The Polar Express: Presented in 3-D
Warner Bros./ Castle Rock/ Play Tone
Starring Tom Hanks
Directed by Robert Zemeckis
Running Time = 100 minutes (Two DVDs; one with 3-D version, the other with theatrical version)
I love Christmas movies. There’s something about the really good ones like Miracle of 34th Street and It’s a Wonderful Life that really resonate with me. Holiday films of recent have held less interest for me, especially “holiday” movies like Deck the Halls and Christmas with the Kranks. The Polar Express, however, fits in the first category.
A marvel of computer animation, creativity, and fun, The Polar Express is an engaging family film that is brought to life even more through the use of 3-D. The DVD comes with four pairs of 3-D glasses. With the glasses the movie does pop from the screen. The best moments for the glasses are when action is high, notably during the “Hot Chocolate” number on the train.
But after a while, and it may have been the glasses, I started to get a headache and switched the regular version of the film. Due to the 3-D print, the picture is distorted without the glasses. If you don’t want to risk a headache, I’d stick with the normal version.
Based on the children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg (Jumanji, Zathura, and The Stranger [my favorite]), it’s the story of a young boy who awaits the arrival of Santa Claus. He boards the fantastical Polar Express where the Conductor (Tom Hanks) take the boy and other children to the North Pole to meet Santa (also voiced by Hanks). The North Pole is a visual feast for the eyes. A literal Winter Wonderland of sights, sounds, colors, and holiday cheer.
No need to be afraid of having the family around while this is on. It’s a fun, safe, entertaining family film that will put everyone in the Christmas spirit. Check it out and add it to your list of holiday film favorites!
The Polar Express arrives at its destination with an A. Good, clean, family fun. And Tom Hanks!