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.


Robert Zemeckis


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





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


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:

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Did You Know?


When Hero Boy falls asleep, the clock in his bedroom reads 10:20, the same time as the clock in Scrooge's bedroom when Marley's ghost appears in the Alastair Sim version of A Christmas Carol (1951). See more »


After the Christmas star falls, several elves bungee jump and eventually catch up with the star. Under a free fall, the elves would have never been able to catch up with the star. 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.
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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 »


Referenced in AniMat's Crazy Cartoon Cast: Body Odor Penalty (2019) See more »


I'll Be Home For Christmas
Written by Walter Kent, Kim Gannon, and Buck Ram
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User Reviews

A Christmas Classic
12 December 2020 | by donbrandonminecraftSee all my reviews

This is really an amazing movie, taking place on christmas eve. Those people who are like "its not realistic" it's a christmas movie for gosh sake. Enjoy it. It gives me flashbacks of how I always used to have christmas. It's very amazing. We watch it every year!

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Frequently Asked Questions

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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 »


Box Office


$165,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$23,323,463, 14 November 2004

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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