Director Robert Zemeckis revolutionized the art of animated film in 1998's WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT by dropping cartoon characters into the same frame with flesh-and-blood actors. In THE POLAR EXPRESS, live action and animation have merged seamlessly, resulting in sparkling super-realism. A landmark technique Zemeckis and his Sony Pictures Imageworks team call "Performance Capture" perfectly suits the tenor of this wondrous children's Christmas story by Chris Van Allsburg. A disillusioned little boy, just old enough to doubt the existence of Santa Claus, has the adventure of a lifetime one fateful Christmas Eve. Clad in his pajamas, he climbs aboard a magic train to the North Pole, driven by a kindly train conductor (voiced by Tom Hanks who starred in both of Zemeckis's Academy-Award winning films FORREST GUMP and CASTAWAY). Among myriad jaw-dropping moments, the train plummets brakeless through crystalline mountains in a simulated roller coaster 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). At that moment, the car carrying the kids detaches and they're sent tumbling down never-ending chutes and slides until they land in the middle of Santa's Workshop. With its fascinating tale and impressive technical frolics, THE POLAR EXPRESS is destined to become both a holiday classic and a new turning point in the art of animated cinema.
Steve Starkey - American Producer/ FORREST GUMP, CAST AWAY
Peter Scolari - Henry Desmond/Hildegarde of TV's "Bosom Buddies"
Nona Gaye - Actor, ALI (2001)
Robert Zemeckis - American director/screenwriter
Eddie Deezen - Quinessential movie geek; "Eugene" in "Grease"
Charles Fleischer - AMERICAN ACTOR
R. Orlando Duenas - Editor, THE POLAR EXPRESS (2004)
Jack Rapke - Producer, WHAT LIES BENEATH, CAST AWAY
Tom Hanks - Oscar-winning actor/director/producer
Thom Hanks - Oscar-winning actor/director/producer
Daryl Sabara - Actor, SPY KIDS (2001)
Michael Jeter - American actor
Doug Chiang - Production Designer, THE POLAR EXPRESS (2004)
William Teitler - Executive Producer, TUCK EVERLASTING (2002)
Rick Carter - Production Designer, THE POLAR EXPRESS (2004)
Glen Ballard - Producer/Music Supervisor
Jeremiah O'Driscoll - Editor, THE POLAR EXPRESS (2004)
Joanna Johnston - Costume Designer, THE POLAR EXPRESS (2004)
Alan Silvestri - Composer, VAN HELSING (2004)
William Broyles Jr. - Screenwriter, APOLLO 13
Theatrical Release: November 10, 2004
"[T}here is wonder for us to cherish, courtesy of a spectacular visual sense....It does nicely with its quieter moments, especially in the emotional scenes that close the story." - 11/10/2004 Los Angeles Times, p.E1
3 stars out of 5 -- "It's a technical masterpiece that is made primarily for kids..." - 04/01/2008 Ultimate DVD, p.64