Directed by Robert Zemeckis | Year 2004
Going through my list of movie review drafts I came across The Polar Express. Wanted to do this one somewhere during the Christmas break, but hey, it’s never too late for a movie review!
Animation with Tom Hanks’s voice, The Polar Express is about a boy welcomed by an impressive steam train that stops just outside his house on Christmas Eve. The train is called the Polar Express as it is going towards the North Pole where Santa lives. The boy gets the adventure of a lifetime.
Nominated for three Academy Awards, The Polar Express clearly did not impress me likewise. I do like computer animations, trust me, but I think that the director’s vision of the North Pole and Santa is too complicated for a youngster / child to understand. Many adults will and everyone will argue that it is the most creative vision (although some think Santa’s home looks like some typical German city), but really who are we kidding here? The movie is targeted at families and that includes children. The possibilities portrayed in this movie are endlessly inventive, requiring no imagination from the audience at all because all the thinking gaps are already filled up, but it also has radically attempted to change traditional views such as Santa himself. Not necessarily bad, very original, but sometimes “unbelievably stupid” (quoting my young cousin here).
The Polar Express surely is a must watch with the family. Try to enjoy the visuals and let go of the conventional Christmas movie spirits.