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(Nov 22, 2005)
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Challenges:2 menu challenges that kids can play.
Deleted Scenes:Additional Song: The never-before-heard "Smokey and Steamer" song.
Featurette:You Look Familiar: Hear about Tom Hanks' 5 unique roles, how each character was different, and what it took for him to bring each one to life.
Interviews:True Inspiration An Author's Adventure: Chris Van Allsburg discusses his artistic background and how he conceived the idea for The Polar Express book.
Music Video:Josh Groban Music Video: Josh Groban at the Greek performing the Academy Award nominated original song Believe. Also go behind-the-scenes!
Other:A Genuine Ticket to Ride: Behind-the-scenes secrets on Performance Capture, Virtual Cameras, Hair and Wardrobe, Creating the North Pole, and Music
Destined to become a holiday perennial, The Polar Express also heralded a brave new world of all-digital filmmaking. Critics and audiences were divided between those who hailed it as an instant classic that captures the visual splendor and evocative innocence of Chris Van Allsburg's popular children's book, and those who felt that the innovative use of "performance capture"--to accurately translate live performances into all-digital characters--was an eerie and not-quite-lifelike distraction from the story's epic-scale North Pole adventure. In any case it's a benign, kind-hearted celebration of the yuletide spirit, especially for kids who have almost grown out of their need to believe in Santa Claus. Tom Hanks is the nominal "star" who performs five different computer-generated characters, but it's the visuals that steal this show, as director Robert Zemeckis indulges his tireless pursuit of technological innovation. No matter how you respond to the many wonders on display, it's clear that The Polar Express represents a significant milestone in the digital revolution of cinema. If it also fills you with the joy of Christmas (in spite of its Nuremberg-like rally of frantic elves), so much the better. --Jeff Shannon
The most intriguing feature on the two-disc DVD is probably the six-minute sequence featuring a new song performed by the two engine-room characters, Smokey and Steamer. The animation is crude and the song is nothing special, but it does preserve the dual performances of Michael Jeter (he played both characters), who passed away during filming. One of the striking aspects of The Polar Express is its use of motion-capture technology to turn real actors into animated characters, and that is examined in a significant portion of the five-part 11-minute featurette, in the "look at" Tom Hanks's multiple performances, and in an Easter egg that offers a side-by-side comparison of the actors in their motion-capture suits with the finished film in the "Hot Chocolate" number. There's also a live performance of Josh Groban singing "Believe" followed by an interview segment with him and composer Alan Silvestri, author Chris Van Allsburg providing a five-minute capsulization of his career, a PC game demo, and a kids' set-top game. The version of the film on DVD is the standard theatrical version, not the 3-D version seen in IMAX theaters. --David Horiuchi
The World of The Polar Express
The book by Chris Van Allsburg
The Magic Journey (Polar Express the Movie) (book)
Stills from Polar Express (click for larger image)
I think the characters help make this a wonderful Christmas story.Published 8 hours ago by Gordon Beznoska
I am actually rating for my wife and my 4 year old son, they love it. I have not had a chance to sit through itPublished 14 hours ago by jeremy
We own this movie already. It is such a good movie we bought this one to send over seas to our friends in Korea for Christmas.Published 21 hours ago by Evette Goines
My grandkids love trains and this movie is one long train ride with a little Santa action. Plus a nice meaning of Christmas on the side.Published 1 day ago by Amazon Customer
This movie always gets us in the Christmas spirit. It is definitely a classic.Published 1 day ago by Nelson S
|Topic||From this Discussion|
|Is the Polar Express 3D the version that's included in the Blu-Ray...||
I just bought the Polar Express in 3D. We were excited to watch it with our two boys (5 and 9), and we put our 3D glasses on and turned on the movie. And...it was a blur! It was very uncomfortable to watch! I was so excited because I loved the 3D version in the IMAX theatre, but the home... Read More
Nov 5, 2008 by texassee | See all 11 posts
|Do you need glasses for 3D dvd movies?||
The RealD 3-D system is based on the push-pull electro-optical modulator called the ZScreen invented by Lenny Lipton, an American inventor.
The technique that RealD uses is comparable to the traditional method of 3-D imaging which uses linearly polarized glasses. The traditional method works by... Read More
Oct 17, 2008 by Zandolee | See all 9 posts
|Does ANYONE like the 3D version?||
We tried it last night, too - the 3D aspects of the DVD just did not work. We tried with the glasses in a multitude of positions and it was disappointing all the way around. We're hoping to be able to return it, but not sure since it's been opened...
Dec 21, 2008 by D. B. Holloway | See all 13 posts
|Does it pay to purchase The Polar Express in 3D for regular DVD and not...||
NO!!!! Do NOT buy the 3D version at all. I just did and it is unwatchable. I even tried to look at it with one eye closed, but even that gives you a double image, which proves that the 3D transfer was botched! Where was the quality control at Warner Bros.? This DVD should never have made it to... Read More
Dec 8, 2008 by J. Besser | See all 5 posts
|Is it worth buying (The Polar Express) 3-D, Blu-Ray version?||
I think it's great. It has both the 2-D and 3-D versions and some extras (I think the same extras as from the 2-disc DVD). The picture quality is practically perfect. The only big complaint I have is that, when viewing in 3-D some things have a double-vision look at times (ghosting, I believe... Read More
Nov 15, 2008 by AMP | See all 2 posts
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