10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on December 17, 2005
After hearing of this movie through word-of-mouth, I went to go see it one snowy day and was astounded. This film, following the story of a boy who stops believing in the magic of Christmas and so is swept up late Christmas Eve onto the Holday Express, is a heartwarming visual gem that is sure to be enjoyed time and time again. The music is fantastic, the story with actual depth, and the all digital animation was so much better than I had expected. My advice? Buy this movie now, because you and your family will end up renting it every Christmas to come anyways.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2011
Just wanted to clear things out a bit about the 3D effect on this bluray. I noticed some people here are talking about using some cardboard yell/blue glasses?!!
I just bought this 3D BLURAY for my new samsung 3D TV and 3D bluray player and let me tell you the 3D effects are just good and just as potent as when I saw it first at IMAX(less the screen size of course). The snowy train scenes came across really well in 3D. Sure, maybe not as potent as avatar, but still good. Remember Avatar was filmed like 5 years later so it's just not fair to compare.
I know it's kind of confusing now with this 3D marketing, especially now that they are advertising some older dvd and bluray as 3D- like Final Destination 3D. Which is unfair to the REAL 3D bluray movies. So be CAREFUL, cuz even the video-rental store clerks are confused with 3D at this point!
Simple guideline- if the bluray was released before 2010 then they are either talking about using the ancient paper glasses technology, or the movie was just transferred to 3D from 2d(i.e. not originally filmed in 3D). If the movie is in DVD format- don't even waste your time trying!! The new 3d technology everyone is talking about is only for BLU-RAY!!!!!
So in conclusion, get a REAL 3D BLURAY(released in 2010 or later) that specifically mentions to use 3D TV and 3D bluray player, and you will NOT be dissapointed in the 3D effects.
Hope this clears up some confusion out there!
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
People look at me funny when I say that I had never heard of The Polar Express until this film was released. Somehow, I was never introduced to the book as a child. Hopefully, with this wonderful film now available along with the original book, no other child will grow to adulthood without taking a ride on The Polar Express. It's a wonderful story about the spirit of Christmas and the importance of giving. The incredible animation of the film may always be the first thing people speak of, but in the end it really does come down to the story. It is not what you see, it's what you feel - these are the memories that will linger.
The digital animation that brings this story to visual life is nothing short of astounding. This revolutionary "performance capture" technology makes these characters the most life-like animated characters I've ever seen. I think they look more human than actual humans, truth be told - except for Santa. It's a weird thing about this Santa Claus; he immediately reminded me of none other than Harry Potter's Professor Snape (even though Santa's voice was actually that of Tom Hanks). I've heard that some kids found the whole visual look of the characters rather creepy, but I think the uncanny technology really makes the film come alive. By incorporating the motions of live actors into the digital creative process, filmmakers were able to imbue their creations with the nuances of human expression, and one can hardly underestimate just how much that adds to the viewer's experience of the animated story. It's really quite incredible. Traditional animation would hardly have done this story justice, and it would have been incredibly challenging to film such a magical journey in the traditional manner. This film has some of the most unique and exciting camera angles and perspectives I've ever seen.
It's hard to see how anyone, child or adult, could not enjoy this movie. It's an incredible journey, filled with both excitement and comedy, to the North Pole, for Pete's sake. There are also moments of great warmth and emotion - most of them supplied by the Hero Girl (Nona Gaye). Tom Hanks may steal the show in his performance of five different roles, including the Hero Boy at the center of things, but the Hero Girl - who befriends a forlorn little boy (Peter Scolari) who shies away from everyone else - is the heart and soul of this film.
I chuckled when I read the editorial review because I also thought of Nuremberg when I saw the masses of elves rallying around Santa before his Christmas Eve departure. Clearly, though, there is nothing but joy and kindness in this mass assembly of people - er, elves. I loved this movie. Unless you're a grinch or a Scrooge, just watching it will take you back to your own days of childhood and the magic that Christmas once brought. The Polar Express is a visually dazzling, heart-warming, exceedingly good (in all senses of the word) motion picture.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 10, 2008
The movie is fairly good on its own. It's not one of my favourite Christmas movies but when I saw it was out on DVD in 3-D I was excited to get it. First I was worried when I saw that it comes with the blue & red kind of cheap "3-D" glasses and now having watched some of it I am hugely disappointed. There is almost no depth to the picture, the colour is destroyed by the blue and red of the glasses and the image is sort blurry and doubled. Skip the 3-D version if you want this movie on DVD.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 25, 2005
Im a sucker for Christmas movies because they bring so much
joy during the cold months of winter with their warm stories
and interesting characters. The Polar express took me completely
by surprise with its animated creativity, its eye candy scenes
that keeps on comming at every turn and Tom Hanks 's talents
that never stops entertaining.
