The Polar Express
The Polar Express ★★½ 2004 (G)
Your capacity to enjoy this Christmas story will depend on whether or not you find the so-called performance or motion capture animation technique (think Gollum from “Lord of the Rings”) enthralling or creepy. An extended version of Chris Van Allsburg's popular children's book, the story opens on Christmas Eve when nameless skeptic Hero Boy is suddenly awakened by the steam train of the title, which appears outside his window. The train is leaving for the North Pole and Hero Boy, encouraged by a kindly conductor (one of Hanks' many roles), joins the passengers on their journey to meet Santa. There are various adventures intended to offer life-affirming lessons but this is a rather melancholy tale with which to entertain the tykes. 100m/C DVD, Bluray Disc, HD DVD . US Tom Hanks, Michael Jeter, Nona Gaye, Peter Scolari, Eddie Deezen, Charles Fleischer, Steven Tyler, Daryl Sabara, Leslie Zemeckis, Andre Sogliuzzo, Jimmy Bennett, Isabella Peregrina; D: Robert Zemeckis; C: Don Burgess, Robert Presley; M: Alan Silvestri; V: Daryl Sabara.