Synopsis: A little boy embarks on a journey on a train called The Polar Express on Christmas Eve in an effort to rediscover his Christmas Spirit while having the adventure of a lifetime.
This movie opens with a little boy who lay quietly listening for “a sound he was afraid he’d never hear: the ringing bells of Santa’s Sleigh”. However, his parents note that he used to stay up all night waiting for Santa, but it doesn’t appear that he does it anymore, symbolizing a loss of belief in Mr. Claus. Then suddenly, a train appears and a conductor invites him to board it to visit the North Pole. Despite his initial reluctance to go, it turns out he’s a crucial part in the events that happen that night on the journey to the north pole, none more important than ensuring that Lonely Boy Billy gets on the train, and helping them solve various issues that they have on the way to the North Pole.
“One thing about trains, it doesn’t’ matter where you’re going, what matters is deciding to get on” – The Polar Express Conductor
Once on the train, the little boy meets other kids and forms a bond with a little girl, an annoying knows it all boy and with Billy. Eventually, they all see the workings of Santa’s elves and his workshop. When the reindeers appear to all the kids on the North Pole, everyone can hear the sleigh bells except the little boy. Then, when Santa makes an appearance, everyone can see Santa except him. The little boy then discovers the issue: he doesn’t believe. So, he mutters over and over to himself while holding one of the sleigh bells:
“I believe; I believe”
As a result of this expression of belief, he sees Santa for himself and is awarded a special present: the first gift of Christmas which he chooses to be the silver sleigh bell that helped him discover his Christmas spirit. When it is time for the kids to board The Polar Express again to go home, each of the 4 main children of the movie receive their original ticket stubs with a special message/lesson for each of them:
All in all, the movie shows that the journey on The Polar Express was not only about the Spirit of Christmas as I had originally thought. It became evident during the ride that the only person that truly did not have the spirit was the Little Boy. So it made me think. Why did these other children have to embark on this journey on The Polar Express? The scene with the ticket stubs made it clear: they all had to learn important life lessons that went beyond Christmas.
At the end of the movie, the boy noted that his friends could hear the sleigh bell initially (gifted to him by Santa Claus on Christmas) but as time passed the sound faded for them. This represents the fact that they either lost their belief, or their Christmas spirit or both, as the bell only sounds for those who truly believe. The boy notes that for him, the sound never faded, which shows that the life lesson he learnt on The Polar Express truly stayed with him throughout his life.
“The wonder of life never fades for those who truly believe” – IMBD.com, The Polar Express
To conclude, this movie is a good watch for those children who for some reason do not have the Christmas spirit. While it does have a few lessons here and there for adults, the movie primarily illustrates key lessons to children about Christmas and life as a whole. Movie Rating 7⁄10
© Photo 1 taken from Athenacinema.com
© Article of caribbeandreamsmagazine.com