fair & honest

                                           The Polar Express (2004)

All aboard for a wondrous magical train ride to the North Pole!  Bring your young children and adults too.  Anyone with imagination and a big heart will love this film (except perhaps teenagers).

It's rare for a film actually be better than I expected, but this one really sucked me in and tugged at the heartstrings.  Both my wife and I had moist cheeks and big smiles when the movie ended.  Just a couple overgrown kids aren't we?

It starts on the night before Christmas.  A little boy lies awake on his bed.  Most of us remember when it happened to us.  We became too smart to believe in Santa.  He listens for sleigh bells, for Santa's arrival, but in his heart he is fairly certain that he will hear nothing.  He wants to prove to himself that there is no Santa.

Suddenly there is an incredible noise that shakes the entire house.  It's the Polar Express, an enormous train that will take him on a magical adventure all the way to the North Pole.

There are positive messages throughout this film and there is nothing objectionable about it.  (Also no male-bashing or anti-father messages)

It was obvious that the children in the theatre were totally into the movie because they would answer back to the screen.  When one character asked "Where are the elves?", a child in the theatre asked "Yeah, where are the elves?"

Tom Hanks plays several of the characters and he does his usual excellent job.  Every film he stars in seems to turn out well.

Some people have criticized the animation, but I thought it was perfect.  A friend of mine saw The Polar Express in 3D IMAX and said it was "simply amazing!"

I strongly recommend this film to adults who's hearts are open to wonderment and especially to young children.
                             - Reviewed by Paul G.
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