A young boy (Voice of Tom Hanks) lies in bed finding it impossible to sleep. For it is Christmas Eve and he waits silently for any signs that Santa is arriving. He thinks he hears the sound of sleigh bells and rushes to the window but all he can see is the snow falling. Disheartened, he creeps back to bed to once again wait. As he drowses, he hears a commotion in a room below. He rushes to the top of the stairs and sees a shadow slowly creeping towards the door. He hears the much awaited bells and sees the shadow is wearing a Santa hat! In a moment, the identity of the apparition becomes apparent. The boy's excitement turns to disappointment as he see it is only his father putting the boy's sister to bed. He returns to his room and begins to look through a scrapbook . The scrapbook contains old newspaper clippings, letters and a photo of himself sitting on Santa's lap. The boy snaps the book shut and returns to bed with no hope. He has come to the age where he no longer believes in Santa Claus.
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The disappointed child falls asleep but soon awakens to a most horrific display of lights and noise. He jumps straight out of the bed and grabs his robe in haste. So much so that he does not even notice tearing it's pocket. Down the stairs he goes and right out the front door into the snow. He cannot believe his astonished eyes ! There is a real, full sized train sitting in his front yard. The conductor (Voice of Tom Hanks) calls all aboard but the boy is reluctant to go. He is reluctant at first but his curiosity gets the better of him and he climbs aboard with just a touch of fear. This feeling too is replaced as he sees many other children on the train and all happily in good order. When questioned as to where the train is heading, the conductor reveals that they are bound for the North Pole to see Santa. As the conductor looks at his watch, a sense of urgency is displayed. It's five minutes to midnight and he doesn't want to be late!
The train rolls out the adventure begins. This unbelieving boy joins a heroic young girl (Voice of Nona Gaye), a know it all boy (Voice of Eddie Deezen) and a small lonely boy (Voice of Peter Scolari) on a perilous journey towards the North Pole City Square where Santa will be awarding the first gift of Christmas to one lucky child. They encounter vicious snow wolves and a herd of steadfast caribou, almost loose their heads in flattop tunnel, take the roller coaster ride of their lives through glacier gulch and find themselves in danger of becoming frozen fish food on Ice Lake. The conductor, however, is determined to get all children to their destination safely and on time.
As they finally arrive in the city, they are awed by it's beauty. The children are warned not to wander off but do not heed the warning. The result is another thwarted attempt to make it to the square as their train car is disengaged from the Polar Express . The children are lost and alone but are determined to preserver. They travel through the city actually being treated with more adventure as they get to see the inner workings of Elf Central and the present factory. The heroic and intelligent little girl believes that they must follow the old Christmas music to reach their destination. It ends up by chance that they come upon the square and it is a magnificent display of lights and sound. There are thousands of elves and children waiting for the special moment of the first gift. The anticipation increases as several children are chosen as candidates to receive the first brightly wrapped package. Will the boy or his friends be chosen? Who will be the lucky gift recipient? Was it all really a vivid and overly imaginative dream?
The review of this Movie prepared by Talea