Belief in a day, with milk and cookies, steam in the air, with presents galore:
It's Christmas Eve when a young hero boy decides he no longer believes in Santa Claus - yet what's that outside his bedroom window? With a puff of smoke, and a blast of snow, a steam train arrives: The Polar Express - a quest for belief in Santa Claus and a trip to the North Pole! My favourite scene is when the train stops on a frozen lake - as the train has to undertake some impressive manoeuvring (when the lake starts to crack), including some high-speed sliding (to get back on track). I especially like it when the train wheels dig-in and throw ice/snow up into the air! My second favourite scene occurs just before, when the train rides Glacier Gulch - as it reminds me of being on a roller-coaster with a big drop (having to hold on tight!). My favourite musical scene is when the hot chocolate refreshments are brought out - as there's tap dancing waiters and somersaulting chefs, with cups/saucers and hot chocolate flying through the air, which when combined with a catchy tune, had me both foot-tapping and struggling to get the tune out of my head. My second favourite musical scene is when the lonely boy starts to sing on the back of the train - as he is soon joined by the hero girl, who together, sing a heart-warming song about Christmas/Santa Claus (complete with magical lights in the sky - depicting Christmas). My favourite character has to be the Conductor - as although he (presumably) works for Santa Claus, he comes across as being somewhat strict: all tickets have to be stamped, and those passengers without a ticket get thrown off the train (or at least, that's what the young know-it-all believes!). I find it comical with the way in which the tickets are punched, and I especially love that scene where the hero girls ticket falls off the train, yet with an amazing journey of its own (involving wolves and bald-headed eagles), eventually ends up back on the train! My favourite (comical) character has to be the young know-it-all as he is quick to appoint blame (who pulled the emergency brake? He did!), is opinionated with his own theories (there's no-way this train was on the ice) and is some-what nosey/ungrateful (going through Santa's sack, only finding a pair of lousy socks!). I like the way in which Santa's Elves have been depicted: small, green leggings, with red tops and hats, little brown pixie boots, and several specialists (such as the Flying Elves). I also like the city that's at the North Pole - as its something of a labyrinth, with all sorts of production and delivery facilities, yet at the same time, still reminds me of a snow-ball paperweight! Overall: I feel that this is an enjoyable Christmas tale, which combines amazing effects (such as realistic snow), with some important topics (such as learning to trust others). I like the fact that this film goes to great lengths to illustrate one point: that just because you don't see something, doesn't mean it isn't there! Ho Ho Ho, Merry Christmas to you all!