Released 11/10/2004 Rated: G
There are a number of people who don’t like this movie because of the animation style. It’s the uncanny valley, where something too closely resembles actual humans, and it freaks people out. I actually don’t have a problem with the style; I think it’s fine. That being said, this is another one of my favorite Christmas movies.
Our young protagonist wakes up late Christmas Eve night to the sounds of The Polar Express pulling up his street. Skeptic at first, he declines a ride, but then changes it and manages to hop on. He is swept away into a wondrous journey to the North Pole where he learns about friendship, bravery, and the magic of Christmas. It really portrays the doubt that comes with the transition from childhood belief to growing up understanding, and I’m still kinda floored that they did that. The whole thing where he can’t hear the sleigh bells and desperately wants to was a phenomenal touch.
I really do love it. It’s a magical tale, and honestly, those are the best kind. Tom Hanks voices the majority of the characters, and who doesn’t love his voice? It’s got gorgeous landscapes, an amazing score, a heartfelt message, and some great adventure and holiday magic. Love love love!