Up 316 this week

The Polar Express (2004)

G  |   |  Animation, Adventure, Family  |  10 November 2004 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.6/10 from 110,717 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 »
Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

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



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
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
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
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
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
Comedy | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 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
Flushed Away (2006)
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The story of an uptown rat that gets flushed down the toilet from his penthouse apartment, ending in the sewers of London, where he has to learn a whole new and different way of life.

Directors: David Bowers, Sam Fell
Stars: Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet, Ian McKellen
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

After ruining his reputation with the town, a courageous chicken must come to the rescue of his fellow citizens when aliens start an invasion.

Director: Mark Dindal
Stars: Zach Braff, Joan Cusack, Garry Marshall
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A scheming raccoon fools a mismatched family of forest creatures into helping him repay a debt of food, by invading the new suburban sprawl that popped up while they were hibernating...and learns a lesson about family himself.

Directors: Tim Johnson, Karey Kirkpatrick
Stars: Bruce Willis, Garry Shandling, Steve Carell
Shark Tale (2004)
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

When a son of a gangster shark boss is accidently killed while on the hunt, his would-be prey and his vegetarian brother both decide to use the incident to their own advantage.

Directors: Bibo Bergeron, Vicky Jenson, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Will Smith, Robert De Niro, Renée Zellweger
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


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


Take the journey in IMAX 3D 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?


Initial digital camera tests shot by Allen Daviau. See more »


When the elves are first seen, there is an elf that is moving (translating) left to right in front of the train with all the others, but the elf's body is rigid and lifeless, like a toy being slid across the floor. Possibly the computer animation for moving the elf from left to right was correct, but the algorithm for animating the body motion (walking, swinging arms, etc.) was stopped. 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 »


Santa Claus is Comin' to Town
Written by J. Fred Coots and Haven Gillespie
Performed by Frank Sinatra
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

For Goodness Sake
29 November 2004 | by (Washington DC) – See all my reviews

Clearly the reviewers who panned this wonderful film can no longer hear the ringing of the silver bell. I am reminded of the know it all kid in the film when I read these reviews. Some said it was too dark. Too dark? It was set at 5 minuets to midnight.....As I recall its dark then. Another called it ghostly; a condition true of a Christmas Carol, the film is in good company there. While I will admit that the computer motion capture in facial expressions is not as strong as it could be it did not detract from the story. Some reviewers did not like the roller-coaster effects. One even pointed out that trains can not do what this one does.....It's a dream...physics don't count. It is a sad commentary that the meaning of Christmas and belief in it's historically documented magic is so lost on those with access to the press. My review...it's good and it is best if you make up your own mind. I could hear the bell ring and I hope you can too.

266 of 363 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss The Polar Express (2004) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page