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on 7 November 2009
Good job you get the "2D" version as well as the 3D as the 3D is VERY poor. Continual ghosting, especially on close up faces, the (included) red & blue glasses cause whites to almost flash with interfereing colours and some parts of the film simply can't be made out at all.

On the positive side, some of the 3D work is beautiful, it seems particular care was put into some 3D scenes? Snowflakes do look like they are 2' into your living room, some perspective scenes are superb, but your eyes will hurt by the end of the film.

I'm happy with the purchase, I've got Polar Express 2D on bluray and on DVD in this set, together with a good list of extras and bonuses. The 3D was great to experience (to see the good, high quality snippets) but I doubt I'll be watching that again.

In essence, I'd have definitely paid this price for the 'standard' bluray alone, so no grumbles that the 3D one isn't great.
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on 21 February 2006
This film is truly awful, don't waste your money. It's a very thin story line, dull, drawn out and theres just so much cheese you could sell it by the pound at market and make yourself a mint. The characters have a constant glazed expression and the type of computer animation used makes them all look jerky and unnatural - similar to how "real" computer game characters look at present on a PS2 or XBOX. The story is based on an American story book, which I have never read (no plans at the moment) so perhaps being British there is slightly less significance to the story than there may be to Americans. Either way it would take a great deal of nostalgia to make up for the boredom and lack of story line.
While away from the characters the graphics are ok, and actually there is one nice scene where the boy looses his ticket out of the train, in my opinion the films best moment, primarily as we don't see the irritating characters for at least a few minutes.
To be honest I just can't believe the drivel that comes out of hollywood sometimes. However, I have no doubt most children will enjoy the film for its fantasy and its few cheap thrill moments despite everything I have mentioned. I suppose it is a kids story but I can't help thinking that is no excuse for such a poor film - I have truly enjoyed many childrens films as an adult. Definately one to miss if you're over 10.
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on 29 November 2011
I have given two stars because the movie itself is incredible, and also because we received the item at least a week prior to when we expected it.

However I am angry, disappointed, and to be honest totally amazed that the digital copy is not compatible with Mac or iTunes. Even more so because this is not mentioned anywhere in the description, and the main reason I purchased this (we already have the DVD at home) was for the 3D and digital versions.

I'm no expert on statistics, but I would be willing to bet that Warner Brothers is alienating a huge chunk of the buying public with this outrageous decision. Everyone I know uses iTunes to store their digital movies, and the number of Mac owners is constantly growing.

I'll be asking for at least a partial refund thanks to this.

Not happy at all.
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on 16 November 2013
Hi I am not critical of the provider of the DVD who were professional and prompt in their service. But I assumed from Amazons description it was a 3D DVD which could be played on a normal 3d TV using standard 3D glasses (I typed in 3D DVDs on Amazon). When it arrived the information was in Italian and 4 pairs of the cardboard red and green glasses (I have not seen since the 1960s) were provided. even with these glasses my granchildren cannot view in 3D on our 3D TV. So it was more the clarity of advertising by Amazon than the vendor. I am disapointed although luckily it came with a 2D copy which we will view.
Not Amazons normal standard.
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on 31 August 2012
Whenever office or pub conversations turn seasonal this film is always mentioned as a favourite along with The Muppet Christmas Carol and National Lampoon's Christmas vacation. I've yet to meet anyone who doesn't like it although the negative reviews suggest that there must be a few out there. For me, this hits the nail on the head.

The film opening perfectly recreates that interminable wait on Christmas Eve when a child is desperate for Santa to come but the clock stubbornly refuses to move. Additionally, our hero is tortured by doubts about Santa's existence. He finally drops off to sleep and is woken by a train stopping in the street outside. Having been persuaded to board by the guard he meets other children who are all on the train because they are in need of a life lesson. There's a girl who needs to believe in herself, a boy who is an irritating know-it-all and a poor boy who needs to know that Christmas can come to the disadvantaged.

During the journey our hero has an adventure involving a rooftop encounter with a ghostly hobo and a rollercoaster ride over a mountain and across a frozen lake. The hobo encounter is mildly spooky and the conversation he has with the boy may go over younger children's heads. For older viewers the hobo adds an extra strand of interest to the film. The rollercoaster ride involves the seemingly out of control train careering crazily over a mountain range before slithering over a frozen lake...which starts to crack. Excellent tension builder even for older viewers who know that the train has to escape to continue its journey. The journey culminates at the North Pole at Santa's industrial complex where some of the children get lost before being deposited in Santa's giant sack on his sleigh where they disembark, meet Santa and go home.

