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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
78 ( 9)
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:

Take the journey in IMAX 3D 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

The close shots of Hero Girl's train ticket floating in the air are a nod to the trademark shots of a feather doing the same in Forrest Gump (1994) which also starred Tom Hanks. 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 30 Rock: Succession (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Jolly Old Saint Nicholas
(uncredited)
Lyrics attributed to Emily Huntington Miller, music by James Pierpont
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Best Christmas movie ever made
15 December 2004 | by steve49erSee 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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