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The Polar Express

Released: 2004

Genre: Kids & Family

Runtime: 1 hr 39 min

MPAA Rating: NR

Director: Robert Zemeckis

Starring: Tom Hanks, Leslie Harter Zemeckis, Eddie Deezen, Chantel Valdivieso, Daryl Sabara, Nona Gaye, Jimmy Bennett, Steven Tyler, Michael Jeter

A boy is whisked away to the North Pole to meet Santa Claus.

Polar Express is pure magic.

Review by: MiamiMovieCritic

Added: 7 years ago

Late on Christmas Eve, when he’s beginning to doubt the big man in red, a little boy is awakened by the appearance of a magic train outside his snow-banked house. The conductor informs him that the train is on its way to the North Pole. Doubtful but curious, the boy joins the other children on the train for a long and perilous journey toward the Northern Lights.

Polar Express looks like a computer-animated Pixar movie, but in fact the production involved motion capture effects, with live actors performing on a soundstage and their movements being transmitted onto a computer. The movie cost $165 million to make, and every penny is up on the screen. Alternately lifelike and stylized, the characters (five of them are played by Tom Hanks) have slightly rounded features that perfectly recreate the illustrations of Chris Van Allsburg’s 1985 book. The director, Robert Zemeckis, is one of Hollywood’s most dizzyingly imaginative filmmakers, and here he comes up with enough showstoppers to rival his most acclaimed films, Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Forrest Gump.

Action-packed and emotionally resonant, Polar Express is pure magic.