Happy Birthday, Sir! (Thomas & Friends)
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"Happy Birthday Sir!" is the nineteenth episode of the sixteenth season in TV order, but the twentieth and final episode of the sixteenth season in production order. It premiered on March 15th, 2012 in the UK despite being produced in 2011.
Why it Rocks
- This is an episode that shows us an example not all the episodes from the Sharon Miller are bad, in fact this is one of Sharon Miller's best episodes written when working on Thomas as head writer.
- The animation from Nitrogen Studios is still great.
- It was the episode that brought back the charm from the first seven seasons, both this episode and "Blue Mountain Mystery" made the series enjoyable to watch again.
- Winston is portrayed brilliantly as his dynamic with Thomas is very well written.
- It has the unique concept about Sir Topham Hatt's birthday, and that it's story behind it is surprisingly good and quite so unpredictable. Winston is impressed with how Sir Topham Hatt rode in an old carriage after Edward first came to Sodor, and he is prone to not giving up until he finds the old carriage.
- The plot twist: The old carriage was left abandoned after Sir Topham Hatt's first ride with Edward when he was young, but it turns out it was in the Whispering Woods this whole time.
- Actually, with "The Christmas Tree Express" being the last from Seasons 12-16 in UK television broadcasting order, this is truly the last episode of Season 16, but in production order.
- Thomas feels in character. He feels more focused and serious about his job, is understanding with Winston later in the episode, and he acts more likable. Before we forget, this is the same episode that brought his older character back.
- Great voice acting in both the UK and US voice cast as usual.
- Splendid soundtrack.
- Because this is the last episode of Season 16 in production order and on the UK Season 16 DVD, it does end the Sharon Miller era, as well as the Nitrogen era, on a really high, but yet positive note.
- Salty's story involving Sir Topham Hatt as a little boy and when Edward first arrived on Sodor is like an actual eventful story. The flashback itself does rely on adding in some elements from the Railway Series.
- We still keep the usual amount of narration, like any other Miller era episode, but thankfully since this episode is the last episode of Season 16 in production order, it was intended to be in the UK DVD that was released in 2015, we go back to the episodes that thankfully reduced the amount of narration.
- Although unintentionally, the way Thomas bumps Winston unintentionally was kind of dangerous considering he nearly injured Winston's driver.
- A variation of "Go, Go Thomas" plays throughout the episode.
- Currently, this is the only time Winston is seen being driven by someone besides Sir Topham Hatt.
- This episode aired before "Blue Mountain Mystery" was released, meaning that the audience may not have known who Winston is.