The Polar Express (film)

The Polar Express ( Original title: The Polar Express) is a computer- animated children's film from 2004, directed by Robert Zemeckis. The film tells the story of the eponymous children's book by Chris Van Allsburg.


On Christmas night, Christmas Eve, a young boy lying in his bed, waiting, in spite of his doubts about Santa Claus, to the sounds of the reindeer sled. During the night, however, he hears sounds of a train and goes to the front door, where a conductor is called Polar Express in front of a train. This explains to him the train ride to the North Pole and asks the little boy to enter. After some hesitation, he does this ultimately.

On the trip to the North Pole, he learns other passengers know his age - including, among others, a nice girl, a "know ", and the boarded last impoverished Bill, who has retreated to another compartment. During the train ride, children are pampered with cocoa. The girl hides his hot chocolate under the seat to it later to pass Bill. Before she can bring him this, the conductor controls the come down to mysteriously into the pockets of the passengers ticket and punches in each case two letters into it. The girl's ticket but he overlooks. While they, together with the conductor, who has discovered the chocolate and her good nature appreciation Bill brings over the hot chocolate, the little boy discovers the ticket and plans to return the girl. She falls out of his hand and disappears. However, the ticket will go unnoticed again the way to the train back as the guard just wants to criticize the lack of ticket. While the conductor disappears again with the girl, the little boy is worried about his new girlfriend, discovers the ticket and makes his way to her.

The road, however, is through the roof of the train. There, the boy meets a tramp who later turns out to be mind and posing in conversation as the owner of the North Pole and the Arctic Express. He accompanied him on the locomotive of the train in which his girlfriend is and the train controls. Engineer and fireman himself standing in front of the smoke box door and discover a herd of caribou. At the last moment the train can stop. The conductor, however, who maintain a tight schedule because the train at midnight must be arrived at the North Pole, because otherwise no longer Christmas, noted that the heater when you pull this beard, and can communicate with the animals and thus solves the problem.

Sailing further, the little boy and the girl are still on the front platform of the locomotive, they drive on the world's most powerful gradient which is loud warning sign 179 ° ( in the German version 99%), what a roller coaster ride is tantamount, as well as a frozen lake, on which the tracks are frozen away and the train without rails have to drive on the breaking ice. In this case, the girl, the conductor and the boy would almost fallen off the track when the tramp had not saved at the last moment. With great difficulty the train can reach the tracks also again. On the way back to her compartment, the conductor, the boy and the girl see again in the meantime in a compartment in which damaged dolls are on the way to repair the North Pole. There, the tramp as a joke and frightened the boy, by warning him with a figure of Ebenezer Scrooge to be as this was.

Five minutes before midnight, the Polar Express meets a just in time at the North Pole and all, except for Bill, who continue to endure in the rearmost compartment, get off the train. The boy and the girl but want Bill convince celebrate Christmas and go back to Bill's compartment. Here the little boy uncoupled unnoticed the train and this drives down a hill and stands on a turntable. The kids get out and discover in a nearby building Santa's elves that prepare the last gifts. After they are finished, the children follow them unnoticed. They eventually find themselves on a treadmill again, on which Bill a gift that is addressed to him discovered. He grabs it and ends up at the end of the treadmill on a slide. The girl and the little boy to follow him. The chute leads them into a gift bag, which is brought by an airship to the place at the North Pole, where already all waiting for Santa Claus.

There, the three are together with the wise guy who has followed them unnoticed by the elves, who claim to have known of their stay from the beginning, discovered and handed over to the conductor. In some mysterious way this was done since their arrival at the North Pole at 23:55 clock. At midnight appears Santa Claus. Here a bell he falls to the ground. The little boy lifts it up, shakes it, but can not hear anything. He then tried it with the words, he believes in Santa Claus, again, the bell can now hear. And then Santa Claus actually stands before him. The boy gives him back the bell. Well, he may want the first gift and chooses the bell of Santa Claus, which he receives and puts in his right jacket pocket also. Then makes the Santa Claus on the annual way to distribute the gifts.

When the boy must again show his ticket later, when the conductor ( = believe believe ) the letters on a word expanded, he discovers that his little bell is gone, because his right pocket has a hole. However, when he next morning, at home, with his parents and his sister Sarah opens his presents, he finds again the bell. However, his parents do not know by whom is this gift and think the bell was broken because it. Their ears because they do not believe in Santa Claus, gives no sound



  • In this film came a new technology is used, the so-called motion capture, which was also used in the filming of the trilogy The Lord of the Rings for the role of being Gollum. The actors were filmed for this first real and its representation, facial expressions and gestures was then transferred to the digital figures.
  • The film was completely transformed as the first Hollywood film in the IMAX 3D format and presented in IMAX theaters.
  • Instead display subtitles, you have translated the texts for German-speaking audiences in all scenes with captions in German and brought into the picture.
  • As a template for the locomotive served a preserved specimen of the PM- Class N- 1 No. 1225th


" The imaginative story based on a successful children's book, decorates its slender story but with many gimmicky experiences from which to digitize a novel technique, human figures and embed into a computer -generated environment, to deliver effective applications. Although the target rediscovery of traditional values ​​such as friendship, courage, and faith comes in a number of intimate and poetic scenes to fruition, but is increasingly covered in the course of action of externalizations. "


  • 2004: Bambi in the category Film International for Tom Hanks
  • 2005: Nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Original Song category - Motion Picture for the song Believe
  • 2005: Nominated for an Oscar in the category Best Sound, Best Sound Editing and Best Original Song ( Believe)