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(Yahoo)   "Thomas the Tank Engine" show can psychologically harm children because it shows too many wrecks   ( divider line
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5444 clicks; posted to Main » on 11 Mar 2003 at 2:05 PM (15 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2003-03-11 02:30:36 PM  
Funny. My sisters and I have been referring to this show as "the one with the creepy trains" for years now.
2003-03-11 02:31:09 PM  
Does anyone else get sick of all these psychological studies? I'm pretty sure we don't need them, what with the fact we did pretty darn well before there were pshrinks telling us we have no idea what trauma we are causing our children by letting them do anything at all.

Don't discount these studies too much. For every 20 of these lame ass ones, there is a useful one showing the utter stupidity and unreliability of human memory.
2003-03-11 02:31:51 PM  
Doesn't anyone remember Sid and Marty Kroft? Those guys screwed with my head for years while I was a child and I'm perfectly fine now. I'm FINE NOW!!! My doctor told me so... I even got a little certificate.
2003-03-11 02:32:34 PM  
Good Grief! My 2 year old son loves Thomas the tank engine, and he loves to ride on trains. Yes, he makes his toy trains crash, like on the show, but who didn't make thier toy cars/trains/whatever crash when they were kids? Sheesh....
2003-03-11 02:33:57 PM  
That is so farking lame.
2003-03-11 02:34:31 PM  
You just can't make stuff up like this, next they will want to take the book THE TREEE LITTLE PIGS out of schools.

P/C run amuck.
2003-03-11 02:35:04 PM  
Does anyone else get sick of all these psychological studies?

I see your point; however this wasn't even a psychological study it was a random professor at a mid-grade psych department giving a non-peer reviewed opinion to a newspaper. On close inspection it's revealed to be an opinion based on pure conjecture.

Good psychological studies give us treatments for conditions that can (at times literally) destroy people's lives, help develop new software and countless other things. Bad ones give us this shiat.
2003-03-11 02:35:51 PM  
To clarify the studies help develop new software not the conditions

2003-03-11 02:43:34 PM  
Don't buy anything from Acme.
2003-03-11 02:45:53 PM  
I didn't read the article yet, but there might be some vague truth to this... my nephew is a huge Thomas the Tank Engine fan (although he's now phasing out of it and into dinosaurs) and whenever I play with his train set with him, we'll (mostly, I'll) spend a lot of time setting up an elaborate track which as soon the the train gets on he will destroy within 30 seconds, because you HAVE to have a wreck or a blizzard, since that's what happens in every episode of Thomas. While true, most little boys take pleasure in destroying things, it might be wrong to tell them its supposed to happen all the time.
2003-03-11 02:46:29 PM  

"looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue"
2003-03-11 02:51:37 PM  
2003-03-11 02:53:57 PM  
What an unbelivable load of crap! My three year old is a Thomas the Tank Engine fanatic!! He has every engine ever made for that show ( I had to get a few discountinued one's off of ebay) and he loves everyone of them. I told him we'd take a train ride to D.C. this spring to see the Smithsonian and he asks about it everyday.

I think the "scientists" who come up with these theories skew their studies to guarantee that their idea is correct.


However, I agree with Thomas and the Magic Railroad movie...Alec Baldwin should be shot dead for starring in that pant load of a movie. It's the one TtTE movie even my son hates to watch!!
2003-03-11 02:56:11 PM  
My son (almost three years old) watches Thomas frequently. He also has a large Thomas playtable and the largest set Learning Tree makes. He has all the major characters for the sets, and he frequently makes them crash and derail. Recently, we went to a special "Day Out With Thomas" event, where the organizers renovated a small steam engine. This Thomas tours the country from train museum to train museum, giving kids the chance to "ride with Thomas." Now, the little steamer pulls a set of modern railway coaches, but the kids don't care. They love it. And as for my son, after watching Thomas and playing with the sets for the last eighteen months or so, he had a blast. He wasn't the least bit scared of the full-size Thomas, and he wasn't the least bit hesitant to climb onto the train to ride.

Each child is different. There are many facets of development that can make children react to different stimuli in different ways. My son, who never has a negative reaction to Thomas, cannot stand to see minor violence on television. He becomes visibly agitated and uncomfortable. Another child may not flinch while seeing a Monday Night Raw WWE episode, but hate the images from the Thomas series.

