The Polar Express 2004 (2004) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: A young boy embarks on a magical adventure to the North Pole on the Polar Express. During his adventure he learns about friendship, bravery, and the spirit of Christmas.
Runtime: 100 mins Release Date: 10 Nov 2004
It was astonishing to read the lead in review. The complaint laid forth by the critic that the director's view of the North Pole and Santa's workshop did not reflect his, too bad. Maybe the critic could do better but it's doubtful. As for the line that the Elven town looked like something out of a German city, so what? Didn't many of the concepts of Christmas begin in Germany? My family two seniors, a twenty year old father, his 3, almost 4, year old son loved it. The colors were brilliant. The number of elves dancing, singing, and rushing to create an entrance for Santa was <more>
outstanding. Santa, himself, proved to be exactly as he should. Intelligent, sturdy, and kind. His reindeer, just as impressive. Forgetting the North Pole and remarking on the rest of the movie, how well done! The artwork, just great. The excitement, our grandson was out of his chair and standing while holding onto the chair-back of the row in front of us. There were scenes that could have seemed somewhat scary for a youngster, he didn't find them so. He laughed several times out loud, had his eyes glued to the screen when something serious seemed to be happening, loved the entire movie. He wants the DVD for Christmas he will have to wait a year . He also told us that he wants to see the movie once more before Christmas. Out of the mouth of a three year old, his favorite movie.How can a critic want to re-design that? All because he didn't like the city at the North Pole.? I guess he was looking for buildings made from peppermint sticks. To each his own. As for the three adults, we too were amazed. We went for our grandson. We enjoyed it so much, we applauded as did others in the theater . It will be easy to return for a second showing. And, the DVD, this family will be buying more than one. My summary states that this was the best Christmas story ever made put on film, actually , we think it was more than that. It surpasses other great animated films. Once purchased in a DVD format, Toy Story will be relegated to the back shelf, even during the middle of summer.
This film was a glorious explosion of the hope and Wonder that fills the memories of the Christmas of Olde. It was a well-detailed, innovative, thought-provoking piece that reminded me of the magnificence of belief in childhood ideals. The characters were well-fleshed-out and very easy to "know". The animation was amazingly detailed and very life-like. The musical numbers and side pieces especially on the train roof brought some very effective morality and life lessons to the superb computer animation, giving it that "touch" of humanity.We all need to hold a piece of the <more>
fragile innocence rekindled in this film near to our hearts and spread that unbridled, child-like joy in the simple things in life to remind us of the good we all carry within us.
Chris Van Allsburg best selling children's book is considered by many to be classic children's literature. The film version is an animated which benefits the story further. Tom Hanks plays the narrator, producer, and the train conductor. The animation is first rate, award winning, and breathtakingly realistic as well. Of course, this is a children's story and there are some dark moments like the girl who didn't have her ticket and the main character who found it and planned to return it to her so she doesn't get kicked off the train and the ending. Of course, I am <more>
surprised that there was negative criticism. If I had children, I would love a classic film like this about the true meaning of Christmas. The act of being the giver and the receiver is what the story is about. Let's not talk about the nativity, that's for another story. If It's good enough for Chris Van Allsburg, it's good enough for me.
Enchantment, thrills, spectacle...looks great on DVD... (by Doylenf)
On the one hand there are many delightful moments in THE POLAR EXPRESS, 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 <more>
the very young, the ride might be a scary one, especially when the daring young hero rides atop the train during a blustery snowstorm.Things barely quiet down once the destination is reached at the North Pole. Still there are dangers lurking and the thrills continue with some amazing photographic tricks that can only be done in this new process of computer generated animation.And to add a cozier touch to the proceedings, certain famous Christmas songs are interjected at intervals to give the North Pole--and the film--a warmer glow.All in all, quite an imaginative and innovative achievement--impressive enough to assure its place among future Christmas favorites with unlimited appeal for the young in heart. The message of Christmas is lightly hinted at but when Tom Hanks as the train conductor tells the little boy, "The true meaning of Christmas is in your heart," we can be assured that children everywhere will definitely "get it".Visually, it's a stunner. I didn't see it on the IMAX screen where I imagine it really knocks your socks off, but at a multiplex where picture and sound were impressive enough to convey just how advanced special effects technology has become. There is much artistry involved here, especially when the night scenes of the train's fast-moving travel through a blustery snowstorm capture some rich winter landscapes, including a frozen lake that threatens to demolish train and passengers before danger has passed. The camera-work is continually fascinating as is the artwork involved.A pity there couldn't have been more of a story in the children's book which is the source--but the artistic visuals are the main source of entertainment here and they are superb. The busy background score by Alan Silvestri is reminiscent of works by John Williams. Although none of the sprightly song tunes are particularly memorable, there is a wistful quality to one of the new Christmas ballads sung by the children.P.S. - I have just watched it on DVD, a year after writing the above review--and it's definitely a keeper--just as wonderful as you could want, an amazing technological achievement that should delight all ages who can still hear that bell! Tom Hanks, as the conductor, is my favorite character--brilliant job.
