The Polar Express


1h 40m 2004

Brief Synopsis

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 the wonder of life never fades for those who believe.

Film Details

Also Known As
Polar Express, Polar Express 3D, The, Polarexpressen
MPAA Rating
Genre
Family
Fantasy
Holiday
Adaptation
Children
Big Kids
Release Date
2004
Distribution Company
CASTLE ROCK ENTERTAINMENT/WARNER BROS. PICTURES DISTRIBUTION (WBPD); WARNER BROS. PICTURES DISTRIBUTION (WBPD)/WARNER BROS. PICTURES INTERNATIONAL (WBI); Warner Bros. Pictures International

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 40m

Synopsis

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 inquires. "Where?" the boy asks. "Why, to the North Pole--of course. This is the Polar Express!" What unfolds is an an adventure which follows a doubting young boy, who takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole; during this ride, he embarks on a journey of self-discovery which shows him that the wonder of life never fades for those who believe.

Crew

William Acedo

Props

Amitabh Agrawal

Software Engineer

Arturo Aguilar

Animator

Larry Alicata

Driver

Antonio Almaraz

Set Costumer

Alfonso Alpuerto

Animator

Ana Alvarado

Animator

Ernie Alvarez

Foreman

James Andrykowski

Visual Effects Editor

Audrey Anzures

Hair Stylist

Leo Arellanes

Tailor

Larry Aube

Rigging Grip

Christian Aubert

Animator

Valentina Aulisi

Stunts

Gene Autry

Song

Sarah Back

Animator

Glen Ballard

Song

Patrick Ballin

Visual Effects Editor

James Bancroft

Digital Effects

Jay Banks

Digital Effects

Laura Barbera

Animation Editor

Alfredo Barcia

Lighting Technician

Marsha Barlett

Costumer

Joachim Barnreuther

Lighting Technician

Josie Batorski

Instructor

Yakov Baytler

Digital Effects

Maureen Beatty

Storyboard Artist

Jeffrey Beck

Set Designer

Aaron Becker

Concept Artist

Bill Beemer

Software Engineer

Nikki Bell

Negative Cutter

Sagiv Ben-binyamin

Stunts

Fernando Benitez

Layout Artist

David Bennett

Animator

Jack Bensinger

Stunts

Irving Berlin

Song

Felix Bernard

Song

Theodore Bialek

Lighting Technician

David Bifano

Music

Pete Billington

Digital Effects

Jack Bishop

Set Designer

Thomas Bland

Animator

David Bleich

Matte Painter

Bobby Block

Stunts

Kathryn Blondell

Hair Stylist

Wolf-rudiger Bloss

Animator

Christian Boewe

Stunts

Scott Bogoniewski

Animator

Tony Bohorquez

Modelmaker

Scot Boland

Casting Director

Frank Bonniwell

Animator

Mary Borlik

Production Supervisor

Erik J Borzi

Lighting Technician

Judith Bouley

Casting

Christian Bouyer

Modelmaker

Virginia Bowman

Production Supervisor

Steven J Boyd

Coproducer

Dennis Bredow

Painter

Rob Bredow

Digital Effects

L Cliff Brett

Animator

Karen A Brocco

Dialogue Editor

Christopher Browne

Assistant

William Broyles

Screenplay

Tom Bruno

Animator

Scott Bruza

On-Set Dresser

Lisa Buono

Makeup Artist

Chris Burdorf

Software Engineer

Don Burgess

Dp/Cinematographer

Don Burgess

Director Of Photography

Brian Burks

Digital Effects

Victoria Burrows

Casting Director

John Butiu

Modelmaker

Won Young Byun

Animator

Aimee Campbell

Animator

Daniel Campbell

Animator

Scott Campbell

Song

Ste Candell

Digital Effects

Georgia Cano

Lighting Technician

Randy Cantor

Transportation Coordinator

Mark Caplan

Construction

Christopher Carignan

Project Manager

Lois Carl

Instructor

Debbie Carlson

Animator

Kevin Carney

Animator

Beth Carpenter

Stunts

Jena Carpenter

Stunts

Kevin Carr

Stunts

Onny P Carr

Lighting Technician

John Carrafa

Choreographer

Rick Carter

Production Designer

Randy Cartwright

Animator

Vito Cascio

Foreman

Brian Casper

Digital Effects

Leo C Castellano

Makeup Artist

Oscar G Castillo

Digital Effects

Paul Cech

Animator

Fabrice Ceugniet

Digital Effects

Mark Chadwick

Stunts

Alan Chan

Animator

Ryan Chan

Assistant Editor

Clara Chang

Lighting Technician

Pierre Chastain

Animator

Alan Chen

Lighting Technician

Jerome Chen

Visual Effects Supervisor

Todd Cherniawsky

Set Designer

Kieron Cheuk Chi Lo

Lighting Technician

Doug Chiang

Production Designer

Andrew Cho

Animator

Kyudon Choi

Digital Effects

Chris Christman

Animator

Donna Cicatelli

Makeup Artist

John Clark

Animator

Kelsey Clark

Assistant

Chase Clemesha'

