After an extremely late night partying on Christmas eve with my family and finally getting back to sleep at around 3am, which is extremely late for me, my boyfriend and I both sat down to watch this beautiful flick. One of the two we always leave for Christmas Day to see. While he has decided to nap a bit to continue our feasting tonight, I’m taking a moment to sit down and write this.
Before that, I’d like to talk about the how the belief in Santa. A child’s belief in Santa may be naive but it keeps that childhood happy spirit going. It gives them hope and joy to find surprises. Its magical how a little belief can make the little ones so happy. Every year I watch my boyfriend’s niece and nephew open their presents. When they were younger, they would have my boyfriend disguise as Santa Claus and play out the whole Santa Claus scene, now we just scurry them off into another room and have all the women make lots of noise to cover up the guys moving everything up and pretending that Santa visit. Its just amazing to see their faces light up when they walk into the living room and see a surprise pile of gifts for not only them but EVERYONE in the room.
This movie ties in exactly to that feeling, the idea of believing.
POLAR EXPRESS (2004)
Director: Robert Zemeckis (A Christmas Carol)
Its Christmas Eve and we zoom into a little boy (Tom Hanks) and his family. We learn through a conversation with his parents and his younger sister Sarah that he doubts Santa’s existence. In the middle of the night, he hears a loud sound and goes outside and there he sees a magical train called Polar Express. He is invited by the Conductor (Tom Hanks). Unsure at first, still he decides to board the train that is supposed to reach North Pole. There he meets a little girl (Nona Gaye) who believes in Santa and thinks its the most wonderful experience to go and Billy (Peter Scolari), a little boy who feels lonely and scared. During the path, they meet have obstacles to get to the final destination to actually witness Santa’s liftoff to start his night long task of delivering gifts. Its a story of belief, faith and trust.
A movie that amazes me every time because of its values that it tries to carry out. Even as an adult now, its so crucial to believe and have faith and trust even though it can be hard at times. Especially when we have something as imaginary as Santa Claus, who appears to accomplish the impossible. However, this flick attempts to bring this whole idea alive to show that when you believe, thats when you will feel and sense certain things that could fade away. It shows us that belief can easily be forgotten if we don’t hold on to it.
Aside from that, this one has beautiful animation and a wonderful plot to add to all the characters they introduce. The majority of the characters don’t have a name and we only know them for the roles they do. Tom Hanks voices 6 of the characters and does a phenomenal job at it. He can be a palette of different emotions portrayed on all the characters. There was a bit of singing and music everywhere which helped lift up the mood. One word on the director though, he’s also the director of another movie I watched for this Christmas marathon. Also starring one actor voicing multiple parts in an animation, called Disney’s A Christmas Carol (you can click HERE to see that). He seems particularly skilled at doing Christmas movies and using this one actor multiple parts concept. Very fun and unique way to arrange the voices of an animation. Plus the animated characters actually sometimes resemble a bit of the actor voicing them.
One of my favorite characters in this has to be the Conductor of the train. That character seems to be so insightful. I’d like to quote a few that I liked:
“Seeing is believing, but sometimes the most real things in the world are the things we can’t see.” -Conductor, Polar Express
“The thing about trains… it doesn’t matter where they’re going. What matters is deciding to get on.”- Conductor, Polar Express
Was the belief of Santa a part of your childhood?