It’s almost Christmas so it’s time for another post in my holiday series. Today I checked out The Polar Express, a 3D animated fantasy film based on a famous children’s book. Is it a yay or nay?
A boy has a hard time on Christmas Eve as he is doubting the existence of Santa Claus. In the middle of the night he hears a noise – but it isn’t Santa sleigh. Instead he finds a train in his front yard, heading for North Pole. He boards the train and the adventure begins…
Many people (including my mom) are very fond of this movie so I was pretty excited to finally check it out. Let me tell you, it sure does look stunning. The movie was shot using the motion capture technique, that’s why some of the characters may seem familiar to you (e.g. Tom Hanks as Conductor). While I was very impressed by the pictures, I also have to admit that the animation lacked one thing: soul. Everything looks pretty and very polished but at the same time there is no depth. It all is just a little to smooth and perfect, no warmth there.
Moreover, the story does have a nice kick-off and promises to be really interesting. But somewhere halfway through the movie it starts to get boring. Some things are not too original and everything seems to be dragging on forever. Some things were outright annoying, like that one kid who knows everything and obviously doesn’t know the words modesty or sharing. I would be willing to deal with him, if he learned his lesson, but there isn’t much of an evolution going on.
I have to say The Polar Express is a bunch of pretty pictures without anything happening underneath. I actually had the feeling that some scenes were simply squeezed in for the looks. The elves having a party was a cute sight but I have no idea why a guy that was suspiciously looking like Steve Tyler was the singer of the band. It didn’t have anything to with the rest of the movie.
Summing up, I have to admit The Polar Express was a disappointment. Although it does look really good, I’ve seen far better Christmas movies with more depth. There was no heart-warming element there. Save yourself the time!
Did you see the film? Let me know in the comments what you think!