So, in the end, my son can play with his trains all he wants. I will be sure and continue shielding his consumption of popular culture television. Barney, Blue's Clues, Thomas, Franklin, The Muppets, Sesame Street, Little Bear... They can all come stay at my house if no other parents want them. I will always make room for them long before I let my son watch the crap they make "for kids" these days (Jimmy Neutron, Recess, Arnold, Fairly OddParents, SpongeBob, etc.). I bought a VHS Blue's Clue's tape once for my son. The tape had a preview in which the animated character said something to the effect of "I'll kick your butt." This was on a Blue's Clues tape. For my two-year-old. Do I want my son repeating that? I think not. I don't believe anyone on Thomas's show, or Blue's Clues, or Little Bear, or Barney, would ever say that. And as long as Nickelodeon and other channels keep putting that crap on for kids, I will continue buying more wholesome videos like VeggieTales. At least I don't have to edit out the movie previews with offensive comments for my toddler.
2003-03-11 03:05:26 PM  

Way to ruin a movie, asshat.

2003-03-11 03:08:48 PM  
Especially for Jinkeez - too lazy to link....


Also, this is now a censored cartoon, to wit:
"Chow Hound" (Jones; 1951):

FOX: Removed was the part when the mouse is dressed like an African savage returning the "Sabretoothed Alley Catus" to the zoo. Plus, FOX deleted this cartoon's final scene, of the mouse and the cat pouring gravy down the dog's throat. They say, "This time, we didn't forget the gravy!"
Nickelodeon: Same cut of the mouse in African garb as on FOX.
2003-03-11 03:15:46 PM  
you know what show ruled?

square one. made math kick ass.
2003-03-11 03:47:35 PM  
1) Square One rocked. Especially Mathnet. "Tesselation..." Rawk on.

2) Shining Time Station actually did show brief Thomas the Tank Engine snippets in most of their episodes (along with those weird jukebox musician people). They stole (well, probably paid for) the BBC Thomas clips. I watched this in later elementary years for the train station stuff, especially cause Didi Conn was on it and I was fascinated by how much older she looked than in Grease... but Thomas bored me to tears at the time.

3) As someone who has worked with dozens of young autistic boys, I have a good feeling my population's not affected by Thomas crashes. What a load of crap! My student Alex is into trains and Thomas, and just last week came in with his mom on parent-teacher conference day. Alex had a hard time leaving the classroom (cause we let him play computer BY HIMSELF for the length of the conference, which was a VERY BIG DEAL), until his mom told him they were going on the subway train. "Train! Train! Train!" I've never seen that kid put on his coat so fast. No Thomas-related trauma there.

Evidence, people. Evidence. Show it. Blah.
2003-03-11 03:49:04 PM  
When my newphew was 2 1/2 or 3, he caught a glimpse of some movie with Arnold S. I think and there was a subway train or something that crashed and exploded in the subway. This horrified him. My sister woke up that night to my nephew screaming "NO, STOP, NO TRAIN GO BOOM, NO, NO, NO TRAIN GO BOOM."

Sorry, but Thomas the Tank Engine never gave him that reaction and he watches it almost every day. He still wants to be an Train Engineer when he grows up.
2003-03-11 04:24:09 PM  
Did the Psychologist forget he was a kid once?
2003-03-11 04:26:22 PM  
Bump: It's Annie and Clarabelle, not Clara and Annabelle!

2003-03-11 04:30:15 PM  
And by the way, my 4-year-old has loved Thomas the Tank engine for as long as he can remember, and he's not scared to get on a train, doesn't think trains crash a lot, or any of that crap. He gets excited when we get a chance to go on a train, and will talk about it for hours before it actually happens--even if it's just a ride on a subway or el train.

Maybe that's how he's been scarred by Thomas.
2003-03-11 04:30:23 PM  
Great!!! Now we can get back to some seriously educational toys like Army men and gasoline.
2003-03-11 04:36:24 PM  
Yeah and I use to watch Tom & Jerry as a child, so am I supposed to be scared when I see a cat holding a mallet?
2003-03-11 04:41:20 PM  
square one rocked

also... i'm pretty sure the news stories about amtrak crashes are affecting my perception of the safety of trains more than thomas ever did
2003-03-11 04:51:18 PM  

The tape had a preview in which the animated character said something to the effect of "I'll kick your butt." This was on a Blue's Clues tape. For my two-year-old. Do I want my son repeating that? I think not.

Ahhh...Haven't started school yet. You'll be wishing for the days of "I'll kick you butt!" My daughter went to a small private school for K. Her language was very "clean". She's now in public 1st grade. I think it took about a week at the new school for "fark" and "shiat" to first be uttered at home. Public school is a sweet place. ;)
2003-03-11 05:24:01 PM  
I never thought I could use this picture twice....

