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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
4,391 ( 283)
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
Rolandas Hendricks Rolandas Hendricks ... Waiter
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:

Don't miss the holiday film of the season. 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, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$183,373,735

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$307,514,317
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

Hero Boy's real name is never mentioned. However, according to books containing information about The Polar Express, including art books and fact books, Hero Boy's name is Chris, after the novel's author, Chris Van Allsburg. See more »

Goofs

The Engineer is commanded by the Conductor on the ice using "Left full!" and "Right full!" in order to steer it toward the tracks. In reality and as can be seen when the ticket is blown under the engine, the drive wheels of the locomotive are connected by thick, solid axles, which though they can move forward and backward, would not allow the train to turn left and right like the Polar Express was able to do. However, the Hero Girl says that the train is magical, which could allow it to do things that a normal train would not. 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

The film's IMAX release presented the film cropped to the Univisium 2.00:1 aspect ratio. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Hour: Episode #7.46 (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Frosty The Snowman
Written by Steve Nelson and Jack Rollins
Performed by Red Foley
Courtesy of Geffen Records
Under License from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Will Become A Christmas Classic
20 December 2004 | by cosmic_questSee 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.


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