So, we’ve finally made it to December – time to watch more Christmas movies!
And today it’s…
1st December, Day 32
Polar Express (Robert Zemeckis, 2004)
A young boy is starting to have doubts about Father Christmas. He wants to believe, and lays awake on Christmas Eve waiting to hear the bells of Santa’s sleigh. He has told his sister that he is not real, and doesn’t think he will ever see Father Christmas again. He does here bells… but they belong to a mysterious train – The Polar Express.
The conductor (Tom Hanks) asks the boy if he wants to board the train. The boy gets on the train, and is met by a group of children, all in their pajamas. The train is going to the North Pole – but why? And what (or who) will be there when they arrive?
At first, this film left me cold. Like Mars Needs Moms, I thought that this was an impressive technical feat, but with very little soul. However, somewhere between Tom Hanks singing a song about hot chocolate and the slapstick train drivers, I started to really enjoy it. There is a definite Christmas magic here.
Of the three Robert Zemeckis fully animated films, this is my favourite. I can’t speak about the animation on the big screen – or what it was like when it was first released – but in 2016, we have moved on so that now the characters are clearly animated characters. Because of this, it doesn’t tread into uncanny valley as much as the weird Jim Carrey characters in The Christmas Carol. Apart from the “hero girl”, her smile is very strange looking. Tom Hanks is my favourite actor so although there isn’t really a need for him to have so many different roles, I can’t complain too much.
Also, the score from Alan Silvestri evokes memories of Back To The Future, which is always a good thing! And animated Elf Steven Tyler!
Overall, I give this
Like Jingle All The Way, it’s entertaining enough family fare. Not a classic, but there are definitely worse!
Tomorrow I’m back with another nostalgic Christmas story with… A CHRISTMAS STORY!
Merry December everyone!
Until next time, stay gold, Ponyboy, stay gold. See you soonish.
PS Here’s my list so far
31st October, Day 1: The Nightmare Before Christmas
1st November, Day 2: Rocky IV
2nd November, Day 3: Edward Scissorhands
3rd November, Day 4: Trading Places
4th November, Day 5: Batman Returns
5th November, Day 6: Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
6th November, Day 7: Gremlins
7th November, Day 8: Eyes Wide Shut
8th November, Day 9: Love Actually
9th November, Day 10: Lethal Weapon
10th November, Day 11: Die Hard / Die Hard 2
11th November, Day 12: About A Boy
12th November, Day 13: Trapped In Paradise
13th November, Day 14: Reindeer Games
14th November, Day 15: Joyeux Noel
15th November, Day 16: Nativity / Nativity 2 / Nativity 3: Dude, Where’s My Donkey?
16th November, Day 17: Jack Frost
17th November, Day 18: Jack Frost
18th November, Day 19: Arthur Christmas
19th November, Day 20: The Santa Clause / The Santa Clause 2 / The Santa Clause 3
20th November, Day 21: Miracle On 34th Street
21st November, Day 22: Miracle On 34th Street
22nd November, Day 23: Scrooged
23rd November, Day 24: Scrooge
24th November, Day 25: The Muppet’s Christmas Carol
25th November, Day 26: Elf
26th November, Day 27: Home Alone / Home Alone 2
27th November, Day 28: The Grinch
28th November, Day 29: Black Christmas
29th November, Day 30: Jingle All The Way
30th November, Day 31: Rare Exports
1st December, Day 32: Polar Express