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Polar Express Movie Review - World According to Robert

The Polar Express

Box Office Release: Nov. 10, 2004
Official Site
Directed by: Robert Zemeckis

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 Jones.

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 judgment.




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