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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.

Director:

Robert Zemeckis

Writers:

Chris Van Allsburg (book), Robert Zemeckis (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
4,199 ( 109)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 23 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Hanks ... Hero Boy / Father / Conductor / Hobo / Scrooge / Santa Claus
Leslie Zemeckis ... Sister Sarah / Mother
Eddie Deezen ... Know-It-All
Nona Gaye ... Hero Girl (voice)
Peter Scolari ... Billy - Lonely Boy
Brendan King Brendan King ... Pastry Chef
Andy Pellick Andy Pellick ... Pastry Chef
Josh Eli Josh Eli ... Waiter
Mark Mendonca Mark Mendonca ... Waiter
Rolondas Hendricks Rolondas Hendricks ... Waiter (as Rolandas Hendricks)
Mark Goodman Mark Goodman ... Waiter
Jon Scott Jon Scott ... Waiter
Gregory Gast ... Waiter
Sean Scott Sean Scott ... Waiter
Gordon Hart ... Waiter
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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:

Journey Beyond Your Imagination See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 November 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Polar Express: An IMAX 3D Experience See more »

Filming Locations:

Arctic Ocean See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$165,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$23,323,463, 14 November 2004

Gross USA:

$187,224,490

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$313,500,433
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The premiere was held in Grand Rapids, Michigan, author Chris Van Allsburg's hometown. See more »

Goofs

The number of children standing on the square at the North Pole keeps changing. 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

The production company credits are covered with snow and ice. See more »

Alternate Versions

On some ABC Family/Freeform airings, the first hobo scene was cut entirely. That results in Hero Boy finding the light from beyond that abruptly disappears for his reaction. The scene where the Conductor explains the first gift of Christmas was cut as well, skipping to the scene where the elves appear. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in The Bet (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
One Christmas Eve a group of kids aboard a mystery train that's headed to the North Pole
14 January 2012 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Charming and worthwhile adaptation about a timeless and marvelous Christmas story dealing with a boy boards a magical train which's driven to the North Pole and Santa Claus's home . Polar Express is an enjoyable Hollywood production , set on Christmas Eve , a wonderful and straight forward approach to the original's source material , based on a storybook written by Chris Van Allsburg who also created ¨Zahura¨ and ¨Jumanji¨ , being splendidly adopted . It is given the full ¨Motion Capture¨ deluxe treatment in this superior Holiday film . The production values & acting are both excellent, with just enough attractive to appeal to the tenderhearted, and with moving doses of allucinogenic adventure , thrilling events , case of the potentially frightening elements and adding sentiment ; all of them are blended into the mix, until, like a nice Christmas punch, the result appeals to all . The Christmas story tells of a boy who has reached an age when he begins to have materialistic doubts believing in Santa . The young boy is lying awake waiting for the sound of sleigh bells ringing from Santa's sleigh . The little boy receives a surprise, a steam engine's roar and whistle can be heard outside his window , he jumps from his bed and sees a train in the middle of his street , as he is visited by a strange Polar Express . A rare conductor (Tom Hanks) who displays no charity to mankind generally invites him on board to take an extraordinary trip to the outside his window . The doubting boy grabs his robe and rushes out the front North Pole with many other pajama-clad children . The little hero boy meets a group of children (voices from Nora Gaye , Eddie Deezen, Peter Scolari) . There, he gets an extraordinary gift only those who still believe in Santa can experience a nd will learn the error of his ways . To his delight, the roller-coaster ride complete his beliefs in one night giving him the opportunity to mend his thoughts to reaffirm Mr Claus .

Splendid Tom Hanks who plays the train conductor of a magical express heading for the North Pole, in addition to five other parts. A marvelous recounting of a Christmas tale and Tom Hanks demonstrates once again his versatility on screen in this retelling of a surrealist, fantastic adventure that results to be a kaleidoscopic marvel . It packs spectacular set pieces , breathtaking sound effects , highly imaginative camera angles and impressive special effects ; furthermore a sensible musical score by Alan Silvestri , including a touching leitmotif . Atmospherically as a complete package it demonstrates the perfection of modern computer animation techniques . The movie is as comfortable and heartwarming as an old Christmas card .The whole concept of looking at a rapid train towards North Pole is creative in and of itself. After watching the movie, you may look at your life from the same enjoyable perspectives . Special effects add a nice little touch , but it is Tom Hanks's interaction with the various characters that really steal the show . Hanks manages to capture pure magic with his stunningly awesome portrayal of main characters , the Hero boy and the conductor , and it is definitely worth a look . It's fun and different approach to the Christmas tale with top notch effects by means of ¨Motion Capture¨ , a technique magnificently developed by Robert Zemeckis who will repeat in other films as ¨Beowulf¨ and ¨Christmas Carol¨ . A highly recommended film that nobody should miss it especially during Christmas time . ¨Robert Zemeckis's Polar Express¨ still ranks as one of the best adaptations of Christmas stories ever. This animated retelling about a doubting little boy taken on a journey of self-redemption and knowledge will appeal to Tom Hanks buffs , computer games enthusiasts and eye-candy fans .


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