Surprisingly, The Polar Express turned out to be quite the pleasing ride.
Okay, the story is fairly nonexistent and the schmaltz factor is pretty high, but since this is the holiday season, our tolerance is higher than normal for sentimentality. The film manages to be sweat without being too sweat, charming without going over the top and audiences leave with big smiles on their faces. This is especially true for those who chose to see the 3-D Imax version which makes the experience that much more breathtaking.
The Polar Express is a childrenís movie in the true sense of the word. Itís not like The Incredibles or the other Pixar films in that adults and children will love it for different reasons. This film is for kids only, but this doesnít mean that those over 14 wonít enjoy it. The Polar Express is for the child in all of us. However, those going into the cinema with an inflated sense of their own maturity wonít be able to embrace the spirit of the film and they will be the worse off for it. This is a magical film that one must allow themselves to enjoy as a child.
The Polar Express is all about magic and faith. The film is a beautiful challenge to rationality and doubt. The not-so-subtle message involves the ability to hear a beautiful bell and how those of us who have given up on dreams are deaf to it. This movie works on the same level. Only those lucky enough to be open to this film will benefit from its beauty.
If you can see the Imax version. The film is a visual spectacle and itís worth seeing on the largest of all possible screens. Also, the 3-D effects are perfectly worked to draw you entirely into the film. You experience this film differently than most in that you donít watch it, it exists all around you.
This is the perfect film to celebrate the season with but once January comes it would be harder to enjoy the magic. This is a future classic to be aired during the holiday season and today we are lucky enough to be able to see it as itís meant to be experienced on the worldís largest screen.