Film & TV

Quenchmas Countdown: Day 1 – ‘The Polar Express’

The power couple that gave us Forrest Gump reunites once more to rejoice our screens with a Christmas classic. ‘The Polar Express’ directed by Robert Zemeckis and voiced by Tom Hanks, among others, reimagines the 1985’s children book written by Chris Van Allsburg.

The animators have attempted to preserve the look of the original illustrations of the book using state-of-the-art motion-capture technology, the result is attractive, if not slightly creepy. The story follows the journey of a young boy seeming lacklustre about the reality of Santa Claus. He is then joined on his journey by two charming characters, as well as a loud-mouthed know-it-all brat – who as you can tell, becomes very grating by the end.

The film boasts moments of stunning cinematography, especially the long, unbroken shot that follows a lost train ticket as it glides through ethereal scenery before being transported away by a majestic eagle. The hot chocolate scene is another favourite, with dancing waiters, imaginative routines that give a nod to ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ and an overly catchy song- you will undoubtedly feel a sense of warmth inside. If that’s wasn’t enough, the soundtrack to the film combines your favourite Bing Crosby songs with original tunes that bring all the clichés we love and associate with Christmas. In the words of the conductor: “thing about trains is, it doesn’t matter where they’re going; it’s deciding to get on” – so my advice to you? Get on board!

By Kyra Elston