6.6/10
140,760
459 user 183 critic

The Polar Express (2004)

On Christmas Eve, a young boy embarks on a magical adventure to the North Pole on the Polar Express, while learning about friendship, bravery, and the spirit of Christmas.

Director:

Writers:

(book), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
1,559 ( 837)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 23 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
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 | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

On the outskirts of Whoville, there lives a green, revenge-seeking Grinch who plans on ruining the Christmas holiday for all of the citizens of the town.

Director: Ron Howard
Stars: Jim Carrey, Taylor Momsen, Kelley
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
Home Alone (1990)
Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An eight-year-old troublemaker must protect his house from a pair of burglars when he is accidentally left home alone by his family during Christmas vacation.

Director: Chris Columbus
Stars: Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern
Adventure | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

One year after Kevin was left home alone and had to defeat a pair of bumbling burglars, he accidentally finds himself in New York City, and the same criminals are not far behind.

Director: Chris Columbus
Stars: Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern
Comedy | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 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
Cars (2006)
Animation | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A hot-shot race-car named Lightning McQueen gets waylaid in Radiator Springs, where he finds the true meaning of friendship and family.

Directors: John Lasseter, Joe Ranft
Stars: Owen Wilson, Bonnie Hunt, Paul Newman
Shrek (2001)
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

After his swamp is filled with magical creatures, Shrek agrees to rescue Princess Fiona for a villainous lord in order to get his land back.

Directors: Andrew Adamson, Vicky Jenson
Stars: Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz
Madagascar (2005)
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Spoiled by their upbringing and unaware of what wildlife really is, four animals from the New York Central Zoo escape, unwittingly assisted by four absconding penguins, and find themselves in Madagascar.

Directors: Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath
Stars: Chris Rock, Ben Stiller, David Schwimmer
Adventure | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Rescued from the outrageous neglect of his aunt and uncle, a young boy with a great destiny proves his worth while attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Director: Chris Columbus
Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Richard Harris
Shrek 2 (2004)
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Princess Fiona's parents invite her and Shrek to dinner to celebrate her marriage. If only they knew the newlyweds were both ogres.

Directors: Andrew Adamson, Kelly Asbury, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Sister Sarah / Mother
...
...
Hero Girl (voice)
...
Brendan King ...
Pastry Chef
Andy Pellick ...
Pastry Chef
Josh Eli ...
Waiter
Mark Mendonca ...
Waiter
Rolandas Hendricks ...
Waiter
Mark Goodman ...
Waiter
Jon Scott ...
Waiter
...
Waiter
Sean Scott ...
Waiter
...
Waiter
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 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:

Don't miss the holiday film of the season. 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  »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$165,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$23,323,463, 14 November 2004, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$183,373,735

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$307,514,317
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Peter Scolari starred alongside Tom Hanks in Bosom Buddies (1980). It was the first significant role for both actors. See more »

Goofs

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 »

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

Featured in The 77th Annual Academy Awards (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Rockin' on Top of the World
Written and Produced by Glen Ballard and Alan Silvestri
Performed by Steven Tyler
Steven Tyler appears courtesy of Columbia Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Will Become A Christmas Classic
20 December 2004 | by See all my reviews

I have to say that I adored 'The Polar Express'. It was just the sort of film I needed to truly get me into the Christmas mood. The story revolves around a young boy, who is coming to an age where he is doubting Santa Claus' existence, until the Polar Express- a magical train destined for the North Pole- takes him and a group of other young children on a journey to Santa and to reaffirm their faith in Christmas.

I had reservations about the use of CGI animation since I felt it really only worked for stories about cute animals but having seen the film, the CGI was the best way to capture the spirit of the film. It really wouldn't have worked as well in live action, the sense of other-worldly magic would have been lost. And as it was, the artwork was beautiful, especially the snowy mountainous scenery that the train passes through.

This film took me back to my childhood and that tingly-feeling every child gets on Christmas Eve in anticipation of Santa's visit. The story was sweet and innocent without being nauseating, and I think every one of us can empathise with the boy who wants to believe in Santa but is growing away from the innocence of early childhood and faith in magic. Much like Raymond Briggs' 'The Snowman', I predict 'The Polar Express' will go down as a Christmas classic. It certainly makes a pleasant change that this year's Christmas film was actually about Christmas and I hope they make the re-release of this film an annual Christmas event.


61 of 82 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 459 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page