"Wow!" I found myself saying this over and over as I watched this movie on DVD went it came out just before Thanksgiving of 2005. It continually amazes me how far computer animation has come in the last decade. Each time I think I've seen the most beautiful or amazing artwork, something better - like this - comes along. I couldn't believe how good this looked on my flat-screen TV. I can't imagine how good it must appear on an expensive plasma television.The visuals are just stunning, scene after scene. The sound ain't bad, either! Those not playing this on a surround <more>
system are missing an integral part of this movie and a lot of fun. The roar of train as it comes and goes, for one example, is awesome.The story is very simple but yet entertains all the way with some very adventurous scenes. There are a couple of roller coaster-type scenes which were especially fun, and actually thrilling. Normally, 100 minutes is a bit long for me to sit through an animated film but this was filled with so many amazing sights and fun action scenes that time was no problem.The only drawback I found were the kids in the story. Most of them were not anyone you could really warm up to, except for the girl and she was so overtly politically correct it was sickening and an insult to anyone's intelligence. A black girl was NOT in the book but the typically-Liberal filmmakers not only change that character but make her the only one in the film with absolutely nothing wrong with her. She's so sweet she makes Mother Teresa sound like The Grinch. None of the kids in the film, however, were brats or annoying. The only funny kid was the nerd, of course. PC baloney aside, this was fabulous entertainment. Tom Hanks did a great job voicing over five characters and I've just simply never a better-looking film than this.
I have to say that I adored 'The Polar Express'. It was just the sort of film I needed to truly get me into the Christmas mood. The story revolves around a young boy, who is coming to an age where he is doubting Santa Claus' existence, until the Polar Express- a magical train destined for the North Pole- takes him and a group of other young children on a journey to Santa and to reaffirm their faith in Christmas.I had reservations about the use of CGI animation since I felt it really only worked for stories about cute animals but having seen the film, the CGI was the best way to <more>
capture the spirit of the film. It really wouldn't have worked as well in live action, the sense of other-worldly magic would have been lost. And as it was, the artwork was beautiful, especially the snowy mountainous scenery that the train passes through.This film took me back to my childhood and that tingly-feeling every child gets on Christmas Eve in anticipation of Santa's visit. The story was sweet and innocent without being nauseating, and I think every one of us can empathise with the boy who wants to believe in Santa but is growing away from the innocence of early childhood and faith in magic. Much like Raymond Briggs' 'The Snowman', I predict 'The Polar Express' will go down as a Christmas classic. It certainly makes a pleasant change that this year's Christmas film was actually about Christmas and I hope they make the re-release of this film an annual Christmas event.
So it was with much trepidation and even utter fear in my heart that I went to see this movie. After all, the last time I went to see a full-length adaptation of a favorite Christmas story, what I got was Ron Howard's absolutely God-awful "The Grinch". Having grown up with the book "The Polar Express" according to my mom, I cited it as my favorite Christmas present when I was seven , I did not want to see this story bastardized in any way. Honestly, I was prepared for "Polar Express" to be a complete wreck. But instead It soared. Completely. What makes the <more>
film such a success is not so much even the story itself, but an execution which somehow manages to inject every frame of the film with a feeling of childlike wonder and exuberance. In addition, there are so many clever touches and details added throughout that a feeling of mystery and excitement just fills the viewer. Among these are the waiters dancing and singing while serving hot chocolate to the kids on the train a very funny scene, as well , the factory where the presents are prepared, and a ghost-like hobo who is never really explained, but is incredibly crucial to the feel of the film. At one point, three of the children wander lost through the empty streets of Santa's North Pole town. As they wander, various old Christmas recordings are heard playing on phonographs throughout the town. The music provides a pleasant and nostalgic ambiance to the scene. It's touches like this that absolutely make the film.I'll never understand why films seem to be required to be at least 90 minutes long. I would pay money to see a 40-minute film, as long as it were good. And even if it sucked, I would have at least wasted less time. What I'm getting at is I have no idea why a 32-page picture book needed to be a 99-minute movie. What this means is that the original story is VASTLY expanded upon. However, what is added in actually fits quite well with the essence and spirit of the book. Some of it is just sheer entertainment; the train track is like a roller coaster, characters ski on top of the cars, danger lurks around every step of the journey to the North Pole but admittedly fun danger . Other aspects further illuminate and expand upon the book's basic theme of the virtue of belief in the implausible. So I have no idea why this was made into a full-length, but in the end, I'm glad it was. It didn't even feel too long and I think everything is too long .Much criticism has fallen on the look of the characters in the movie. I can agree to a point. While there is incredible visual detail in the faces, they usually seem void of expression. In general, a lot of the motion seems rather wooden, as well. The scenery, on the other hand, is gorgeous. Overall, the minor problems in animation which really boil down to a matter of taste anyway are certainly not enough to diminish what is an overwhelmingly successful movie. Score: 8/10
A simple story . . . beautifully told . . . magnificently visualized.The IMAX experience was stunning.I did not expect to enjoy the story as much as I did. Simple but quite heartwarming.Although it started a bit slow, it continued to gain momentum no train analogy intended through its conclusion. I was not a great lover of the animation of the human characters, but the other animation, whether it be the train, the scenery, the reindeer, or the elves are elves human? was quite well done. Perhaps the best review I can provide is that after I watched the Polar Express, I just felt happier.
This film has grown on me ... (by billsnotes)
When I first saw The Polar Express I thought it had some good music, but not up the best Disney standards. And I thought it was a bit long. Then I really got into the bell ringing thing, and it has become one of my Christmas "must sees." The CD is worth buying for The Polar Express Suite alone.Leonard Maltin found this film worthwhile only for children. He didn't like the animation the characters look like they are wearing dentures. and could not see the ultimate point of the film. I guess the bell no longer rings for Leonard. Generally I agree with his reviews, but in this <more>