[image from too old to be available]
2003-03-11 06:29:38 PM  
Who the hell rides trains anymore anyway??
2003-03-11 06:42:33 PM  
Whatta buncha losers... as a kid I enjoyed the likes of Mighty Mouse, Heckle & Jeckle and Woody Woodpecker- did they make me want to go out and tie cats to rockets or stuff a dopey dogs mouth with dynamite? Heck no!!

And, speaking of train wrecks... I was treated to the very best style watching Gomez Addams run his trains into a head-on collision on a trestle and accent that very instant of their meeting by pushing down on an old wooden t-handle blasting box!! Ka-POW!!! Let me tell you, this was certainly groovy stuff for a nine-year old to be watching, no? Well, my contemporaries and I have grown up to be fine, responsible adults despite all of these awful influences, and my kids have grown up to be fine people as well even with similar fare to watch. What maroons!

If you really want to get a shock you busybody researchers, check out the genius twins that have just developed a 3-D facial recognition system that could go miles towards criminal/terrorist detection (and cause some civil liberty issues). Check out the article (4th paragraph from bottom) to discover their hobby from age 8 to 13... that they finally 'outgrew'. It wasn't tinkertoys- think "bigger". Many successful techies can claim a similar background in their youth.
2003-03-11 06:54:02 PM  
Let's just tie them all up and put them in rubber rooms so they can't hurt themselves or be psychologically harmed by dangerous influences, such as Harry Potter, Thomas the Tank Engine, and the Satanistic overlord of them all, Spongebob Squarepants - our children must be sheltered,, protected!!!

2003-03-11 07:31:06 PM  

2003-03-11 07:37:27 PM  
"Oh, won't someone PLEASE think of the children!"

...can't believe no one has said this yet ...
2003-03-11 08:48:45 PM  
Who the hell are Cranky and Duncan? Please tell me they're not considered part of TtTE... i've even got a well-worn thomas video ('rescued' from some highly destructive kids it had been passed on to) up on my shelf right now and i don't know who they are.

Dubbing things in a foreign language to english, i can understand, but the mangling of the Sodor Trains series from British to American is something that will never quite make sense.

TtTE & Friends didn't exactly scar me, even with repeated viewings.... a few trains get into adventures and scrapes, and a couple ran off the rails with fairly minor consequences, not like anyone died. (Remember kids - never use wooden brake blocks, they're about as fatal as equipping a fully loaded pickup with all-round drums and a weak automatic). If you read the reports of all the minor incidents & things like that (available hidden deep on some rail corp websites) it's not exactly an uncommon thing, just it doesnt much make the headlines. At least they didn't show the effects of what happens when things REALLY go wrong :(
2003-03-11 08:55:52 PM  
Being only 17, I used to LOVE that show when I was 3-7. The PBS Shining Time Station crap sucked but I watched it just for the Thomas parts and at one time I think I had about 20 tapes.

My little brother (10) loved it too, now he's moved on to POKEMON and ZOIDS and all that low grade hideous anime that serves only to market the products. Thomas only made him like trains and had him wanting to get a new Thomas toy every now and then, but this Pokeshiat causes him to spend way too much time worrying about getting the Pokemon game he doesn't have yet because you can't be the Pokemaster without it. Gotta, BUY 'em all! I heard him At least he's not into that Yugioh crap like his friends are.
2003-03-11 09:09:44 PM  
Bump - what, no ghibli or DiC? For shame, sir! :) :p

StomachMonkey - jeez, as a britakker i havent even seen any HR P&S or other kroft stuff, but merely a couple of random screencaps and a few obnoxious popups for memorabilia lunchboxes were enough to screw with my mind. Just what is WITH those puppets? We had something here that was only half as f**d looking, a wooden "goblin baby" called Pob, and his short lived series is fondly remembered as one of the most seriously messed up shows on kids TV (short of tellitubbies etc)...

Oh yeah... I had a train set ages ago.. my dad's old Hornby Triplo (?? it had 3 rails anyhow) HO scale setup... used to do little with it except one of three things, run the trains (old steamers all) around in aimless circles really fast, much like thomas' non-disaster status quo; try to see what the greatest amount of carriages any one could pull (12 may not seem a lot, but when you consider than most of it was early 60s vintage and probably never been oiled ;); and crash them together. He sold the lot off to a collector in the end and my thomas-inspired antics probably took 50% off the price!
So it may not be mentally damaging but financially so...

