The Polar Express

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The Polar Express
Polar express.jpg
Genre: Christmas musical fantasy
Photography: Color
Running Time: 100 minutes
Country: United States
Release Date: October 21, 2004 (Chicago International Film Festival)
November 10, 2004 (United States)
Directed by: Robert Zemeckis
Written by: Robert Zemeckis
William Broyles, Jr.
Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures
Starring: Tom Hanks
Daryl Sabara
Nona Gaye
Jimmy Bennett
Eddie Deezen
Michael Jeter

The Polar Express is an 2004 Christmas musical fantasy motion-capture animated movie directed by Robert Zemeckis, who previously directed Back to the Future, Forrest Gump and Who Framed Roger Rabbit.


This is the story of a young hero boy on Christmas Eve who boards on a powerful magical train that's headed to the North Pole and Santa Claus's home. What unfolds is an adventure which follows a doubting boy, who takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole; during this ride, he embarks on a journey of self-discovery which shows him that the wonder of life never fades for those who believe.

Why it Rocks

  1. It follows the source material very faithfully and never took any liberties.
  2. The story about a boy trying to find out if Santa is real is really creative.
  3. Very beautiful motion capture animation.
  4. The film takes a unique look at believing in Santa, treating is as a challenge of faith.
  5. Likable characters including the Hero boy, Conductor, Hero Girl, and Billy.
  6. What helps this film's characters stand out from the others is that very few characters are given names, as Zemeckis thought it would be unnecessary if none of them were going to be addressed.
  7. There is a complete tone of whimsy within every scene, in order to make the experience truly magical.
  8. Catchy and unforgettable musical numbers like Hot Chocolate, When Christmas Comes To Town and Believe.
  9. Tom Hanks played multiple roles in one film, proving that he has terrific vocal range.

Bad Qualities

  1. Sometimes the character animation gets creepy.
  2. The story gets a bit awkward at times.
  3. The Know-It-All kid is really annoying.



  • Co-star Michael Jeter (who also starred with Tom Hanks in The Money Pit and The Green Mile) died in early 2003 before the film was released the following year in 2004 and the film is dedicated to his memory.
  • This was the third Robert Zemeckis film to have Tom Hanks casted in after Forrest Gump and Cast Away.
  • There are many easter eggs like Flux capacitor from Back to the Future appears on the Pere Marquette 1225 and home address of Billy was the same location of Zemeckis childhood house.

External Links