If Norman Rockwell could have painted a picture with CGI effects this
would have been the movie he produced. The computer animation alone is enough to
floor even the most hardened movie buff, from the realistic skin textures to the
natural movement of the characters. Add a standup performance from the voice talents
of Tom Hanks and the marvelous story book creation of Chris Van Allsburg and you get
the most spectacular Christmas story ever brought to life on the big screen.
The movie opens with a snowy Christmas Eve and a young boy whose
reality has become disenchanted with the magic of Santa Claus. Even going so far as
to tell his sister that there is no such thing. Abruptly he is awakened by the sound
and rumbling of something outside. Rushing to the front door and flinging it open,
his expression becomes astonishment and disbelief. A train has stopped in the middle
of his street and a man stands outside one of the doors. Slowly he approaches the
conductor and is asked to board and take a trip to the North Pole.
Almost deciding not to board, the young boy changes his mind at the
last moment and finds the train has already picked up other children, some of whom
have also become disenfranchised with the concept of Santa. This is where the movie
starts to get kind of weird for the viewer. Spawning questions like, “I thought this
was a family movie?” The whole train scenario is a little spooky and makes one think
of ghost trains. Once you get past that, the movie is guaranteed to capture the
imagination of every child as Christmas meets the action adventures of Indiana
Only one scene was a tad disappointing, near the end of the movie
Santa picks young boy the movie started with and offers the first gift of Christmas.
He whispers in Santa’s ear what he would like for Christmas and the viewer almost
expects the young boy to ask Santa to give his new found friends what they desire
most. After all the spirit of Christmas is about giving not receiving. However, this
was not the case and should have been expected.
Polar Express is an imaginative, breath taking conception from story
book to cinema that will leave you feeling a little more in the Christmas cheer. A
must see for the whole family, even if you are your family! On a side note, anyone
who believes Tom Hanks has lost his edge and should move back into his earlier
comedic styling, should really give this movie a chance before making a harsh