The Polar Express Reviews

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michael e.
Super Reviewer
December 3, 2010
Some fantastic animation for the time, some great performances from Sabara and Hanks, a good adaptation of the novel, and just a fun movie.
Super Reviewer
December 16, 2013
Well, I just watched this finally...almost 10 years later. I liked it a lot!! I can see that is was a new frontier of film making, and it was a little rough yet. People, apparently, were not used to seeing computer image cartoons, either. But, the storyline was wonderful, sweet, heartwarming, and it really got me into the Christmas spirit this year. Nicely done!!
Super Reviewer
½ January 13, 2010
"The Polar Express" offers incredible visuals and literally takes you on a roller coaster ride to the North Pole on an unforgettable journey that kids of all ages will love. Tom Hanks lends his voice to many characters for a symbolic reason that only adults will be able to understand, but for kids, the magic will still surround this film for them. This is a very fun journey that follows a kid as he believes more and more that the magic of Christmas really does exist. The dialogue is funny and heartfelt, the animation is gorgeous, and the characters are very charming to watch. I can watch this film over and over again, it just gives me a very warm feeling inside. "The Polar Express" releases my inner child every time! Even though it has a few slow moments, it's a great holiday film!
Super Reviewer
½ November 26, 2012
Creepy, cringe-worthy, and overall difficult to watch, this animated film delivers little to no holiday cheer and accomplishes nothing.
Directors Cat
Super Reviewer
½ November 4, 2011
The Polar Express is unlike modern christmas films like Elf and Home Alone. It is a truly heartwarming piece of christmas magic. The only place this film falls is the animation that didn't look lifelike enough but other than that it is a tribute to the classic christmas films that really felt like a piece of the season. There is extremely deep development into these excited christmas children. I must object to the people who say The Polar Express is "unrealistic" because the children characters have their own developed personality in the film and all of them are much much like kids in reality all year round. Wouldn't you agree? As you may know, Tom Hanks does a lot of voice roles in this but it's as if he's only there playing the steam train's conductor with his normal voice that is easily recognisable anyway. Thats good voice acting talent there. The Polar Express is wild, fun, spooky and down to earth charming christmas entertainment.
Super Reviewer
½ May 13, 2011
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. 
Super Reviewer
½ August 15, 2011
A genius christmas film that will be a classic for many decades, a wonderful movie, one of my favorite childhood films.
Super Reviewer
June 24, 2011
A really cute and feel good Christmas film!
Super Reviewer
½ November 19, 2009
Chris Van Allsburg's The Polar Express was my favorite Christmas book growing up and this is pretty much the greatest way you could honor it. Somehow, Robert Zemeckis managed to expand a small story into something that is both visually beautiful and an exremely emotional journey. With Tom Hanks playing next to six characters, the voice talent arena was basically taken care of. Then, all of the concepts and beautiful images from the book are made even better. While i'm sure this movie means nothing to some people, it was pure nostalgic gold for me.
Super Reviewer
January 9, 2011
The story of a boy who boards a train to meet the big guy, Santa, himself. He's caught between believing and not. It's such an adventure of excitement and merriment. It's sure to be a holiday classic.
I love Tom Hanks.
Super Reviewer
September 30, 2009
Great Christmas family movie fun for all.Great animation even after 6 years.Looks as good as today computer animation films...Give it a go.
Super Reviewer
February 19, 2008
Excellent Excellent Movie!!!!!!!!! I love it :)
Movie Monster
Super Reviewer
December 1, 2010
Christmas Movie Review Mania
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?"
Super Reviewer
June 9, 2006
This is a really fun and imaginative adaptation. It looks awesome, and the technology is used quite well here. As much as I enjoy this type of style, I kind of want to see Zemeckis return to a more traditional style of filmmaking.
Super Reviewer
½ June 26, 2010
Super Reviewer
March 19, 2010
good action
Super Reviewer
½ February 18, 2007
There are many delightful moments in this Robert Zemeckis' animated film, not the least of which is the entire look of the film - appealing in a way that great illustrations of children's books always are to young and old. Tom Hanks and the others enter into the spirit of the whole thing with gusto - and all the performances are right on target.
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.
Super Reviewer
February 28, 2010
Awesome movie.
Super Reviewer
½ December 12, 2009
Before the brilliant Beowulf and the pretty good Christmas Carol, Zemeckis tested out his new obsession with The Polar Express. Back then the problems with motion capture animation were really noticeable. The animation is often stilted and clumsy. The eyes are dead and the movements, awkward. An out of place dance number, obviously meant to show off the new style, fails miserably, looking like an episode of Thunderbirds. Then we have Hanks. A great actor of course, but his vocal range isn't the best. Meaning, every character he voices here sounds the same. A couple of adults also voice some of the children. With all this added together, the film is unintentionally creepy. A warped Nightmare hiding behind Christmas cheer. This may be forgivable with a decent plot to speak of, but it's just some kids on a train, with sequence after sequence used to show off the animation. Luckily for us, it's started to find it's voice.
Super Reviewer
August 15, 2009
Most opinions I'd heard were negative about this one before I saw it. I liked it a lot, myself. The animation is great, the story's interesting enough, and I never once got bored or wanted to do anything else while the movie was playing, making it not seem as long as it was. I'd like to consider this a recent holiday classic that should be shown during the holiday times every year on TV.
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