Producers of a new Thomas the Tank Engine video, popular with kids around the world, are taking heat for removing all references to Christmas in a new video set for release before the 2011 Christmas season. The storyline is about competing trains who want to win a coveted prize of carrying all the presents of the children during a “winter holiday party” filled with “decorated trees”. Advance word of the release of the video has parent groups up in arms.
Hit Entertainment, the company behind the DVD, defended the release as it said about the video: “It was put out some time ago. It was not a seasonal release specifically aimed at a Christmas audience, but we do put out seasonal releases that have Christmas in the title. Last year we had Christmas Express and next year we are planning another Christmas title.”
However, John Midgely, of the Campaign Against Political Correctness, said: “This is an attempt to write Christmas out of something that is so popular with families.”
The original Thomas characters were created by Reverend Wilbert Awdry in 1945 while he was a vicar.