due to his own whistling. Percy puffs to the edge of the cliff just in time to watch the avalanche engulf Thomas, Butch, and the Christmas tree. The engines become forlorn over the loss of their friend, but no one feels the pain worse than Percy.
Down in the valley, Thomas and Butch lay stranded under a thick blanket of snow. Their drivers work hard to clear the snow, but to no avail. Just then, Adam and Agnes chuff and puff past with passengers bound for Hilltop Town. They see the mound of snow and Thomas and Butch’s drivers and screech to a halt. Once the drivers explain their situation, the passengers the passengers, using shovels from inside the passenger car, help to clear the snow, as well. Soon, Thomas and Butch are on their way again, after a quick “thank you” to the twins. They begin to climb the slope, but the rails are slippery, and Thomas and Butch start to slide back down. Just then, they feel a sudden jolt from behind; it is Adam and Agnes pushing the duo up the hill. Together, the engines make their way up to the annual Christmas celebration.
The engines are still mourning when Thomas, Butch, and Adam and Agnes puff into the yard. All of the other engines – especially Percy – are overjoyed at Thomas’ safe arrival and marvel at the Christmas tree as Thomas tells his friends what happened. With Butch’s help, the Christmas tree is soon standing tall, and the townspeople decorate the tree with several different kinds of ornaments. Everyone thanks the engines for their hard work and Sir Topham Hat congratulates Thomas, Butch, and the twins for a job well done. The townspeople and the engines then all take part in Christmas carols in what turns out to be yet another successful Christmas celebrations.
- Sir Topham Hatt
- Sir Topham Hat
- Dock Manager
- Some passengers
- Some workmen
- Kevin (cameo)
- Terence (cameo)
- Trevor (cameo)
- Oliver (cameo)
- Duck (cameo)
- This special is loosely based on Thomasfan8Extras' Thomas-themed movie titled "Thomas and the Christmas Disaster". The main song is also based on the song he wrote to accompany the movie.
- This special marked the first of several things:
- Terence's first appearance in the full CGI in the television series and his first appearance since The Great Discovery.
- Trevor's first appearance in a special since The Great Discovery.
- Rocky's first speaking role in a special since Blue Mountain Mystery.
- Butch's first speaking role in a special in the television series and his first appearance in a special since Misty Island Rescue.
- Rosie's first speaking role in a special in the television series, her first speaking role in Arc Productions in the television series and her first speaking role since the sixteenth season.
- Charlie's first speaking role in a special in the television series and his first appearance in a special since Day of the Diesels.
- The first appearance of Hilltop Town and the Vally Bridge in the television series.