Movie Polar Express review

Movie “Polar Express” review

I would like to start by saying that The Polar Express Movie is a wonderful cinematic masterpiece that would keep the viewer enthralled from the very beginning to the end. The movie is good for both adults and kids simply because it is full of adventure, excitement, splendor and holiday cheers and surprises. For Adults like me, the movie also gives a sense of nostalgia and somewhat reminded me of the Wizard of Oz.  As a matter of fact The Polar Express and The Wizard of Oz sometimes have great similarities. The main characters of the Polar Express are being on a journey to some unique and mystical place, called the North Pole (in the Wizard of Oz everyone would travel to the Oz) and they move there following the train tracks, rather than a yellow brick road. The 4 characters of the movie are in search of something intangible. In The Polar Express Movie the main character is an unnamed boy who tries to find faith. His other companions are in search of courage, humility and confidence. The whole movie may look like a fantasy, yet without witches, wizards and other magic characters. The movie Polar Express is a cute tale without bad characters of villains. The following essay will review the movie The Polar Express, comment on its plot, find similarities with the book and note that it does everything possible to give children hope and a reason to believe in the supernatural.

Speaking about the plot of the movie, I have to note that everything begins on one Christmas Eve, with one boy who can’t fall asleep (http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/1808410706/details). The guy tries to hear the sleigh bells yet he can’t. He wants to believe and see Santa Claus, yet his young logic already tells him that his presence at least today is impossible since Santa would have to travel at the speed of light to serve all houses. While thinking about the chances of seeing Santa, the guy hears the noise of a train coming to a halt outside his house and hears that the conductor calls everyone aboard. And when asked where the train was going, the conductor noted that they were going to the North Pole since it was a polar express. “The film follows a young boy who is having serious doubts about the existence of Santa Claus. He wants to believe, but is fast losing his faith. The sudden surprising appearance of a train in his front yard jars him out of his Christmas musings. Climbing about The Polar Express, he begins a journey of discovery filled with important life lessons.” (http://movies.about.com/od/thepolarexpress/a/polarex111204.htm).

The movie proceeds from that point on to the adventures of the young guy who meets other passengers: one bright yet shy boy, and one easy-going girl who still doubts herself. At some point later the boy would make friends with the engineer who runs the train, hobo.

The movie continues with fun and adventures rather than with a simple train ride. “Going off the rails, skidding sideways, and snaking violently across a frozen lake, the train arrives at the North Pole (a vast, glowing city of brick buildings).” (http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/polar_express/).

Speaking about the book that gave birth to the movie Polar Express, I would like to note that it is a book by Chris Van Allsburg. Since the book is rather short for a movie, the screen writers Robert Zemerckis and William Broyles would add three background characters as well as some action. The movie in all other respects fully follows the book. From the movie review accessed at http://www.christianitytoday.com/movies/reviews/polarexpress.html one learns that Zemeckis inventively converts the simple storybook into a full-length feature without excessive plotting.

In my opinion from the technical point of view, the movie Polar Express is also a chef-d’oevre.  The movie impresses me with using motion capture for the entire length. The mixture of action and computer animation in the movie allowed the producers to design the world populated with real-seeming people.

The Polar Express amazes us with graphics, animation and songs throughout the movie. I remember one awesome moment when the breaks of the train fail and it starts to resemble more of a roller coaster rather than a train. Santa who lives on the North Pole is treated by the elves like a rock star.

Speaking about the actors, I would like to note that most of the roles are played by Tom Hanks who is: the conductor, the boy, the boy’s father, the engineer hobo, Scrooge puppet and Santa Claus. In this case Santa is linked to God, who is also omni-present and omnipotent. It means to show children that Santa is always among us looking at our deeds and deciding whether or not we deserve a present for Christmas. In my opinion, Tom Hanks in his movie is the very actor who deserves an Oscar for various roles. Speaking about other vocalists, I have to note the movie features Michael Jeter, as the two engineers, Nona Gaye as the passenger girl, Peter Scolari as the lonely guy, and Eddie Deezen as the shy, yet know-it-all boy. It shows the weaknesses of different children and ultimately shows how they overcome them and become better, more humane, kinder and more courageous.

In conclusion, I would like to note that the North Pole is a wonderful Christmas family movie that actually appears to be much better than the How the Grinch Stole Christmas.  The movie is very unique in style and production and when watching it personally made me feel like a 7 years old boy who had problems falling asleep on Christmas eve. The movie showed a restless kid who did not have enough faith in Santa, just like it showed other kids who had their own weaknesses that needed correction. The movie illustrated Santa’s omnipresence and noted that everyone can become better if she/he believes in mystery of Christmas.

 

Bibliography:

Movie Polar Express

Overstreet, Jeffrey, The polar Express, http://www.christianitytoday.com/movies/reviews/polarexpress.html , accessed Oct 25, 2008.

Movie Polar Express Review,

http://movies.about.com/od/thepolarexpress/a/polarex111204.htm accessed Oct 25, 2008.

Movie Polar Express Review,

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/polar_express/ accessed Oct 25, 2008.

Movie Polar Express Review,

http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/1808410706/details. accessed Oct 25, 2008.

 

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Posted in Movie Review, Narrative essays, Uncategorized and tagged movie review, Polar Express.