Castle Rock Entertainment, Shargri-La Entertainment, Playtone

Tom Hanks, Leslie Zemeckis, Eddie Deezen, Nona Gaye, Peter Scolari, Andy Pellick, Michael Jeter


When this was released, it was available in IMAX 3D.  What an amazing adventure this was to see this magical film on a huge screen and in 3D.  But even now, it’s still a thrill to see every year.  This is the adventure of a little boy who is starting to lose his belive in Christmas, but who still wants it to be true.  Late at night on Christmas Eve the Polar Express, a very amazing train, stops at his house to pick him up for a visit to the North Pole.  He makes a few friends and has some amazing experiences when the train finally arrives at the North Pole.  But something goes wrong and he loses his way and ends up in the bowels of Santa’s City. 

This was based on a very short children’s story, and tons of material was added to pad this out to a feature film.  Though I’m not familar with the original story, I have to believe that the effort generated and entirely new adventure out of a sweet little story.  The main theme of the work is that kids get a chance when they’re getting to the age of no longer believing, to have one last opportunity to find the magic and believe.  But eventually we have to grow up and we can’t hear the bell jingle anymore.

This is a cartoon of sorts, but one of the kind where it’s so amazingly 3 dimension that it’s almost creepy.  The computer generated people are amazing, and the adventure scenes like the runaway train going down a steep hill and the kids on a giant slide are so real looking that you might feel queasy, especially in 3D.  I’m not sure if this kind of animation is really better, but it is certainly different and very well done.  It’s one of those Christmas stories that you have to see to experience.  It got a little drawn out near the end, and I got the impression it wasn’t long enough so they had to think up some more stuff to fill it in.  But once Santa arrives, things get back on track, and by the time the Polar Express arrives back at the house to drop off the kids, you’re sad to see it end.  And the music is awesome too!

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Rating: 4.0/5 (1 vote cast)
** The Polar Express (2004) {PG}, 4.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating

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