#14 Polar Express

OnesheetAbhijeet Singh ’15 Few films are able to entertain kids while equally providing a story that so excellently encapsulates the concepts of Christmas, innocence, and growing up. The Polar Express is one of these films.

The film is directed by Robert Zemeckis, and stars Tom Hanks as several main roles, including the protagonist, known only as Boy, and the Train Conductor. The story begins when the Boy is woken up by a large train. When he approaches it, the Conductor offers him a ride. The Boy, accompanied by several unique friends that he meets, embarks on a major journey to the North Pole and back. Dangerous weather conditions, an encounter with Santa and his elves, and a mystical bell that only he can hear are all part of this film, which blends Christmas fun with deeper themes that can please everybody, from kids to adults alike.

This film is rated #14 on our 25 Days of Christmas list because it is a good family movie in that it is suited for the whole family in different ways. It is fun at face value yet there is subliminal messaging and a heartwarming message for anyone who is willing to look. However, there are some dark moments that may be creepy or outright scary to kids. And some scenes may make no sense at all to children, if not turn them off. Despite this, the film’s motion capture animation brings a new perspective to the Christmas magic. Altogether, this is an enjoyable and well-rounded Christmas film that should be regarded as a classic despite its few weaknesses.

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