The Polar Express Reviews
"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.
I love Tom Hanks.
Episode #2: The Polar Express
Welcome to Episode 2! Today I will be reviewing Robert Zemeckis' The Polar Express. This Yuletide motion-capture animated film based in Chris Van Alsburg's childrens book of the same name is a Christmas classic in my opinion. Forget what people say about this movie and listen to me.
It tells of a boy who takes a train ride to the North Pole on Christmas Eve to see Santa give the first gift of Christmas. Along the way, him and the other train passengers embark on amazing adventures.
I think this movie is quite true to the source material. The book is only 32 pages long and the movie is about 90 minutes long. So obviously they had to get away by adding more elements not found in the book. It loosely follows the plot of the book but mainly stays very true to the illustrations.
I really enjoy the visuals. It is one of the first things to be entirely animated through motion-capture and it is truly a sight! The motion-capture perfomances of Tom Hanks and Daryl Sabara are great! This movie is pretty much Tom Hank's moment to shine since he plays numerous characters.
The Polar Express has great animation, great music, and a great moral. This movie is truly wonderful. If a train were to approach my house on Christmas Eve, I'D DEFINETLY GET ON!!!
"What in the name of Mike?"
On the other hand, much of the film is an excuse to dazzle with roller-coaster-like rides on the express train that roars across various landscapes making wild leaps and turns, all the while thrilling us with a sense of adventure and excitement. For the very young, the ride might be a scary one, especially when the daring young hero rides atop the train during a blustery snowstorm.
An imaginative and innovative achievement - impressive enough to assure its place among future Christmas favorites with unlimited appeal for the young in heart.