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The Polar Express
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Journey Beyond Your Imagination
The Polar Express is an enchanting holiday tale of a young boy who doubts that Santa Claus truly exists. On one special Christmas Eve, as the boy skeptically waits for the sound of sleigh bells, a magical train appears outside his home and the conductor invites him aboard. What lies ahead is an extraordinary adventure of self-discovery through which the young boy learns that for those who believe, the wonders of life never fade. This beautifully made film, based on the book by Chris Van Allsburg, will become a holiday tradition your family will enjoy for generations.
This film was listed in the 2006 Guinness Book of World Records as the first all-digital capture film.
Tom Hanks does the voice work for six roles in the film: Hero Boy, Hero Boy’s father, the conductor, the hobo, Scrooge and Santa Claus.
Lonely Boy is the only child character in the movie with an actual name (Billy).
The address (11344 Edbrooke) mentioned by the conductor early in the film is the real address for director Robert Zemeckis’ childhood home.
The Polar Express was the first feature-length film to be released simultaneously in 35mm and IMAX 3D formats.
An Instant Christmas Movie Classic
- Co-written and directed by Robert Zemeckis
- Starring and co-produced by Academy Award-winning actor Tom Hanks
- A visually stunning achievement in motion-capture animation
- Bonus material includes deleted scenes, commentaries and more
- Available on DVD and Blu-ray
Meet the Characters
Hero Boy (voice by Tom Hanks)
Doubting that Santa really exists, Hero Boy hops on a magical train where he learns about friendship, bravery and the true meaning of Christmas.
Hero Girl (voice by Nona Gaye)
Sweet and gentle, Hero Girl is the first to befriend Lonely Boy. When she loses her ticket, the conductor threatens to put her off the train.
Lonely Boy, Billy (voice by Peter Scolari)
Billy is a sad child who keeps to himself during the trip. He thinks Christmas doesn’t work for him, because his parents are poor and can’t afford presents.
Train Conductor (voice by Tom Hanks)
As supervisor of the trip to the North Pole, the conductor invites the children aboard the train and directs their activities.
The Polar Express is the story of a young boy who on Christmas Eve boards a powerful magical train headed to the North Pole and Santa Claus's home. What unfolds is a journey of self-discovery, which shows the boy that the wonder of life never fades for those who believe. This beloved Christmas movie on DVD was directed by Robert Zemeckis and features the voice of Tom Hanks in many of the lead roles.
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 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)
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Very family friendly movie for all ages.