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The Polar Express (2004)

G  |   |  Animation, Adventure, Family  |  10 November 2004 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 110,548 users   Metascore: 61/100
Reviews: 435 user | 187 critic | 36 from Metacritic.com

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.



(book), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Hero Girl (voice)
Brendan King ...
Andy Pellick ...
Josh Eli ...
Mark Mendonca ...
Rolandas Hendricks ...
Mark Goodman ...
Jon Scott ...
Sean Scott ...
Gordon Hart ...


This is the story of a young hero boy on Christmas Eve who boards on a powerful magical train that's headed to the North Pole and Santa Claus's home. What unfolds is an an adventure which follows a doubting boy, who takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole; during this ride, he embarks on a journey of self-discovery which shows him that the wonder of life never fades for those who believe. Written by Anthony Pereyra {hypersonic91@yahoo.com}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


All Aboard In IMAX 3D this holiday See more »


G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

10 November 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Polar Express: An IMAX 3D Experience  »

Box Office


$165,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$23,323,463 (USA) (12 November 2004)


$665,426 (USA) (28 December 2012)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| | |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The real name of the Hero Boy is never mentioned in the film. However, according to books containing information about The Polar Express, including art books and fact books, the Hero Boy's name is Chris, named after the novel's author, Chris Van Allsburg. See more »


The controls, brakes, and other machinery on the train are set up in ways that don't make sense, but that's because it's pure fantasy. See more »


[first lines]
Hero Boy: On Christmas Eve many years ago I laid quietly in my bed. I did not rustle the sheets, I breathed slowly and silently. I was listening for a sound I was afraid I'd never hear: the sound of Santa's sleigh bells.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the very end, it reads "In Dedication to Michael Jeter" with a picture. See more »


When Christmas Comes to Town
Written and Produced by Glen Ballard and Alan Silvestri
Performed by Matthew Hall and Meagan Moore
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Should become a holiday classic
3 January 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

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.

72 of 105 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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