The film is expanded from a very thin book and lots of scenes have been added to give depth, motivation and detail to a simple and charming story. The motion capture animation works really well, I did not see any jerky or unnatural movement. The characters do lack expression but the film is sufficiently engaging to compensate for this. The scenery is excellent and the sequence where the ticket flies off the train into the woods showcases the artistry perfectly. Santa's workshop has been likened to a northern mill town with its utilitarian red brick architecture and industrial atmosphere but is what probably appears in some form in most kids' heads when they try to work out how Santa manages to make and despatch such a vast number of toys every year. Likewise the giant sack of presents and the fact that the time is 11:55pm for hours up until Santa appears. The elves aren't particularly cute but then there's no rule that says that they should be. The colour palette at the North Pole is very limited, mainly red, green, white and grey including the elves outfits. This makes the North Pole a surprisingly downbeat looking place.

The film has also been criticised for being too scary for youngsters. There are a couple of scenes which might frighten very young or very sensitive children. The encounter with the Scrooge puppet springs to mind. That said, my daughter has happily watched this film since she was three and my kids will normally watch it 3 or 4 times each Christmas.

The only part of this film I'm not keen on is the saccharine sweet duet between a couple of the characters mid-film. I almost docked the film one star because of it. Still, it only lasts a couple of minutes and then it's back to the action. There's also a lively and upbeat Jazz and Tap ode to chocolate early in the film when the kids are served hot chocolate by magical dancing waiters. This song is capably dispatched by Tom Hanks who voices all the male adult characters except the engineer and the fireman. I believe that Mr Hanks was instrumental in getting this film made so he can be forgiven for wanting to play such a big part in it. Director Robert Zemeckis slips in a couple of sly references to his earlier films. The music accompanying the rooftop sequence was originally used in Back to the Future and the scene where our hero pulls the train whistle exclaiming "I wanted to do that my whole life" is a straight lift from Back to the Future III. The train whistle sounds the same too.

Trivia aside, this film has all the ingredients for a Christmas classic. A journey of discovery for the main characters, lots of great Christmas imagery that most people will identify with and a message of hope and spirit. It's enough to make almost anyone believe. If you are planning to expand your seasonal film library ready for this Christmas you should seriously consider acquiring this film. At £5, it's a steal.
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on 1 August 2012
Polar Express 3D (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy)[Region Free]

Just purchased this, so have not yet watched it in 3D.

Have given the review only 3 stars as although it's a great film you are NOT getting the digital copy even though it is advertised that you are and the outer cover and insert states that the offer expires 27/11/2012.

Went on the Warner Brothers website to download the digital copy last night only to find that it expired on the website on 11th July 2012!!!! Have emailed WB but am only getting the automated standard support replies from them.

Therefore, be warned, you are NOT getting the digital copy when purchasing this!

Have even been back on the Amazon webpage for this product and there is no mention that the digital copy has expired.
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on 25 December 2012
This is a wonderful film.

Contrary to what most would think, it cannot be said that this is a children's movie, as the movie isn't really aimed at children. The central theme that this movie is all about is something that plagues every human regarding Christmas when he starts to get older: after realizing that there is no such thing as Santa Claus, Father Christmas, his reindeer sleigh, the elves and toy factory in North Pole, etc, many begin to ask themselves: why am I even celebrating if I cannot feel the magic anymore? This is made apparent by the sound of the bell.

I'll take a guess and say that this film is targeted at teens - I had my doubts about Santa in my childhood already, but when I entered my teens I stopped believing. When I was small, Christmas was something special for me - something truly magical. Couple it with the winter season, the white snow, the fogged up windows, the quietness, the warmth in the house and the cold outside, it all gave the festive season that unique "Christmas fever" charm that no other time of the year can ever replicate. I used to eagerly count down every single day of December till I was almost overcome with joy on the eve of December 25th.

When I got older and entered my teens, that feeling grew dim, and eventually vanished. Maybe a contributing factor was not just me growing up, but also that I got spoiled (being able to afford presents during other times of the year as well, and that I had to no longer save up all my wishes till Christmas). Add to this the fact that I became Atheist, and, being made to believe that Christmas was all about the birth of Christ and thus a Christian holiday, I suddenly felt detached, lost, sad, and unsure what to really think and feel during this season. I was conflicted. Either way, my faith in Santa was lost, I "woke up to reality", so to speak, and felt numb during the festive season.

Around this age I watched the Polar Express for the first time. And it was a truly heartwarming experience. I could easily relate to the Boy. I could also relate to the whole "don't trust strangers and get into their vehicles" thing that society today keeps drumming into our heads and was thus able to understand why the Boy nearly turned away from getting into the Polar Express (and would have thus never had this wonderful experience), giving us a hint at how cold and exploitative certain elements in our society have become, that society has to resort to teaching us these values for our own protection...

