POLAR EXPRESS Tuesday 13 December, 2011

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Many years ago Mr Zemeckis took us all to Hill Valley with Polar Express he’s taking us deep into the uncanny valley.

I watched this film in the cinema when it was released. I didn’t enjoy it. Having been battered into submission by the endless parade of christmas films I’ve watched over the last few weeks I quite enjoyed it on second viewing.

Lets be honest though. This characters in this film are unnerving. Not by their actions. Well, not all of them anyhow. No. They are unnerving in their appearance. They are all weirdly proportioned glassy eyed freaks. The animators really aimed at making the characters look life like but landed way short of that. I suspect that this film is part of the development of motion capture animation. In which case we must not be too critical because this film leads us to a world in which Tintin can be made.

The film charts the story of a young boy who is having doubts about the verity of the Father Christmas story. Soon after hearing his parents filling his stocking he falls asleep only to be woken by a tremendous rumbling outside his house. He runs out into the street to find a huge train, The Polar Express, running down the middle of his street. The adventure begins from there.

If you can ignore the unsettling animation style there is a magical story to be enjoyed here. It’s certainly one for the kids more than the adults. There are some nice action set pieces and you can see that this film was made with a big screen in mind. When viewed on the small screen the sequences lose the visceral punch that they would, no doubt, pack on the big screen.

If you’re looking for a magic tale of christmas adventure then this is the one for you. Just ignore the fact that it makes you feel like you ate some bad mushrooms.

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