Mattel has partnered with Harry, the Duke of Sussex, as well as other members of the royal family for a new Thomas & Friends: The Royal Engine special airing on Netflix in US on May 1, followed by Channel 5’s preschool block Milkshake! on May 2.
Broadcast partners in other territories will follow throughout the year.
Thomas & Friends: The Royal Engine has a live-action introduction from Harry, the Duke of Sussex and then featured Her Majesty The Queen and HRH The Prince of Wales (as a young boy) as characters in the special where Thomas travels to London for the first time to take on a mission.
The Duke of Sussex’s on-camera portion was recorded in early January, before England (and his new LA home) were put on lockdown.
The 75th anniversary 22-minute special also features Rosamund Pike as the new Royal Engine character, Duchess of Loughborough.
Netflix just picked up the streaming/broadcast rights for Mattel’s Thomas & Friends series in the US earlier this year, with plans to air season 23 and 24 this year, as well as related specials, such as this one. Mattel just moved the series over from PBS to Nick Jr. two years ago and at the time Mattel and Nick also signed a deal for Nickelodeon to act as brand’s exclusive US licensing agent, now the CP rights are back with Mattel.