We had the chance to see “The Polar Express” at an open-to-the-public Sneak Preview this past Saturday (it opens nationally tomorrow).
I loved this movie!
It is hard to imagine any child not having a great time at this picture show. I can easily see this becoming a holiday tradition, much like “Wizard of Oz” and “It’s a Wonderful Life.” By no means I putting it on the same level of those movies, but there is little about it that would keep it from obtaining that status one day.
The acting by Tom Hanks and others, even though the computer animated graphics, is wonderful. Heck, the movie even has a song by Josh Groban!
Once the movie has introduced us to all the characters, it takes off and doesn’t slow down. Who knew this was going to be an action movie? It moves fast, it is totally fun, and even heartwarming.
Even though we saw it with a very small crowd, there was applause at the end. You know it is a good movie when the crowd applauds!
The movie is faithful to the book, but does have to add quite a bit to it. Some places seem to be more forced than others, but I don’t think it really harms the memory of the original Chris Van Allsburg 1985 children’s book.
My only complaint is that there is a needless scene that is pretty scary. It really serves no purpose, and when you see the movie, you will know what I talking about. It is brief though, and quickly forgotten. Still, young children will probably be clinging to you and closing their eyes.
The only other thing that bothered me was a “cameo” by a certain musical artist. Again, you’ll know what I taking about when it happens. Children won’t mind, or even know who it is. Grown up will, though, and while the cameo isn’t obtrusive, it really doesn’t serve much purpose. In fact, the cameo really jolts you right out of the movie.
Those gripes aside, this is really an excellent movie, one you really can take your whole family to see.
I would advise against giving your children any soda during the movie. Their little baldders will be about to burst at the movie’s climax. I saw several parents having to escort their children to the potty right before the last 10 minutes. Just something to keep in mind.
If you have an IMAX nearby, check to see if it is playing “The Polar Express” in 3-D!
Grab a ticket and get on board “The Polar Express.” It is indeed, as Director Robert Zemeckis proclaims, an “oil painting come to life.”