Stunts

James Clyne

Illustrator

Mitch Cockerham

Animator

Matt Cohen

Videotape Operator

Patrick Cohen

Chief Lighting Technician

Erin Collins

Clearance Coordinator

David Colman

Animator

Perry Como

Song Performer

Katherine Concepcion

Art Assistant

Dale Condit

Makeup Artist

Danielle Conroy

Production Supervisor

Mark Coo

Grip

Michael Coo

Key Grip

J. Fred Coots

Song

Matt Cordner

Animator

Ryal Cosgrove

Assistant

Stephane Couture

Animator

Edward J Cox

Best Boy

Bing Crosby

Song Performer

Derek Crosby

Animator

James Michael Crossley

Animator

Steven Cueva

Assistant Camera

Christian Cunningham

Lighting Technician

Kevin Cushing

Animator

Alan Davidson

Engineering Supervisor

David R Davies

Animator

Matt Davies

Animator

Brian C Davis

Animator

C Marie Davis

Other

Robert Davis Oh

Rerecording

Sandy De Crescent

Music Contractor

Gerardo De La Cruz

Software Engineer

Gale De Los Santos

Production Supervisor

Stefan Dechant

Illustrator

Deborah Lamia Denevar

Makeup Artist

Debbie Denise

Associate Producer

Cathy Deutmeyer

Production Supervisor

Gina Di Bari

Lighting Technician

Anthony Diamond

Assistant Camera

Joe Dicesare

Painter

Paulie Dicocco

Driver

Joseph Dilallo

Animator

Jeff Dillinger

Graphics

Danny Dimian

Animator

Bruce Dobrin

Software Engineer

Brian Doman

Matte Painter

Andrea Donnelly

Animator

Renato Dos Anjos

Animator

Joseph Dowd

Stunts

Dale Drummond

Lighting Technician

R Orlando Duenas

Editor

Kurt Dufresne

Animator

R Stirling Duguid

Lighting Technician

Francois Duhamel

Photography

Young Duk Cho

Digital Effects

Kent Sverre Dysthe

Gang Boss

Rhonda Earick

Other

Timothy Eaton

Visual Effects Editor

Jody Echegaray

Digital Effects Supervisor

Curtis Edwards

Digital Effects

Jeff Edwards

Digital Effects

Josh Einsohn

Casting Assistant

Coya Elliot

Sound Effects Editor

Barbara Ellison

Digital Effects

Bradley Thomas Emmons

Rigging Gaffer

Chris Endicott

Animator

Rob Engle

Animator

Jane English

Makeup Artist

Nathan Eriksen

Production Supervisor

Thomas Esmeralda

Matte Painter

Jeff Evans

Stunts

Ray Evans

Song

Tony Fanning

Art Director

Dana Farwell

Stunts

Juliana Fauntleroy

Assistant

Sharon Felder

Assistant

Andrea Mae Fenton

Dresser

Anthony Feola

Construction

Frian Feola

Gang Boss

William Files

Sound Designer

Oliver Finkelde

Digital Effects

Ronald Fischer

Animator

David Fish

Construction

Darren Fisher

Lighting Technician

Nishira Fitzgerald

Animator

Brian Flora

Concept Artist

Roberto Flores

Construction

Film Details

Also Known As
Polar Express, Polar Express 3D, The, Polarexpressen
MPAA Rating
Genre
Family
Fantasy
Holiday
Adaptation
Children
Big Kids
Release Date
2004
Distribution Company
CASTLE ROCK ENTERTAINMENT/WARNER BROS. PICTURES DISTRIBUTION (WBPD); WARNER BROS. PICTURES DISTRIBUTION (WBPD)/WARNER BROS. PICTURES INTERNATIONAL (WBI); Warner Bros. Pictures International

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 40m

Award Nominations

Best Song

2004

Best Sound

2004

Best Sound Editing

2004

Articles

Michael Jeter, 1952-2003


Michael Jeter, the diminutive actor whose versatility in all mediums earned him numerous accolades and awards, was found dead on March 30 in his Hollywood Hills home. He was 50. The cause of death has not been determined, although in a 1997 interview for Entertainment Tonight Jeter did disclose he was HIV-positive.

