Peter Andre walks the blue carpet for Thomas & Friends The Movie premiere

Peter Andre joined Thomas the Tank Engine and a host of celebrity guest walk the blue carpet at the global premiere of Thomas & Friends: Big World! Big Adventures! The Movie, this weekend.

More than 400 fans packed out Leicester Square’s to watch the celebrity turnout at Vue cinema where the 80 –minute CG animated special made its debut, before rolling out to 400 cinemas throughout the UK from July 20 this year.

The new movie features Peter Andre, the latest celebrity to voice a character in Thomas & Friends: Big World! Big Adventures, bringing life to the central character, Ace, an Australian rally car who inspired Thomas to leave his home of Sodor and travel the world.

Andre has also recorded a new song for the movie called Free and Easy which will be available on Spotify from July 20.

Joining the cast is multi-talented Kenyan actress and voice-over artist, Yvonne Grundy, who voices the protagonist Nia, the first African tank engine to join Thomas & Friends. Nia has been specially developed with the help of the UN and experts from the Royal African Society, and is a tank engine just like Thomas, who will now go on to join the TV show as part of the Steam Team.

The new movie is the 13 feature-length film to be produced by the franchise and the first to hit screens following the brand’s major refresh. The new series of the same name will launch this September.

Kate Schlomann, VP and general manager, Thomas & Friends, said: “The brand is undergoing a huge evolution to ensure it remains competitive for today’s audiences and this movie exemplifies this in a wonderful way with entertaining content that will help children discover and learn about the bigger world with a trusted friend.

“The new movie also offers the brand several new opportunities across the franchise from theatrical events to consumer products as well as a range of new exciting toys. This is a huge year for Thomas & Friends.”

Products supporting the movie include Thomas & Friends Turbo Jungle Set and Nia engines in the TrackMaster and Adventures segments. The Turbo Jungle Set features a motorised Thomas train that can travel up to 2.5 times faster than normal TrackMaster engines so kids can recreate scenes from the movie.

Andre’s character, Ace will be available as a toy in both the Adventures and TrackMaster ranges this summer.

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of and ToyNews. Hutchins has worked his way up from Staff Writer to the position of Editor across the two titles, having spent almost eight years with both ToyNews and, and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobGHutchins if ranting is your thing...

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