THE POLAR EXPRESS

BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELL
JANUARY 13, 2014

Perfect for children, Robert Zemeckis sets the stage for the motion capture animated films to follow with “The Polar Express,” where Tom Hanks shines through as many of the characters in the film. Taking a young boy whose belief in Santa Claus begins to falter on an epic train adventure to the North Pole, this heartwarming film will become a staple in Christmas movies, especially for children starting to grow up and not believe. There’s a strong message involving the ability to hear Santa’s sleigh bells and even found myself having a conversation about it with my eight-year-old nephew. Repetitive in nature, the story structure of the film is largely designed to adhere to the 3D aspect and loses its luster when transferred to the small screen, which the first person camera views and long take qualities falling somewhat flat without the 3D gimmick to back it up. That being said, “The Polar Express” pushes the boundaries of animated films and tells a story worth telling which will hopefully captivate children during the holidays for decades to come.

RELEASE DATE
November 10, 2004

DIRECTOR
Robert Zemeckis

WRITTEN BY
Robert Zemeckis
William Broyles Jr.

BASED ON
“The Polar Express”
by Chris Van Allsburg

STUDIO
Warner Bros. Pictures

G

ANIMATION
ADVENTURE
COMEDY
FAMILY
FANTASY
MUSICAL

100 minutes

CINEMATOGRAPHER
Don Burgess
Robert Presley

COMPOSER
Alan Silvestri

EDITOR
R. Orlando Duenas
Jeremiah O’Driscoll

CAST
Tom Hanks
Josh Hutcherson
Leslie Zemeckis
Eddie Deezen
Nona Gaye
Peter Scolari
Steven Tyler
Jimmy Bennett

PRODUCED BY
Steve Starkey
Robert Zemeckis
Gary Goetzman
William Teitler

BUDGET
$165 million

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