...and the black Girl's Christmas spirit (again, challenging the traditional Christmas story always being portrayed by prim and proper upper middle class white collar folks), as well as that shy little Poor Boy who is hesitant, but then is so glad to have made friends....and the Conductor, what a stern and jolly chap at the same time! I also enjoyed the film's pacing from beginning till end (can't say the same about a lot of movies today), everything was fantastic, I never had a feeling of disbelief or skepticism at any point in the movie because if you really have a puzzled "wtf" feeling, then you clearly do not understand what this movie is all about: it is about your inner child. At least I'd like to believe deep down inside, all of us are children. Is your inner child still alive within you? Or have you buried it long ago? If the latter is the case, then your feeling of confusion, boredom and ridicule is definitely understandable. :)

The film has some very beautiful moments that made me tear up (such as the scene with the Boy's two friends sing a duet, and of course the message at the film's ending), Santa's city at the North Pole is done brilliantly, the big Christmas Tree there is an awe-inspiring sight, and the whole concept of being on a train journey (something that I think most children find fascinating to begin with) to the North Pole is truly original and captivating. Especially in theatres on the big screen, the roller coaster ride scenes can be almost overwhelmingly realistic.

Overall, I loved and was very, very moved by the message this movie has about Christmas (especially applicable to teens and adults!), namely that Christmas can be secular and magical at the same time, for it is a multi-religious, multi-cultural, multi-ethnic winter festival of joy, love and family values that goes back thousands of years: Jesus isn't mentioned anywhere in the movie, and still it maintains a wonderful Christmas spirit from beginning till end, and that perhaps, is also one of the many messages in this wonderful film and something which brought back the warmth and magic of Christmas back into my heart! After this movie I realized that the true spirit of Christmas rests within each and every one of us, and that it is up to us to let it snuff out forever, or keep it kindled within our hearts. A five, out of five stars.
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on 9 December 2016
I must be in the minority here as I do not particularly like this film. Having first tried it a good few years ago I found the characters to be stiff and dead in the eyes making them unbelievable and finding it hard to relate to them.

Now years later I thought I would give it another go with my 3yo daughter. Oddly within the first few minutes she asked if "they were real?" the characters that is. I guess she sees the same as her dad.

Certainly not a Christmas classic.
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on 26 February 2016
This is my all time favourite Christmas film and we traditionally watch it every Christmas eve when we finally settle down for the night. The first time we saw the film we watched it in 3D at the IMAX and it was magical. Since then we have watched it every year on DVD and it's great, but I really wanted to be able to watch it in 3D again. We don't have a blue-ray player so I looked for along time for a 3D DVD version and was finally able to find this. My expectations were high, but it hasn't really lived up to them.

In the box there are both the 3D version of the film and the standard 2D version with some extras. We already have the 2D version and the collectors edition (I told you it was my favourite!) so we only really wanted the 3D. The box also stated that it came with 3D glasses. Sadly these turned out to be the old style glasses with one red and one blue lens in them. They were cardboard and poorly made and very uncomfortable to wear.

We set the film going, turned off all the lights to help us concentrate and settled down. The first thing to note is that the glasses are very small and you can see parts of the film on the screen around the edges which spoils the 3D effect. The colours are also much more muted in this version than the original 2D version, due to the use of the red and blue colours for the 3D effect. This is a huge shame as the vibrancy of the film is one of it's biggest points. The 3D effect was hard to get. We tried staring, not moving, relaxing our eyes but it still came and went and the film became a frustrating experience rather than the Christmas magic we were aiming for. After ten minutes and feeling rather queasy and head achy we decided to give up and watch the 2D version instead - it was just too much hard work to carry on.

Although this was disappointing, I'm not giving up on having a 3D version to watch. I just think it's going to have to be on blue ray and with better glasses. The only problem then is that we will have four copies of this film on our DVD shelves and people might start to think I have an obsession!
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on 11 June 2012
Even though this 3D blu-ray version is one of the early released 3D movies, it managed to offer one of the best 3D experience. The early reviews for this movie may be less, that's because there are only a few 3D TVs available at that time and most of them are prone to Ghosting. Ghosting purely depends on the 3D setup, but NOT on the 3D transfer of the disc. So if you have got a 3D setup that is able to play most other 3D discs, do NOT hesitate to buy this movie. The movie is too good, even for children and adults and offers one of the best 3D titles currently available. As most of the scenes contain snow and train rolling down the hills, there is a lot of depth and also few pop-out moments. But watching this in 3D than 2D is a great experience. Highly Recommended to all the 3D enthusiasts..Watch my other reviews to know which offers best 3D experience as I myself love 3D very much as far as it has Great depth and good pop-out moments..
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