All parent member reviews for The Polar Express

Parents say

(out of 40 reviews)
age 5+
Review this title!
Parent of a 2 year old Written byebergman December 20, 2009
What other families should know
Great messages
Adult Written byChuck Reid March 16, 2012

Cool Christmas Movie.

This is one of the best Christmas movies of all time! It is really fun and entertaining!
Parent Written byshadowkate June 25, 2011

A great family movie!

My two year old LOVES this movie. That said, there are a few scary parts, such as when the main character is on top of the train and a scene involving a puppet. I think that most kids will be okay if you fast foward through them. The role models are great though. It is about trust, believe and friendship.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 4 year old Written bymamaoftwins December 29, 2010

Appropriate for most preschoolers

My four-year-old girls watched this on Christmas eve with three-year-old brothers. All the kids but one of the girls loved it, and the exception found it to be scary. When I asked her what her objection was, she said, "I don't like the conductor yelling too much." Overall, there are some high-speed train scenes and intense moments that could be overwhelming to some young ones, but the message of faith and wonder is a beautiful one.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Great messages
Parent of a 4 and 5 year old Written byeliette January 3, 2010

Excellent for kindergarten and up

My almost-6-year old son loves this movie. Parts of it are a little too intense for his sister (age 3 1/2)--there are some suspenseful action sequences that she can't sit through. But all in all it's a wonderful film.
What other families should know
Great messages
Parent of a 5 and 7 year old Written bykimmo November 11, 2009
Adult Written byTresa April 9, 2008

Imaginative

We have the book and my 3 year old daughter begged me to take her to see this. Before we went, based on feedback from many other parents, I sat her down and prepped her that the movie was "VERY SCARY" at times. We talked about what we would do if we were scared and she helped come up with solutions ("We'll go get popcorn", "I'll cover my eyes", etc.). With the prepping she was just fine and very proud of herself that she wasn't too scared during what she viewed as the two scary parts ("the puppets and broken toys" and the "wolves"). In fact the only way I knew she was scared was the pause in popcorn chomping. It was a great mother/daughter event because I enjoyed it too. The animation, albeit a bit creepy (too human but not human enough), was technologically fascinating and who can dislike Tom Hanks?
Adult Written bybetcher_grrl April 9, 2008

Good, but....

Our daughter is 4 and we were looking for a good "first movie" to take her to. Since "Polar Express" was rated G and I had heard good word-of-mouth, it seemed like the right choice, although I was sceptical of the animation quality. Had I read the Common Sense review first we would have better known what to expect and might have chosen to put off the first movie a little longer. Our little girl found the roller coaster-y train rides frightening, and from our perspective the story is a bit thin. All in all it was ok, and our daughter enjoyed more of the film than not. We actually enjoyed it more than we thought we would too, but I wish we had known it has some frightening action scenes.
Adult Written bymom2ncmk April 9, 2008

Not Impressed

The roller coaster drama was a bit scary, the conductor seemed a bit mean, the hobo was scary. Watching two boys get on a train after being approached by a stranger (the conductor) was very scary for me! I had to talk to my children after the film about that! The storyline was not great...in fact a bit boring at times, although I did like the aspect of the "spirit of believing".
Parent of a 3 and 5 year old Written byVirpi December 20, 2015

Really scary

I was hoping to see a nice family Christmas movie with my 3-year-old and 5-year-old. Instead, I got this horror film about a train where group of kids rode on their own in the middle of the night and were constantly about to fall from the train. There were wolves, scary old toys, constant danger, breaking ice and the train was out of control. A hobo was crushed into pieces. My kids thought all the adults and elves were evil. The North Pole was really not an inviting place at all. It was more like a work camp. From an adult perspective, the main characters were making really bad decisions without the movie teaching they should not have done so. To top it all, the only character with glasses was an irritating kid called the Know-It-All Kid. My kid has glasses of which s/he has been bullied about, so it was not pleasant for our us to see this. The movie seems to try to be PC, and then only character with glasses is so annoying.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent Written byecodad December 21, 2014

Seriously?

Having done some research, I was prepared for the lifeless animation and the plodding, padded story line. What I wasn't prepared for was the unnecessarily frightening, gothic undertones of this supposed Christmas movie. The inclusion of nasty characters like the possessed puppet simply to artificially ramp up "tension" and "emotional engagement" is tiresome , formulaic, inappropriate, and amateurish. Comparatively, Disney's Tinkerbell series is a Oscar contender. The creators of this series seriously needed a long rotation through Studio Ghibli in order to learn how to create compelling animated characters and stories for children. The only silver lining is that we saw this "movie" at home at home vs in the theater where we had no control over its oppressive presentation. Save your money for an actual Polar Express train ride in your community and share an experience with your children that the whole family will value.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent of a 7 and 10 year old Written bymathmom April 9, 2008

Excellent family film for the holidays!

