The Polar Express

November 10th, 2004


The Polar Express

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On Christmas Eve, a doubting boy boards a magical train that's headed to the North Pole and Santa Claus's home.

Release Year: 2004

Rating: 6.6/10 (45,383 voted)

Critic's Score: 61/100

Director: Robert Zemeckis

Stars: Tom Hanks, Chris Coppola, Michael Jeter

This is the story of a young hero boy on Christmas Eve who boards on a powerful magical train that's headed to the North Pole and Santa Claus's home. What unfolds is an an adventure which follows a doubting boy, who takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole; during this ride, he embarks on a journey of self-discovery which shows him that the wonder of life never fades for those who believe.

Writers: Chris Van Allsburg, Robert Zemeckis

Tom Hanks - Hero Boy / Father / Conductor / Hobo / Scrooge / Santa Claus
Leslie Zemeckis - Sister Sarah / Mother
Eddie Deezen - Know-It-All
Nona Gaye - Hero Girl
Peter Scolari - Billy - Lonely Boy
Andy Pellick - Pastry Chef
Josh Eli - Waiter
Mark Mendonca - Waiter
Rolandas Hendricks - Waiter
Mark Goodman - Waiter
Jon Scott - Waiter
Gregory Gast - Waiter
Sean Scott - Waiter
Gordon Hart - Waiter
Michael Jeter - Smokey / Steamer

Taglines: Take the journey in IMAX 3D


Official Website: Warner Bros [France] | Warner Bros. [Brazil] |

Release Date: 10 November 2004

Filming Locations: Culver Studios - 9336 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, California, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $165,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $23,323,463 (USA) (14 November 2004) (3650 Screens)

Gross: $176,610,096 (USA) (14 January 2007) (re-release)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

A close examination of all the ticket numbers reveals that they all contain the number "1225" in them. Pere Marquette No. 1225 was used as a model for the Polar Express locomotive. 12-25 also refers to the date of Christmas - December 25th.

Continuity: Throughout the movie, the number of cars on the train changes, from just three, to as many as eleven plus. This is most obvious when the hobo and Boy are skiing on the roofs of the cars, and when they are on the ice tack

[first lines]
Hero Boy: On Christmas Eve many years ago I laid quietly in my bed. I did not rustle the sheets, I breathed slowly and silently. I was listening for a sound I was afraid I'd never hear: the sound of Santa's sleigh bells.

User Review

For Goodness Sake


Clearly the reviewers who panned this wonderful film can no longer hear the ringing of the silver bell. I am reminded of the know it all kid in the film when I read these reviews. Some said it was too dark. Too dark? It was set at 5 minuets to midnight.....As I recall its dark then. Another called it ghostly; a condition true of a Christmas Carol, the film is in good company there. While I will admit that the computer motion capture in facial expressions is not as strong as it could be it did not detract from the story. Some reviewers did not like the roller-coaster effects. One even pointed out that trains can not do what this one does.....It's a dream...physics don't count. It is a sad commentary that the meaning of Christmas and belief in it's historically documented magic is so lost on those with access to the press. My's good and it is best if you make up your own mind. I could hear the bell ring and I hope you can too.


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