Real trains are both. I don't ride them any more, I drive instead. It wasn't safety that turned me off, more the inconvenience/unreliability, and the cost. Keeping the same pace as the train saves me a fair amount comparing fuel to ticket prices; on the other hand I can get someone twice as quick and not pay very much more. Plus the service is guaranteed not to be cancelled, delayed, rerouted, need transfers at some godforsaken terminus in the welsh border wildnerness for which you have to -RUN- with a backpack, case and flight bag, etc etc. The killer was a 7 hour journey that should have taken 90mins (or an hour by road), and involved me going in totally the wrong direction for 30 minutes because of a mis-signed local train (all the locals ignored the sign because they knew where it was going). And cost loads.
The only thing I really miss is being able to stretch out and sleep a little, or read a book, etc. But driving provides it's own entertainment, a better sound system (usually), and quite often the chance to sleep at one end or the other whilst your taxi or friend/family member would still be kicking their heels in the station waiting to pick you up. Plus you can choose where to stop for lunch more easily so you don't get ripped off for a stale sandwich and a cup of hot water with a brown crayon dipped in it.

Yeah.... britrail sucks. Far more than the wonderful steampunk fantasy island world of thomas.
2003-03-11 11:45:52 PM  
"You just can't make stuff up like this, next they will want to take the book THE TREEE LITTLE PIGS out of schools."

Actually, they're already doing that. My grandmother is a teacher at a preschool. She was informed at the beginning of the year that she could no longer tell "Humpty Dumpty", "Little Boy Blue", "The Three Little Pigs", or "Little Red Riding Hood" to the kids anymore. The reason: It might harm their delicate little minds.
2003-03-11 11:53:21 PM  
I can just see those psycho-anal-ists sitting around all day long watching TV and wondering which kiddie show will give them their 15 minutes of fame.

The Magic School Bus makes kids afraid that they will be turned into a seacucumber or get launched into space...

The smurfs mades kids afraid to step on mushrooms and leave tose little blue freaks homeless...

Thundercats makes kids hot for cat-women and get those strange fixations on those "Furries" cross between an animal and a nakd women...

Pokemon is teaching kids the finer points of training attack animals for fun... "I chose you, Pitbullmon!"

I miss the good old days where bad kids were a sign of bad parents.
2003-03-12 12:03:16 AM  
Here's a scary report from the American Psych Association. According to this, I could kill at any moment. ;-)

Cartoon violence no laughing matter
People who watched Roadrunner cartoons when they were children tend to be violent adults, new research suggests.

Women who had been exposed to high levels of television violence were four times more likely than their peers to admit they had punched, beaten or choked another adult. They were also more likely to have thrown objects at their husbands.

Men who had been avid watchers of shows rated "very violent" -- a category that included The Six Million Dollar Man, Starsky and Hutch and The Roadrunner cartoons, among others -- had been convicted of crimes three times more often than other men. The violence watchers were also more likely to commit traffic violations or to push, shove or grab their wives.

The findings held true regardless of the children's level of intellect, social status and initial levels of aggression.

"We need to be aware that media violence can affect any child from any family," the researchers say in the latest issue of Developmental Psychology, a journal of the American Psychological Association.

Taken from the National Post
Full article:​B-BBD4-9 2BE6A62A626
2003-03-12 12:31:04 AM  
As Mrs. Squat and I have always maintained, any railroad with the safety record of the Island of Sodor would be shut down immediatey and heavily fined and would eventually file Chapter 11 as a result of a steady stream of class-action lawsuits from both commuters and insurance companies.

My 6 year old has a rather unhealthy fixation with this tragedy of a children's program and can relate stories IN MINUTE DETAIL of episodes he has viewed. Hopefully, by this time next year, I will have eBayed all his TtTE paraphenalia. Thankfully, my 2 year old only wants to hit people due to all the violent Rescue Heroes crapola he watches. Time to kill the teevee.
2003-03-12 04:07:12 AM  
In that case, we shouldn't be able to watch the news, because that often shows violent or negative images.

In fact, sites like Fark should be banned. IT'S DISGUSTING I TELL YOU!!!!!

These are probably the same people that say you shouldn't tell off your kids because it will reinforce negative points upon them...

Stupid F***ers...

Let's kill them all.

FWIW, my 3 year old son is a total Thomas the Tank Engine fanatic. Totally loves it. Yet he likes going on real trains too.
2003-03-12 04:09:22 AM  
click here For that psychologist's persona; information...
2003-03-12 04:25:58 AM  
Why do I immediately regret posting that link? :-S
2003-03-12 02:46:46 PM  
I'm a bit late but has anyone mentioned Captain Pugwash ?

Full of sexual references it was. Take the character names for example - "Roger the cabin boy", "Master Bates" and "Seaman stains" to name but a few.
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