Santa Claus: This bell is a wonderful symbol of the spirit of Christmas - as am I. Just remember, the true spirit of Christmas lies in your heart.
"Journey Beyond Your Imagination"
I've seen The Polar Express many times now, but I never noticed before this Christmas's viewing, just how much of a distaste I have for each of the four children. Each is annoying in their own little way. The boy who is on the brink of not believing in Santa Clause has an extremely annoying voice and makes dumb decisions. Billy, the little kid that Christmas has never worked out for is so bitchy, but in a quiet way that makes it even more annoying. The girl is so cheery and arrogant, you just know when she grows up, she is going to where the pants in her relationships. Then there's the know it all, who speaks for himself... literally.
Despite my extreme distaste for all of these characters, I still enjoy the ride. Zemeckis shows off his excellent animation in rather pointless scenes where we ride a train roller coaster, slide across ice, and fly in Santa's bag of toys. All of it isn't really necessary, but it makes the movie really enjoyable. It is so much fun to look at. Zemeckis would go on to use these big, rather pointless chases in A Christmas Carol as well.
The story is of a train called The Polar Express that takes children to the North Pole on Christmas. The main character, a nameless young boy, is reaching the age where commonsense kicks in and the reality if Christmas finally begins to kick in. On the train he meets a conductor and a hobo who give him a new understanding of what believing really is. The ride to the North Pole is amazing. When they actually get to the North Pole, the film declines slightly, but still manages to be enjoyable.
This is going to be a timeless holiday classic. It will be one of those Christmas films that people four generations from now will be introducing to their kids. It is a great family Christmas film that may even extend the life of Santa Clause in your kids eyes.