If you wanted a real horror story to give to your kids then you might as well forget IT or any other mainstream horror flick that could send them screaming towards years and years worth of psychiatry visits, just give them a good eyeful of Thomas the Tank Engine. Sounds weird right? Why would you think that subjecting kids to the horror that is Thomas the Tank Engine would be anything other than a silly and ill-conceived notion? It’s a kids show for crying out loud, and should be completely safe, right? Have you ever watched the show? Aside from having strange, disturbing faces, these trains have it a lot worse than you could ever possibly imagine. Let me give you a few examples.
Their punishments are inhumane even by machine standards.
When one of these sentient trains misbehaves it’s understandable that property, people, and even other trains and other vehicles can be affected. Henry, one of the trains on the rails, decides to stay inside one day so that the rain won’t ruin his paint job. So he’s a bit stubborn obviously and doesn’t want to play ball with the controllers. But in response the Fat Controller and his men begin to wall Henry into the tunnel in which he’s taken refuge. They basically wall him up like Edgar Allen Poe’s Cask of Amontillado, going about their business as the gravity of what’s happened suddenly dawns on Henry. That seems a bit harsh, right? Being walled and left to be forgotten for one slight seems a little overkill.
Then there’s the matter of Smudger and Bulstrode the Barge. Smudger is kind of a pain in the butt to begin with, and doesn’t much care what people think of him when he messes up. In fact he does it on purpose most times, but we’ll get to him in a minute. Bulstrode on the other hand is said to be disagreeable and, sure enough, any time someone doesn’t toe the line in this cartoon they’re punished in some form. In Bulstrode’s case it involves taking multiple cars full of heavy rocks being dumped on him by Smudger. This puts a giant hole in his hull and forces the controllers to beach him. They don’t even try to fix him, instead abandoning Bulstrode to rest and rot on the beach, where kids can presumably climb through his innards and make him more “useful”. Wow, so basically they’re going to let him sit, rot, and be forced to suffer the indignity of people kicking around his insides. Even Pennywise doesn’t seem that cruel.
And then there’s Smudger, like I said I’d get back to him. He’s a defiant and unfriendly bugger that causes accidents on purpose and doesn’t much care for others. But what’s his punishment you ask? He gets left in a shed and turned into a giant generator, forgotten for the most part until he breaks down and needs to be restarted. Oh but it gets better. As though being punished by karma Smudger’s shed is eventually covered over by a landslide, leaving him forgotten and perhaps hoping that someone will remember to come and check on him. But given the track record of this show do you really think that would be the case?
So yeah, if you want to scare the crap out of your kid and give them and idea of what it means to be tossed away, discarded, and abandoned, no horror movie is going to top Thomas the Tank Engine.