The Polar Express


Late on Christmas Eve, a boy who doesn’t believe in Santa anymore wakes up to see the Polar Express just outside his house; it’s headed for Santa’s home. The first film to be made entirely with performance capture animation, but results are so-so. The action sequences are lively and thrilling and the technology has interesting possibilities, but despite Tom Hanks’s hard work in several roles there is no escaping how strange the characters look at times. A sweet story, but with a few spoonfuls of sugar too many.

2004-U.S. Animated. 100 min. Widescreen. Directed by Robert Zemeckis. Novel: Chris Van Allsburg. Music: Alan Silvestri. Song:“Believe” (Glen Ballard, Alan Silvestri). Cast: Tom Hanks (Hero Boy/Father/Conductor/Hobo/Scrooge/Santa Claus), Michael Jeter (Smokey/Steamer), Peter Scolari (Lonely Boy), Nona Gaye, Eddie Deezen, Charles Fleischer… Steven Tyler.

Trivia: Hanks plays five characters, including Hero Boy, but the voice of that character belongs to Daryl Sabara.


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