Considered by some a new Christmas classic, The Polar Express adapts the children’s picture book of the same name by author/illustrator Chris Van Allsburg into a full-length feature film. In the animated movie, which was directed by Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future), it’s Christmas Eve and a doubting boy takes an adventurous ride on a train headed for the North Pole and Santa’s home.
Tom Hanks is the star of the film, playing no less than six characters, including the boy, the train conductor and Santa. Also in the movie are Leslie Zemeckis (Robert’s wife and voice actor in A Christmas Carol), Eddie Deezen (War Games) and Nona Gaye (The Matrix Revolutions).
The film’s song “Believe” was nominated for an Oscar award, and the movie also was nominated for sound editing and sound mixing. It grossed $162 million in its initial release in theaters and has been re-released on the big screen every holiday since.
The Polar Express, No. 22 in the Disc Dish Christmas Movie Advent Calendar, also marked the first time a movie used motion capture technology on actors’ faces to control the facial movements of the animated characters, which had the unfortunate side effect of many of the characters looking eerily like the busy Hanks.
Check out the rest of the Disc Dish Christmas Movie Advent Calendar.