THOMAS & FRIENDS: BIG WORLD! IN CINEMA THIS FRIDAY

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Holidays are here and what better way to keep the kids busy than with a great movie. Thomas & Friends is just that.

My family and I were invited to an exclusive preview recently and this is what down!

Bobby van Jaarsveld, pop music superstar and chart-topping recording artist, added an extra-special dimension when he sang the local version of a new theme song for the Thomas & Friends episodic series. This performance took place at the recent SA premiere of children’s film Thomas & Friends: Big World! Big Adventures! The Movie at Ster Kinekor Sandton on Sunday, 16 September.

Before an exuberant crowd including Mattel SA partners, media, celebs, mommy bloggers, influencers and mini-VIPs, Bobby shared the inspiration to be open to exploration and adventures, to engage with different people, and to make new friends. Both the song and the film, said Bobby (who was accompanied to the premiere by his wife and children), contain messages of unity and are symbolic of the endless possibilities that exist as soon as we work together.

The 80-minute movie is the 13th feature-length film in the Thomas & Friends stable and is considered to be the brand’s biggest, boldest and most relevant release to date. Audiences will encounter a plotline full of twists and turns, with original musical pieces to delight pre-schoolers and their parents. In line with its quest to resonate with the next generation, the movie also introduces a diverse group of friends – including Nia, an African tank engine from Kenya – and takes them on an epic global journey.

Terusha Naidoo, Mattel SA Brand Manager, says, “The involvement of a character from Africa adds an extra-special dimension to this story. Nia is a real optimist and a strong aspirational character with a great moral compass. Her vibrant kindness gives her a personality that boys and girls will admire.”

Sunday’s audience loved the new character too, with local bloggers sharing their views: “I love how Africa is represented in the movie,” said Lebogang Xolo of MrsXLifestyle on Instagram. “A brand new female character with African roots!” enthused Laetitia Corder ofPoppet Patch on Facebook.

Also present at the premiere were famous faces including yours truelly Thembisa Mododa, Lisa Koppel, Lynn Forbes and her granddaughter Kairo Forbes, The Bala’s and Rugby wife Clarissa Manacas. Sureshnie Rider acted as MC; her infectious energy generating much enthusiasm from the crowd.

Naidoo explains that, since Thomas & Friends has had the same iconic theme song for 73 years, it is poignant that the song has now been localised for SA. Blogger Natasha Kisten-Skuce of Fit Like Mummy agreed on Twitter saying, “Bobby left my 10-year-old speechless at the premiere. #Starstruck.”

The film launches in Ster Kinekor cinemas nationwide on 5 October. The new theme song can be downloaded for free from Bobby’s official website at: www.bobbyvanjaarsveld.com.

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