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The Polar Express [2004] [DVD]

Tom Hanks , Robert Zemeckis    Universal, suitable for all   DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (452 customer reviews)
Price: £4.79 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Tom Hanks
  • Directors: Robert Zemeckis
  • Producers: Gary Goetzman, Steve Starkey, William Teitler
  • Format: PAL, Subtitled
  • Language: English, Icelandic
  • Subtitles: English, Icelandic, Arabic
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: 25 April 2006
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (452 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000BAZD8S
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 142 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

The academy Award-winning team of Tom Hanks and director Robert Zemeckis reunite for 'The Polar Express', an inspiring adventure based on the beloved children's book by Chris Van Allsburg. Late on Christmas Eve night, a boy (Daryl Sabara) lies in bed hoping to hear the sound of reindeer bells from Santa's sleigh. When to his surprise, a steam engine's roar and whistle can be heard outside his window. The conductor (Hanks) invites him on board to take an extraordinary journey to the North Pole with many other pajama-clad children. There, he receives an extraordinary gift only those who still believe in Santa can experience.


Destined to become a holiday perennial, The Polar Express also heralded a brave new world of all-digital filmmaking. Critics and audiences were divided between those who hailed it as an instant classic that captures the visual splendor and evocative innocence of Chris Van Allsburg's popular children's book, and those who felt that the innovative use of "performance capture"--to accurately translate live performances into all-digital characters--was an eerie and not-quite-lifelike distraction from the story's epic-scale North Pole adventure. In any case it's a benign, kind-hearted celebration of the yuletide spirit, especially for kids who have almost grown out of their need to believe in Santa Claus. Tom Hanks is the nominal "star" who performs five different computer-generated characters, but it's the visuals that steal this show, as director Robert Zemeckis indulges his tireless pursuit of technological innovation. No matter how you respond to the many wonders on display, it's clear that The Polar Express represents a significant milestone in the digital revolution of cinema. If it also fills you with the joy of Christmas (in spite of its Nuremberg-like rally of frantic elves), so much the better. --Jeff Shannon, --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
I didn't know what to expect with this film, but as I thought I'd spend some money this year building a collection of classic Christmas films on DVD, I added this one to the list and, thankfully, I opted for the 2-disc version.

At first I was phased by the freakish near-accuracy of the animated figures. Almost human, but not quite. Only the elves and and train drivers are in any way caricatures. All the children, the adults and Santa are meant to be as lifelike as possible. The little girl is amazing in this respect - utterly believable.

Perhaps it's because I still write poetry for children that, even at the age of 61, maybe I still retain a bit of the childish sense of magic and joy that is essential to enjoy this film. Because that's what it is .... magical and joyful. At times, it is sentimental, but this never becomes too sickly. At times there is high drama and genuine tension. There is also mystery and a few images and questions which are deliberately left unexplained so that you either want to watch the film again, or think about them at your leisure. (Who, for instance IS the tramp who lives on the top of the train? Why is the boy asked if he believes in ghosts? ....) Yes, maybe they over-use the 'roller-coaster' ride effect once too often, but it doesn't really matter. What REALLY counts is that this is a film that draws you into its fantasy world and holds you there with 100% assurance so that you can always be confident that what you are watching is a great story with lots of twists and a very satisfying ending.

If you want a truly magical Christmas film, this one deserves to be right up there at the top of your list.

Oh yes - and why is the 2-disc version the best? Because the features explaining how the film were made are fascinating.
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96 of 97 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true christmas movie 19 Nov 2005
Fantastic film for children and adults alike, even my husband enjoyed it and he doesn't sit through films well. This film puts you in the mood for christmas and makes you believe in the spirt of christmas that you may of had when you were a child. Absolutely love the film and highly recommend it to anyone.
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71 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical from beginning to end 6 Nov 2005
I read the picture book of the Polar Express some years ago. The illustrations are beautiful, and the story is about as Christmassy as you could imagine. The film brings those illustrations to life, and adds wonderful elements to the story. The animation, colour, music and emotions in the story are all beautiful and captivating. It is like a magical dream, and I think the DVD of the Polar Express will rank along such classics like 'The Snowman', 'The Santa Clause' etc as a Christmas perennial family must-see. The two children singing 'When Christmas comes to town' on the back of the train is very moving, the sequence when the girl's ticket blows off the train and through the snowy night is phenomenal, and Josh Groban singing 'Believe' at the end credits is beautiful. A movie for kids, sure, but also a reminder to us grown-ups that being child-like is a quality, not a weakness.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
The Polar Express is an innovative animation that bases itself on several children who are given the chance of a lifetime to go to the North Pole on Christmas Eve via a special train called the Polar Express....The train only has one conductor and no passengers except the drivers....Tom Hanks does a few voiceovers including the conductor whom he looks identical to....The Polar Express has a certain magical christmas feel to it with the Children 's belief of Santa Claus enhanced as they see the elves work their magic in the North Pole....The scenery is exceptional the animation is colourful and very realistic and this Blu-ray really makes high definition look so exceptional with pin sharp detail,fantastic surround sound with a clarity that beats the standard definition version (which I owned myself) beyond a shadow of a doubt.....Look out for the scene of Santa and the reindeers taking off amidst the thosands of elves you will see just how spectacular high definition is as well as getting you into the Christmas mood.......If you want this Christmas Classic with the best picture and sound available then look no further than this fantastic blu-ray version you will not be disappointed.....
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Polar Express 29 Nov 2005
Wow! I have just bought this for my sister, who incidentaly is 64years young, and I know she will love it. If you love Christmas and all that it stands for, you will love this film. Shed a tear, be thrilled or just soak up the sentiments. A must for ALL the family. I bought myself a copy as well!! Happy Family viewing. Watch it time and time again.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great christmas film! 6 Jan 2007
Get ready for an adventure on a train, a rolacoaster ride/windy journey to the north pole.

An absolutely fab 3D animated movie to suit all the family! We watched this just before christmas last year, couldnt have watched it at a better time. It is perfect for seeing around then, makes it that bit more special too.

The whole story is like a dream about a boy that wakes up through the night and sees a train arriving in his road. He gets onto it, the adventure begins. I also found myself laughing in parts. And could not believe the stunts on the movie and how the train went down up and down parts on the track , just like being on a rolarcoaster.

It is definitely worth watching! Cannot describe it anymore than brilliant!
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