Year: 2004
USA & UK: Warner Bros Pictures
Cast: Tom Hanks, Michael Jeter, Nona Gaye, Leslie Zemekis, Eddie Deezen, Peter Scolari, Brendan King, Andy Pellick, Josh Eli, Mark Mendonca, Rolandas Hendricks, Mark Goodman, Jon Scott, Gregory Gast, Sean Scott, Gordon Hart, Chris Coppola, Julene Renee, Charles Fleischer, Steven Tyler, Phil Fondacaro, Debbie Lee Carrington, Mark Povinelli, Ed Gale, Dante Pastula, Daryl Sabara, Andre Sogliuzzo, Jimmy Bennett, Isabella Peregrina, Josh Hutcherson, Ashly Holloway, Jimmy "Jax" Pinchak, Chantel Valdivieso, Hayden McFarland, Connor Matheus, Evan Sabara
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Country: USA
UK: 100 mins
USA Rated: G
UK Certificate: U contains mild peril
USA Release Date: 25 November 2011 (Limited Re-release)
USA Release Date: 25 November 2005 (Limited Re-release - IMAX theaters)
USA Release Date: 10 November 2004
UK Release Date: 4 November 2005 (Limited Re-release - IMAX cinemas)
UK Release Date: 10 December 2004
UK Release Date: 3 December 2004 (Limited Release - London, West End)
UK Release Date: 3 December 2004 (Limited Release - London, BFI IMAX cinema)


A young boy lies awake in his room one snowy Christmas Eve, excited and alert.
Breathing silently. Hardly moving. Waiting.
He's listening for a sound he's afraid that he might never hear - the ringing bells of Santa's sleigh.
The time is five minutes to midnight.

Suddenly the boy is startled by a thunderous roar. Clearing the mist from his window he sees the most amazing sight - a gleaming black train rumbles to a stop right in front of his house, the steam from its powerful engine hissing through the night sky and the softly falling snowflakes.

The boy rushes outside, clad only in his pajamas and slippers, and is met by the train's conductor who seems to be waiting just for him. "Well, are you coming?" the conductor asks.
"Why, to the North Pole, of course. This is the Polar Express!"

This holiday season the Academy Award-winning team of Tom Hanks and director Robert Zemeckis (FORREST GUMP, CAST AWAY) reunite for THE POLAR EXPRESS, an inspiring adventure based on the beloved Caldecott Medal children's book by Chris Van Allsburg.

When a doubting young boy takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole, he embarks on a journey of self-discovery that shows him that the wonder of life never fades for those who believe.

Combining classic storytelling with cutting-edge filmmaking, THE POLAR EXPRESS debuts a highly advanced version of motion capture technology developed and tailored to meet Zemeckis' uncompromising vision and is the first feature ever to be shot entirely in this format.

Sony Pictures Imageworks, with senior visual effects supervisors Ken Ralston, a five-time Oscar winner, and Jerome Chen, a 2000 nominee, help bring this enchanting holiday story vividly to life in full CG animation through a brand new system called Performance Capture, Imageworks' next-generation motion capture process. This innovative technique allows the actors' live-action performances to drive the emotions and movements of the digital characters in a way never seen before, throwing open the door to a whole new era of freedom and creative options for actors and filmmakers.

Synopsis for IMAX release

All Aboard! THE POLAR EXPRESS: An IMAX 3D Experience is the first full-length feature ever converted into IMAX 3D DMR (digitally re-mastered). It will make motion picture history at the bfi London IMAX Cinema when it arrives on 3 December. Audiences will become totally immersed in the IMAX 3D presentation... grasping at falling snowflakes, ducking as the train screeches into their lap and feeling the howl of the steam whistle via 12,000 watts of digital surround sound. . . on a screen towering five storeys tall.

This breakthrough in filmmaking combines innovative Performance Capture technology, state-of-the-art CGI and the magic of IMAX 3D. The resulting 3D images enable audiences to experience the adventure, drama and emotion of Warner Bros. Pictures' THE POLAR EXPRESS with extraordinary IMAX visual clarity and sound quality. Images virtually leap off the IMAX screen with a blend of realism and fantasy unlike anything that has been seen before.

"When I saw the tests for The Polar Express in IMAX 3D, I was excited that audiences would be able to experience the movie this way," said director Robert Zemeckis. "The 3D adds incredible depth and allows the viewers to experience the visual splendor and amazing adventure of this classic story in a way which should create a really memorable experience, not only this holiday season but for years to come."

IMAX 3D DMR is a process by which a conventional 2D, computer-generated film is converted into 3D and then digitally re-mastered into IMAX's larger than life format using IMAX DMR technology. Once the IMAX DMR process is complete, THE POLAR EXPRESS: An IMAX 3D Experience film format will be 10 times larger than its original. Wearing special IMAX 3D glasses, the film will appear to have depth beyond and in front of the screen. The sheer size, combined with the IMAX 3D projection technology, will provide the bfi London IMAX Cinema moviegoers with an immersive, extraordinary, cinematic experience.