The Polar Express is a 2004 computer animated film directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Tom Hanks. It is based on the 1985 book of the same name.
The film follows a boy (credited as Hero Boy) who is sceptical of the existence of Santa, and when the opportunity arises to take a trip on a mysterious train to the North Pole, he takes it. I will start by saying, I absolutely adore this film. Maybe it’s the animation that’s ahead of it’s time, the nostalgia or just Tom Hanks, it’s great! There will always be aspects of this film that don’t quite make sense… like how they got from somewhere in America to the North Pole in seemingly a few hours, or how a huge steam locomotive appeared in the middle of the street and nobody noticed, but then, maybe that’s the point… Maybe the point is that not everything can be explained, you have to believe and if you believe, anything can, as with the bell in the film.
The Polar Express has so many charming aspects fromTom Hanks’ huge range of fantastic voices, the amazing colours of the North Pole, an appearance from Steve Tyler and the amazing animation. Not only that but the spirit of Christmas is kept alive throughout, even when some of the characters don’t believe. A brilliant score from Alan Silvestri is also not to be forgotten!
Some of the supporting characters however, help make the film as brilliant as it is, in particular Smokey and Steamer. The two train engineers bring some brilliant comedy to the film, with their whacky antics and of course…. CARIBOUUUU!
Overall this film is a fantastic portrayal of the power of Christmas, the way it brings people together, how powerful just believing in something really is. The Polar Express is a brilliant festive treat for all, full of wonder and magic!
Words by Jack Horsley.
Photo: Warner Brothers