Mattel announces new Thomas & Friends special tied to autism awareness

Published on: 28th March 2023

Thomas & Friends: The Mystery of Lookout Mountain is the first Thomas & Friends special to feature autistic character Bruno the Brake Car.

Thomas & Friends: The Mystery of Lookout Mountain is tied to Autism Acceptance Month in April and will stream globally on Netflix on Saturday 1st April. The special will also broadcast on Canada’s Treehouse TV on Sunday 2nd and, in the US, on Cartoonito on Cartoon Network on Monday 3rd April.

Autistic character Bruno the Brake Car was introduced to fans in September 2022 as part of the popular Thomas & Friends: All Engines Go series.

The Mystery of Lookout Mountain takes Thomas and his friends on a journey to uncover the truth behind a years-long mystery of missing cargo cars deep within the mysterious Lookout Mountain. In Thomas & Friends: The Mystery of Lookout Mountain, Thomas, Bruno, and the rest of the gang journey under waterfalls into unknown tunnels and through the Crystal Caverns in a quest to find the truth, ultimately coming face-to-face with a mythical Mine Monster.

The new animated special has been co-produced by Mattel Television and Corus Entertainment’s Nelvana, and executive produced by Fred Soulie and Christopher Keenan for Mattel Television and by Colin Bohm, Doug Murphy and Pam Westman for Nelvana.

“We are excited to bring the fun and excitement of Thomas & Friends: The Mystery of Lookout Mountain to fans, as the special marks Bruno’s first appearance in a Thomas & Friends movie,” said Fred Soulie, senior vice president and general manager at Mattel Television. “By further acquainting audiences with the pun-loving red brake car, we hope the special will make a positive impact on children and parents during Autism Acceptance Month.”

“It’s been full steam ahead ever since we partnered with Mattel to produce the reimagined 2D animated Thomas & Friends series, and we’ve received spectacular feedback on the fun storylines and physical comedy,” said Pam Westman, president at Nelvana. “Bruno the Brake Car is such an important character, and we’re proud of the warm reception he has received. This special allows us to emphasize the significance of this loving character, not only within this franchise but throughout children’s programming globally.”


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