You might be thinking, "Oh! I wonder what well-respected children's magazine this critic Topham Hatt writes for?" Let me burst your media bubble: "SIR" TOPHAM HATT IS A CHARACTER IN THE SHOW! It's like quoting Yoda to sell The Phantom Menace: "Like this movie, you will!"
That's Paul Bausch on the deceptive critical reviews of a Thomas the Tank Engine film.
And but yes, it's very hard work finding good television that also appeals to kids. I'm partial to (the admittedly short-attention-span-inducing) Yo Gabba Gabba, particularly the tooth fairy episode with Amy Sedaris.