I have been avoiding this movie for quite sometime. When I was young, I used to read the book all of the time around Christmas time (sometimes when it wasn’t even near Christmas), but I was pretty grown up when this movie came out. I was no longer able to accept anything purely because it was put on in front of me. It didn’t get the greatest reviews from critics, I knew people who took their little siblings to it and they said that they were creeped out by all of Tom Hanks characters and the weird computer imaging. However Netflix wasn’t in the Christmas mood this year. Instead of having quality Christmas movies on Instant like Scrooged and Bad Santa, they decided to gut all of the movies released in theaters in favor for Hallmark drivel. I told myself long ago that I will never give into the mediocrity that is the Hallmark channel, so instead I opted to take a peak at what Robert Zemeckis has been doing for the last twenty years.
Polar Express is a book I’m sure a lot of you guys read when you were younger. It involves a skeptical young boy who doesn’t believe in Santa Claus anymore. The night before Christmas, he gets picked up by a magical train, called the Polar Express. Throughout his journey he comes to learn to believe in Christmas. This movie expands the story out to involve a lot of hijinks and shenanigans including a train stuck on ice, a chase after a golden ticket, and a know it all.
If I was still a child, I might have enjoyed this picture. There were a couple of thrilling moments and characters that I would have liked. But sometimes it is impossible to keep those kid goggles on. The animation was just something that I could not get past. The movie felt as if children had no true facial expressions. Their gowns did not sway in a believable way nor did anything really act as if it were at one time human. I respect Robert Zemeckis a lot for pushing innovation in the animation world, but I think that he probably should have kept this movie in the workshop for a little bit longer.
Just read the book to your children instead.