I saw this film with my 4.5 and 7 year old kids. I was nervous at first because of the talk of believing in Santa Claus or not, but in the end the story is about believing in the spirit of Christmas, which is what I want my kids to believe in anyway. My younger one was a bit scared during the "roller coaster" scenes and the "scary puppet" scene. We didn't really understand the tie-in with a ghost-like character that appears and disappears at times in the story.The theatre was very crowded when we showed up, but most families were going to see "spongebob" - a sad statement I thought. They missed out on a beautiful, child-friendly, commercial-free and touching story. Great job Tom Hanks!This is a wonderful holiday movie that I recommend highly.
Adult Written byLowe's man May 31, 2016

Fun for school-aged children. As for preschoolers, know your kid.

The very thing that makes this movie fun for school-aged children- the roller coaster ride on the train- may frighten or even terrify preschoolers. Also, the conductor is quite mean. School-aged children can put this into perspective, but it might be too much for preschoolers. The hobo might frighten preschoolers as well. One final word of warning is that some people might think that this movie puts Asperger's Syndrome in a negative light, as the know-it-all, who acts like the class cop, may have Asperger's Syndrome. This portrayal might not sit well with some people, particularly those who know of someone who has Asperger's. Beyond that, this movie is fun. And yes, the existence of Santa Claus is reaffirmed, and kids will be reassured.
Parent Written byCatalex April 2, 2016

Beautiful Christmas film for all the family

What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written byvirginiaw1 February 8, 2016

great viewing

i think this is great viewing for any age child who knows santa clause and it teachs children the value that just because you are not as well off as the that you are no better than the other child or because you look different than the other child you are no better than the next child that is how i feel. sincerely virginia
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written bysophalilucie December 14, 2015

Loved it ever since I first saw it!

I first watched this film aged 7 in the IMAX cinema and it absolutely captured my imagination and love of christmas. It is still one of my favourite christmas films, second only to Miracle on 34th Street. Considering it was made in 2004, I find the artwork stunning and so carefully and thoughtfully done. When I first saw it, I remember me and my friends reaching for the falling snowflakes and I almost thought the characters were real. The haunting and magical nature of this film, especially when accompanied by the beautiful soundtrack, is something that make it particularly special - there is a mysterious magical quality at Christmastime that I think is often diluted by very boring one-dimensional "happy" Christmas films. The North Pole is a strange and magical place and I think the film showed this perfectly. I disagree this film is too violent or scary for children and I am disappointed that some people deem it to be "creepy" as so many of my favourite stories could be described in the same way - A Christmas Carol for example. There comes a time for every child when they start to doubt the existence of Santa Claus and I think this films shows kids how important it is to believe.
What other families should know
Great messages
Adult Written bydarthsitkur December 9, 2015

Seeing is believing

there's nothing more to say than this is one of my favorite Christmas movies to watch during December
Adult Written byray_scanten82 December 12, 2014

Classic!!!

It is actually a very charming movie, also was very well performed. The most interesting part is that it is the very first 3D animated movie made using motion capture devices, and Tom Hanks voiced 5 (!!!) roles simultaneously. The elven corporation is very interesting, especially the screens with kids assuming they were naughty or nice. The thing that the true christmas spirit is always in the heart is too true to be negotiated. And friendship is, of course, the best gift for everyone!!!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 9 year old Written byjenniepepsi June 6, 2013

Boring, not engaging.

Quite honestly, this was a boring movie. My niece and nephew (3 and 5) got bored with this movie quickly. And my 9 year old sat and watched it, but wasn't impressed. She has not watched it again. And she is a 'repeat watcher' of movies she likes.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much consumerism
Parent Written bymountain mama November 16, 2012

Will make your kids question Santa's existence!

My husband and I are not fans of movies that introduce the notion that Santa may not be real. For some reason, our kids' school shows this at the kindergarten Christmas party and it had never occurred to either of our children to question the existence of Santa, which this movie does. We emphatically support a belief in magical things in our house and want our children to hold on to their innocence as long as possible, and this movie asks them to question why some people don't believe. Also, the animation is creepy. Finally, although I haven't read the book myself, it was my nephew's favorite when he was younger and he did not like this adaptation when it came out. I say wait till your kids grow up a little--stick with Rudolph and Santa Claus is Coming to Town.

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