Projections - Movie Reviews

The Polar Express
The Polar Express
Starring: Tom Hanks, Michael Jeter, Leslie Zemeckis, Eddie Deezen, Nona Gaye

Director Robert Zemeckis (Forest Gump and Back to the Future) again captures a fantasy with perfection, beauty and emotion.

Based on the children’s book by Chris Van Alsburg The Polar Express which was published in 1985 is a train that picks up children on Christmas eve who have doubts about Santa.

Tom Hanks is the voice of the conductor, Hero Boy and three other characters. But the stars of this film are the story, script and stunning construction. The art, craftsmanship and computer graphics are brilliantly presented and we can tell this was built by people who believe both in their craft and the sprit of The Polar Express. All of that brings us a film for kids and parents who are willing to believe.

On Christmas the boy leaves cookies for Santa as he remembers Santa On Strike posters near the local merchandise store. ThePolar Express arrives on his street just before midnight and at the last second he decides to get on as his snowman waves good bye. He finds a number of other children on the trip, one little girl who is proactive, a bragging smart-Alec and the last to join the trip a little boy with little hope in his heart. They are quickly entertained and fed by singing and dancing waiters who bring in hot chocolate.

The adventure includes the search for a carter pin, a chase for a lost ticket, a roller coaster type ride up and down the mountains on the way to the North Pole, breaking ice, a clock that appears slow to change, lost toys, northern lights, and spectacular scenes at the North Pole.

It’s easy to grasp the warm feeling of watching kids at Christmas as the voice of Frank Sinatra welcomes Santa and an echo of Natalie Wood’s line from Miracle on 34 th Street “I believe, I believe” fills the screen.

One of the year’s best films, this is joyous, exciting, wonderful film making. Hooray for Robert Zemeckis and Tom Hanks.

The Polar Express

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