The Polar Express

The Polar Express

Robert Zemeckis (2004)

U Certificate


Our Score
In this animated tale based on Chris Van Allsburg's children's book, a sceptical boy finds his belief in Father Christmas restored by an incredible journey to the North Pole on board a magical train. Forrest Gump director Robert Zemeckis's fantasy adventure is undoubtedly technically impressive, thanks to the introduction of "Performance Capture" - a then new type of CGI that transfers the live actions of actors into a digital format. The process enables star Tom Hanks to take on six different roles, from the young hero to Santa Claus himself. However, as a fast-moving life lesson about faith and hope, the film weaves sentimentality and gentle moralising into every scene. But, though the emotion feels contrived, that's nothing compared to the flashy set pieces and meticulous detail, which do more to flaunt the technology than move along the story.


A boy begins to doubt whether Father Christmas really exists as he waits for the sound of sleigh bells on Christmas Eve. But he and hundreds of other lucky children receive a shock when a magical steam engine arrives in the night to take them to the North Pole and meet the man himself. Robert Zemeckis' animated adventure, based on Chris Van Allsburg's book, features the voices of Tom Hanks, Leslie Zemeckis and Eddie Deezen.

Cast & Crew

Hero boy / Father / Conductor / Hobo / Scrooge / Santa Claus Tom Hanks
Smokey / Steamer Michael Jeter
Hero girl Nona Gaye
Lonely boy Peter Scolari
Know-it-all Eddie Deezen
Elf General Charles Fleischer
Elf Lieutenant / Elf singer Steven Tyler
Sister Sarah / Mother Leslie Zemeckis
Hero boy Daryl Sabara
Smokey / Steamer Andre Sogliuzzo
Lonely boy Jimmy Bennett
Sister Sarah Isabella Peregrina
Director Robert Zemeckis
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Park CircusAvailable on: video, DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 5 Dec 2014
Drama Children's