Film: The Polar Express

Opened: November 10, 2004

Directed by: Robert Zemeckis

Starring: Tom Hanks, Daryl Sabara, Josh Hutcherson, Leslie Zemeckis, Eddie Deezen, Nona Gay, Tinashe, Peter Scolari, Jimmy Bennett, Matthew Hall, Michael Jeter, Dylan Kash & Steven Tyler

Utilizing motion capture animation, The Polar Express is a solid Christmas film although a bit unsettling to watch at times.

On Christmas Eve, the Polar Express appears in front of a boy’s (Daryl Sabara & Josh Hutcherson) home taking him to the North Pole to see Santa. Though he’s lost his belief in the magic of Christmas, the conductor (Tom Hanks) is set upon giving all of the kids onboard an unforgettable experience.

While the train, especially upon its arrival, is beautifully animated, the human characters aren’t animated to the point where they look realistic. It gives the film an eerie quality that goes along with the mystery of the story, but not quite cheerful for the holidays.

But the messages of hope and believing ground it as an inspiring family film.

Final say: Not merry, but intriguing. ★★★☆☆

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