The Polar Express

Book vs. Movie

The Polar Express (book)    Polar Express (movie)

Well, I guess it is possible to make a 32-page children’s book into an animated film that lasts 90 minutes.  Of course, when that is done, there are many additional characters and a more in-depth plot.  However, I kind of enjoyed the beauty of the illustrations in the story and the simplicity of its message.  The movie uses the main idea to carry it along but honestly, it could have done without some of the things.  Differences between the two were definitely expected but a major discrepancy was that in the book, the main boy believes in Santa, whereas in the DVD he needs to be convinced.  Also, we get introduced to new personalities in the film (such as the kids he makes friends with on the train and the hobo).  I also want to say that at times, the movie seemed more of a nightmare than a Christmas story (like when the train gets derailed).  Plus, some of the animated people in the motion picture were creepy or weird-looking.  I did think it was neat, though, how Tom Hanks voiced most of the bigger characters (6 different people).  So to wrap it up, I must admit that the computer animation was beautiful for the most part but sometimes a good old fashioned story book is all you need to feel the magic of the holidays.  What do you think?  Is this a movie you would watch every Christmas?


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