thomasGreat news for kids young and old – one of the most treasured childhood institutions is coming to the big screen. Hollywood Reporter (via Movieweb) have news that Thomas the Tank Engine will be heading to the big screen in Spring of 2011.

The film will be based on the Thomas and Friends world created by the Rev. W. Awdry, cherished by generations of children who fell in love with the very British world of Thomas, Percy, Annie and Clarabel. HIT Entertainment have signed up Shrek the Third screenwriter Josh Klausner to bring the worl to life in ‘a thrilling, big, modern adventure movie’.

Not to rain on this particularly pretty parade but Shrek the Third didn’t wow many audiences and Klausner (whose other writing credits include the next Shrek film) will have to embody the perculiarities and sensibility of the Thomas world rather than mimic it to make the film a success.

The film will tie in with the 65th anniversary of the little blue train and will be a mixture of CG and live action. We’ll keep our funnels peeled for more developments.

(And it has to be better than this…)