Saturday, December 23, 2017

Countdown to Christmas: The Polar Express (2004)

Chris Van Allsburg's holiday tale is brought to life via motion capture/CGI/3D animation in 2004's "The Polar Express".

A young boy (Daryl Sabara) sees the titular train pause for a stop in front of his house. Curious, he ventures out, wearing only his PJ's, slippers, & jacket. The Conductor (Tom Hanks) invites him on board, and the adventure begins.

The supporting cast includes Eddie Deezen (ex-Dexter's Laboratory), Frank Welker, Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler, Nona Gaye (Marvin's daughter), and Peter Scolari, working with Hanks for the first time, I think, since their days on Bosom Buddies in the early 80's. Josh Groban's hit, "Believe", was the big hit off the soundtrack.

Here's the trailer:

Visually striking, as this was one of the first animated films to employ motion capture technology. Hanks performs a couple of numbers on the soundtrack, a long ways away from his attempts at rapping in "Dragnet" back in 1987. If it airs this weekend, go out of your way to see it, if you haven't already.

Rating: A.

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