The Polar Express is a 2004 animated Christmas movie that stars Tom Hanks and is based on a children’s book from 1985, the film was written and directed by Robert Zemeckis who is known for directing classic films such as Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The Back to the Future trilogy, Cast Away and Forrest Gump.
On Christmas Eve night a train pulls up outside of a young boys house and the conductor offers him a free full round trip to the North Pole, the boy was chosen especially to take the train ride as he had become skeptical of the existence of Father Christmas, like most people would he at first declines the offer to ride the train with the strange man but quickly changes his mind when the train starts leaving without him and he quickly boards the train before it is too late, on the train are many other children who have also been chosen to take the trip.
You could say that there are four main children in the film, our lead child is not named at all through out the movie and the same goes for our only female lead they are both listed as Hero Boy and Hero Girl in the cast the other two male children who get a lot of screen time are Billy a poor boy who lacks trust in other people and a know it all kid who is named Know it all, the reason I believe for the lead male and female characters not being named is so that the viewer can identify better with the characters, children can watch the movie and can see themselves in the role of these children.
The only other character that I would say is worth mentioning is the Train Conductor who is voiced by Tom Hanks, the conductor seems to be a magical being that has planned everything that has happened on the trip, he even knows what lesson each child needs to learn on the journey to the North Pole causing many to believe that the children were all chosen especially by the conductor as a means of teaching them life lessons and to help guide them in the best directions for once the journey is over.
There are a lot of moments in the film that may leave you asking a lot questions one of the most asked is what was up with the hobo on top of the train?
Many have speculated that this strange character who helps the lead male in various unusual ways is Jack Frost due to his endurance to the cold and his various ice and snow related powers and abilities, this makes a lot of sense and I tend to agree that it is the most logical theory for the character.
The film could be classed as a musical as it does have a few original songs which in my opinion are nothing special however they are charming and suit the film nicely, if I was to pick a favorite it would have to be the simple yet fun hot chocolate song.
The Polar Express is a wonderful Christmas film, it has good morales and it doesn’t rely much on Father Christmas as a character which I think is over done in a lot of Christmas films, it will leave you scratching your head after watching it but the the things that are left to speculation make a fun debate and some theories people have come up with for un-answered questions are really interesting, the animation is very good however it mostly shines on smaller details such as the snow and details of the trains architecture than it does the characters but all of the animation is very well done, with a great voice cast and a very creative premise for a Christmas movie the Polar Express is a film that is a must watch around the holiday season.
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