Greatest Christmas Movie of All Time: The Polar Express

The Polar Express is the greatest Christmas movie of all time. At least in my mind. It is a movie that has been embedded in my head since I first saw it as a child. Its environments and world put me in awe, and while many movies from my childhood hap- pen to be some of my favorite movies of all time, The Polar Express is different. From the first time we see the behemoth of a train that is The Polar Express, to entering the North Pole and seeing how lively it is, the movie entraps you in a world filled with life and wonder. Today, when I hear the conductor yell “ALL ABOARD!” I get chills. The movie appealed to my imagination and love of Christmas as a child, and as I watch it today, the effect hasn’t worn off.

I wanted to do a movie review of a Christmas movie for our Christmas edition of The Wick, so I decided to do a review of THE Christmas movie, The Polar Express. While many may scoff at this and say that A Christmas Carol, How The Grinch Stole Christmas or Elf is superior, I say to those people: that’s fine, but you’re wrong. In all seriousness, while people have different opinions on the best Christmas movie, as made evident when I voiced my opinion in study hall today, my favorite is The Polar Express. The movie embodies the excitement and larger than life quality of Christmas to me and the journey it takes you on is nothing less than extraordinary.

In this journey you follow a young boy who no longer believes in Santa and has lost his Christmas spirit as he embarks on a journey to regain those lost commodities. Throughout the movie, the viewer and the boy are amazed at the magical qualities of the train and the environments it goes through. The train chugs its way through towns, forests and frozen lakes, all accompanied by a soundtrack that emphasizes the wonder of the environments it passes through. Throughout its entirety, the movie does a great job of making sure you are grounded in the main character. The audience doesn’t believe in Santa just like the main character, so when the events of the movie play out, the main character has the same reactions we would have. So when the train appears and we are in awe of its size and stature, so is the main character. This connects us to the main character through shared awe. The movie also does an excellent job of putting you in the kids shoes through camera angles. This is shown at the end of the movie when Santa comes out with his sleigh. The camera is trying to look over the kid’s shoulders and then trying to hear the sleigh bells. This camera work puts you in the main character’s shoes as he tries to catch a glimpse at the man he believed to be myth. By grounding you in the main character, the movie is able to make the sights it shows even more astounding than they already are and even make a high school junior speechless at some of the places the train goes.

In the end, The Polar Express not only puts on a showcase of the wonder of Christmas but actually does a good job of immersing you in its environments, story, and characters. I could go on all day as to why the movie is great but I will wrap it up here. The movie, past all its fantastical elements, is a movie that takes the exciting atmosphere of Christmas and visualizes it in a single form. Not only does it visualize the excitement of Christmas but also the warmth of it, and while I have a certain bias towards the movie, I had to review it for that reason. My rating for The Polar Express is a 5/5 stars and a must watch for Christmas this year. Have a Merry Christmas, Friars, and a Happy New Year!