MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Up 22 this week

The Polar Express (2004)

G  |   |  Animation, Adventure, Family  |  10 November 2004 (USA)
6.6
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.6/10 from 107,466 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.

Director:

Writers:

(book), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

$0.00 with Prime Instant Video

WATCH NOW
ON DISC

Family Entertainment Guide

Check out IMDb's comprehensive Family Entertainment Guide for recommendations for movies and TV series for every age and every viewing platform.

Visit our Family Entertainment Guide

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 38 titles
created 12 May 2011
 
a list of 23 titles
created 19 Nov 2011
 
a list of 25 titles
created 04 Nov 2012
 
a list of 32 titles
created 18 Dec 2013
 
a list of 24 titles
created 8 months ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Polar Express (2004)

The Polar Express (2004) on IMDb 6.6/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Polar Express.

User Polls

Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Animation | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An animated retelling of Charles Dickens' classic novel about a Victorian-era miser taken on a journey of self-redemption, courtesy of several mysterious Christmas apparitions.

Director: Robert Zemeckis
Stars: Jim Carrey, Gary Oldman, Colin Firth
Monster House (2006)
Animation | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Three teens discover that their neighbor's house is really a living, breathing, scary monster.

Director: Gil Kenan
Stars: Mitchel Musso, Sam Lerner, Spencer Locke
Comedy | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A creature is intent on stealing Christmas.

Director: Ron Howard
Stars: Jim Carrey, Taylor Momsen, Kelley
Elf (2003)
Comedy | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

After inadvertently wreaking havoc on the elf community due to his ungainly size, a man raised as an elf at the North Pole is sent to the U.S. in search of his true identity.

Director: Jon Favreau
Stars: Will Ferrell, James Caan, Bob Newhart
Comedy | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

When a man inadvertantly kills Santa on Christmas Eve, he finds himself magically recruited to take his place.

Director: John Pasquin
Stars: Tim Allen, Judge Reinhold, Wendy Crewson
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Two young brothers are drawn into an intergalactic adventure when their house is hurled through the depths of space by the magical board game they are playing.

Director: Jon Favreau
Stars: Josh Hutcherson, Jonah Bobo, Dax Shepard
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Lewis is a brilliant inventor who meets mysterious stranger named Wilbur Robinson, whisking Lewis away in a time machine and together they team up to track down Bowler Hat Guy in a showdown that ends with an unexpected twist of fate.

Director: Stephen J. Anderson
Stars: Daniel Hansen, Wesley Singerman, Angela Bassett
Comedy | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Scott Calvin has been a humble Santa Claus for nearly ten years, but it might come to an end if he doesn't find a Mrs. Claus.

Director: Michael Lembeck
Stars: Tim Allen, Spencer Breslin, Elizabeth Mitchell
Robots (2005)
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

In a robot world, a young idealistic inventor travels to the big city to join his inspiration's company, only to find himself opposing its sinister new management.

Directors: Chris Wedge, Carlos Saldanha
Stars: Ewan McGregor, Halle Berry, Mel Brooks
Adventure | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A preteen's life turns upside down when he befriends the new girl in school and they imagine a whole new fantasy world to escape reality.

Director: Gabor Csupo
Stars: Josh Hutcherson, AnnaSophia Robb, Zooey Deschanel
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Horton the Elephant struggles to protect a microscopic community from his neighbors who refuse to believe it exists.

Directors: Jimmy Hayward, Steve Martino
Stars: Jim Carrey, Steve Carell, Carol Burnett
Bee Movie (2007)
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Barry B. Benson, a bee just graduated from college, is disillusioned at his lone career choice: making honey. On a special trip outside the hive, Barry's life is saved by Vanessa, a florist in New York City. As their relationship blossoms, he discovers humans actually eat honey, and subsequently decides to sue them.

Directors: Steve Hickner, Simon J. Smith
Stars: Jerry Seinfeld, Renée Zellweger, Matthew Broderick
Edit

Cast

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

Storyline

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

Taglines:

This Holiday Season... Believe. See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 November 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Polar Express: An IMAX 3D Experience  »

Box Office

Budget:

$165,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$665,426 (USA) (28 December 2012)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| | |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

When the Hobo is talking to the Hero Boy about belief in Santa Claus, he tells him that he doesn't want to be led up the "primrose path," as if meaning that he does not want to be deceived. Being led up the "primrose path" denotes a life of luxury, while being led up the "garden path" suggests being purposely led astray. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

References Back to the Future (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Deck the Halls
Performed by Mario Lanza
Courtesy of BMG Classics
Under License from BMG Film & TV Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
wonderful holiday film
18 December 2004 | by (Columbus, OH) – See all my reviews

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 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


140 of 177 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
I see dead people... svenrufus
Discuss The Polar Express (2004) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page