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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 111,010 users   Metascore: 61/100
Reviews: 436 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


Journey Beyond Your Imagination 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 address spoken by the conductor early in the film "11344 Edbrooke" is the real address of Robert Zemeckis' childhood home. The home is in a south side of Chicago neighborhood called Roseland. See more »


All the characters when they ring the bell hold it by the bell instead of the ribbons. The bell will not ring if this is done. 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 »


Referenced in Avatar: Creating the World of Pandora (2010) See more »


Silver Bells
Written by Ray Evans and Jay Livingston
Performed by Kate Smith
Courtesy of The RCA Records Label
Under License from BMG Film & TV Music
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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