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The Polar Express

  • Drama
  • Children's
  • 2004
  • Robert Zemeckis
  • 95 mins
  • U

Summary

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.

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Review

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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.

How to watch

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Credits

Cast

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Hero boy / Father / Conductor / Hobo / Scrooge / Santa ClausTom Hanks
Smokey / SteamerMichael Jeter
Hero girlNona Gaye
Lonely boyPeter Scolari
Know-it-allEddie Deezen
Elf GeneralCharles Fleischer
Elf Lieutenant / Elf singerSteven Tyler
Sister Sarah / MotherLeslie Zemeckis
Hero boyDaryl Sabara
Smokey / SteamerAndre Sogliuzzo
Lonely boyJimmy Bennett
Sister SarahIsabella Peregrina

Crew

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DirectorRobert Zemeckis

Details

Theatrical distributor
Park Circus
Released on
2014-12-05
Language
English
Available on
video, DVD and Blu-ray
Formats
Colour
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