So put the negativity on the side...stir up your imagination,
sit down with the family and enjoy Polar Express.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 31, 2006
For the most part, I loved this DVD. The computer animation is the best I've ever seen and is very true to the illustration style of the original book. The train scenes are excellent, and the directors have done a seamless job of expanding on the original story. The only reason I don't give this a five-star rating is that I was very disappointed in the depiction of the North Pole (Santa's stronghold) because it looked and felt like a scene from some futuristic movie, and I found this jarring sandwiched as it was between the cosy train scenes. I will say though, that the Santa in the original story looks like he's from a different planet, not at all the type you would expect to take a child on his knee, so this could be at least a partial explanation for the alien atmosphere of the movie North Pole.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on December 10, 2008
This was a fun movie that the kids enjoyed on regular DVD, so with our New high def. TV and Blue Ray, I was expecting something special from the 3-D version -- not so. The cardboard red-blue glasses work poorly and fit neither the children nor the adults well. No adjustment on my 52" Sony Bravia could compensate for the double imaging, the blurr, the colour or other visual difficulties with the 3-D version. We tried it in daylight, night time, in cinema visual mode (on the TV), standard mode, and even tried adjusting the light personally. Nothing made much of a difference.
We finally switched to the regular version, but the moment was lost in the kid's disappointment with the outcome of 3-D.
The movie itself is a lot of fun, but they really need to wait till the technology improves before sending this out to market. Buy the standard version and take a pass on 3-D for now -- it is too expensive and the technology just isn't ready yet.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on November 17, 2008
I had seen this movie before in its original 2-D format and the movie itself is incredible, but when they came out with the 3-D version, I could not wait to scoop it up. Total waste of time and money. You never get a clear picture of the faces, it is like watching it in double vision, and nothing jumps out at you. Waste of your money, just buy the 2-D version.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 21, 2008
I was shocked,surprised and flabbergasted by the negativity I heard on [...]. My Mom and I saw it in the theatre, and I thought it is a wonderful Christmas film. The film tells the wonderous story of a young, doubting boy who travels to the North Pole on a magic train on Christmas Eve to meet Santa Claus (along with other children).
I don't favorite a scene, because I love the WHOLE film, and overall, it is a beautiful movie with wonderful characters and a truly heart-warming story. It has it's equal share of surprises, seriousness, amusement and emotion. The animation is very detailed - the larger scenes in particular are breath-taking; and the music is absolutely perfect for the film. The movie is highly recommended as a classic addition to any family Christmas movie collection.
The Polar Express(released Oct/04)stars the voice talents of Tom Hanks,taking on a myriad of roles from train conductor to Santa himself.
The film is about a young boy in Grand Rapids,Michigan,who is just on the cusp of growing out of his belief in Santa and Christmas.One Christmas eve,while lying restlessly in his bed,a huge old multi-car train pulls up in front of his house.He walks out into the snowy night and up to the locomotive,just as a conductor farther back yells "all aboard".He is at first reluctant to get on the train but decides,as it pulls away,to take a chance.What happens from there leads him and a train car of other children(about a dozen in all),on an adventure that will change their lives forever.It is a journey of self discovery and realization and the true meaning of Christmas.
The train ride takes up a good portion of the film when we finally arrive at Santa's village,about 50 minutes into the film.This is a village like no other you have seen before.It is more like an old town and it is filled to the brim with elves and their elaborate working areas.The young boy makes close friends with another girl and a younger boy and together they end up in the town square just before midnight and are witnesses to a pageantry like no other you will have seen.The boy finally comes to recapture his belief in Christmas,and given that Christmas's very first gift by the man himself.All good things of course must come to an end and off they return home,but none ever the same again.
There are so many neat moments/people in this picture,such as the conductor,the ghost who rides the top of the train,the engineer and fireman,the roller coaster ride just before Flattop tunnel,the skidding of the train over the frozen lake,Santa's village,the precarious placing of Santa's bag onto his sleigh,the pageantry before his departure,and so much more.It is all a fantastical and beautifully animated Christmas film that will warm your hearts on a cold winter night.
This DVD comes in a light metal container in which is the DVD in a regular case.It is in a w/s format.
This is a film for children of all ages.It is a modern classic,and you won't hear me saying that too often.Highly recommended.