Jeter was born on Aug. 26, 1952, in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee. He began medical studies at Memphis State University, but soon discovered a love for the theater. After graduation, he pursued his career in earnest and moved to New York and worked as a law firm secretary until he found some stage work and his film debut in Milos Forman's adaptation of the musical Hair (1979).

Jeter spend the next decade landing mostly stage work and making occasional guest forays in popular television shows: Lou Grant, Night Court, and Designing Women, but his unique physical presence (a slight, 5'4" frame, premature balding, owlish features) made it difficult for him to land substantial parts. That all changed when Tommy Tune cast him in the Broadway hit Grand Hotel (1990) in the role of Otto Kringelin, a dying clerk enjoying a last fling in Berlin. Jeter's energetic performance earned him a Tony award and gave him a much higher profile to stake a claim in movies. The following year he made his strongest impression on film to date when he was cast in Terry Gilliam's (1991) delivering a moving performance as a homeless cabaret singer with AIDS.

He scored his biggest coup when he was cast the same year in the hit sitcom Evening Shade (1991-1994) as Herman Stiles, the wimpy assistant to Reynolds, who played a pro football player turned coach. He won an Emmy award in 1992 for that role and scored two more nominations by the end of the series run. Jeter would also get some good supporting parts in many films throughout the decade: Sister Act 2 (1993), a fun comic role as Whoopi Goldberg's sidekick Father Ignatius; Mouse Hunt (1997); The Green Mile (1999), his best film role as Eduard Delacroix, a condemned murderer who befriends a cellblock mouse; Jurassic Park III (2001); and Welcome to Collinwood (2002).

At the time of his death, Jeter was appearing on the classic PBS children's series Sesame Street as the lovable but bumbling Mr. Noodle; and had been filming Robert Zemekis' Christmas movie The Polar Express starring Tom Hanks. Production was halted on Monday in observance of Jeter's death. He is survived by his life partner, Sean Blue, his parents, Dr. William and Virginia Jeter; a brother, William; and four sisters, Virginia Anne Barham, Emily Jeter, Amanda Parsons and Laurie Wicker.

by Michael T. Toole
Michael Jeter, 1952-2003

Michael Jeter, 1952-2003

Michael Jeter, the diminutive actor whose versatility in all mediums earned him numerous accolades and awards, was found dead on March 30 in his Hollywood Hills home. He was 50. The cause of death has not been determined, although in a 1997 interview for Entertainment Tonight Jeter did disclose he was HIV-positive. Jeter was born on Aug. 26, 1952, in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee. He began medical studies at Memphis State University, but soon discovered a love for the theater. After graduation, he pursued his career in earnest and moved to New York and worked as a law firm secretary until he found some stage work and his film debut in Milos Forman's adaptation of the musical Hair (1979). Jeter spend the next decade landing mostly stage work and making occasional guest forays in popular television shows: Lou Grant, Night Court, and Designing Women, but his unique physical presence (a slight, 5'4" frame, premature balding, owlish features) made it difficult for him to land substantial parts. That all changed when Tommy Tune cast him in the Broadway hit Grand Hotel (1990) in the role of Otto Kringelin, a dying clerk enjoying a last fling in Berlin. Jeter's energetic performance earned him a Tony award and gave him a much higher profile to stake a claim in movies. The following year he made his strongest impression on film to date when he was cast in Terry Gilliam's

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Re-released in United States December 5, 2012

Released in United States December 16, 2016

Re-released in United States December 22, 2017

Released in United States on Video November 22, 2005

Released in United States October 2004

Shown at Chicago International Film Festival (Closing Night) October 7-21, 2004.

Chris Van Allsburg's book, "The Polar Express," was published by Houghton Mifflin in 1985.

Rob Reiner was previously attached to direct.

Released in United States Fall November 10, 2004

Re-released in United States December 5, 2012

Released in United States December 16, 2016

Film is first feature to be shot in Performance Capture, a full CG animation, next-generation motion capture process whereby the entire film is shot digitally and the actors are replaced with computer generated doppelgangers. In effect the film is live-action without any true "live" action.

Re-released in United States December 22, 2017

Released in United States on Video November 22, 2005

Released in United States October 2004 (Shown at Chicago International Film Festival (Closing Night) October 7-21, 2004.)

Released in United States Fall November 10, 2004

Steve Bing's Shangri-La films invested $80 million in the production, but Bing will not take a producing credit on the film.