The Polar Express (2004) Review

Children who begin to doubt the magic of Christmas are taken aboard the Polar Express on Christmas Eve to meet Santa at the North Pole.

This film was given a lot of attention on its release 10 years ago, for one Tom Hanks doing nearly all of the voice work and the use of CGI for the faces and how different it looked to other animated films we had been used to. It also has some Christmas magic in it as well. Do you believe?

The young boy whose name we never actually found out is our hero of the story. He is starting to doubt whether Santa is real or not as he gets suspicious over the little things and can no longer hear the noise of the sleigh bells. Everything is about to change when a train arrives outside his house. Greeted by the conductor who explains that the train is the Polar Express and heading to the North Pole.

Aboard the train are many children still in their pyjamas who are all now no longer feeling the magic of Christmas. The journey to the North Pole is a pretty bumpy one with plenty of things happening. All testing the children and creating friendships as well as recapturing the magic of Christmas.

You can tell the effects in the film with a lot of snow falling and things popping towards the screen are a clear sign that the film was also done of the 3D effects. It went for it with those as well, which doesn’t make a massive difference watching it in 2D but you can tell why these were in it.

I wouldn’t say this is one of my Christmas films but it does have the magic and is very nice. It has a lot of Tom Hanks which is always a good thing as well. But it is lacking something else that makes it a top and truly special Christmas film. Some of the CGI for the faces is a little bit creepy as parts of them look real and others are more cartoon like, I know that probably doesn’t make a massive amount of sense but if you have seen this film I am sure you will understand.

It tries to include all different types of children over the festive period and how some may not actually enjoy Christmas for different reasons. It doesn’t go massively into this but is hinted at especially for Billy (the lonely boy). Maybe more of this would have added even more to this film?

Thinking about this film and how it is now something you can buy over Christmas. I know a lot of people have taken their children on the Polar Express not far from where I live. I do believe it is not a cheap event to do though, so it is certainly something that has come from this film!

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