Well, if Ringo Starr can’t be your conductor, this is probably the next best thing.
We bring up Ringo because any kids’ show about trains will naturally inspire comparisons to Shining Time Station, and Mighty Express is no exception. The new Netflix animated series aimed at preschoolers is about a group of kids and their anthropomorphic train buddies that actually has more in common with a more recent children’s television juggernaut than it does with Thomas and friends.
Mighty Express is about a team of trains with different skills coming together to go on adventures and solve problems the same way that PAW Patrol is about a team of dogs with different skills coming together to go on adventures and solve problems. The trains of Tracksville have specialties the same way the dogs of Thunder Bay do, and they’ve got alliterative and rhyming names like Freight Nate, Mechanic Milo, Rescue Ray, Build It Brock, and Farmer Fay to match.
Each Mighty Express adventure begins with a board in the trainyard that displays the cargo, origin, and destination, leaving it up to the trains and their young human friends to figure out how to conquer obstacles and complete their deliveries. Every episode, then, depends on friendship and teamwork.
It comes as no surprise that the creator and executive producer of the show is Keith Chapman, who also created PAW Patrol which, like Mighty Express, is owned by entertainment and toy company Spin Master. In other words, expect you kids to start asking for items from an expansive toy line that will launch next year, and expect to hear the catchphrase of the new show — “It’s mighty time!” — coming out of their mouths even sooner.
Mighty Express chugs onto Netflix on September 22.