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The Polar Express (2004)

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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.



(book), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
3,747 ( 278)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 23 nominations. See more awards »



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


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


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 USA:

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

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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Did You Know?


The train set at the end is a recreation of the new Lionel Polar Express train set, combined with the older Lionel Berkshire and the older tubular track. See more »


When the children are in the sack of presents, the blimp starts to close the sack. The sack was shown closing over the children's heads, but in the next scene it was shown at eye-level. 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 Superstore: Black Friday (2016) See more »


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

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User Reviews

Best Christmas movie ever made
15 December 2004 | by See all my reviews

It was astonishing to read the lead in review. The complaint laid forth by the critic that the director's view of the North Pole and Santa's workshop did not reflect his, too bad. Maybe the critic could do better but it's doubtful. As for the line that the Elven town looked like something out of a German city, so what? Didn't many of the concepts of Christmas begin in Germany? My family (two seniors, a twenty year old father, his 3, almost 4, year old son) loved it. The colors were brilliant. The number of elves dancing, singing, and rushing to create an entrance for Santa was outstanding. Santa, himself, proved to be exactly as he should. Intelligent, sturdy, and kind. His reindeer, just as impressive. Forgetting the North Pole and remarking on the rest of the movie, how well done! The artwork, just great. The excitement, our grandson was out of his chair and standing while holding onto the chair-back of the row in front of us. There were scenes that could have seemed somewhat scary for a youngster, he didn't find them so. He laughed several times out loud, had his eyes glued to the screen when something serious seemed to be happening, loved the entire movie. He wants the DVD for Christmas (he will have to wait a year). He also told us that he wants to see the movie once more before Christmas. Out of the mouth of a three year old, his favorite movie.

How can a critic want to re-design that? All because he didn't like the city at the North Pole.? I guess he was looking for buildings made from peppermint sticks. To each his own. As for the three adults, we too were amazed. We went for our grandson. We enjoyed it so much, we applauded (as did others in the theater). It will be easy to return for a second showing. And, the DVD, this family will be buying more than one. My summary states that this was the best Christmas story ever made (put on film, actually), we think it was more than that. It surpasses other great animated films. Once purchased in a DVD format, Toy Story will be relegated to the back shelf, even during the middle of summer.

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