By Andrew Thompson ‘19 and Billy Jeffers ‘19
“It’s a magic carpet on a rail, never takes a rest, flying through the mountains and the snow.”
All aboard! The holiday classic “The Polar Express,” directed and written by Robert Zemeckis, takes viewers on a magical, exhilarating hour and 40 minute journey. Released in 2004, the mystical train named “The Polar Express” takes children who both believe and doubt Santa on a trip to the North Pole. Along the journey, the main character “Hero-Boy” meets new friends, faces physical challenges, and learns valuable life lessons of faith and friendship.
Where do I begin to describe the pure genius that is “The Polar Express”?
At the time of its release, it was at the cutting edge of animation. In 2008, the American Film Institute nominated “The Polar Express” for its “Top 10 Animated Films” list.
Tom Hanks lays down the law with his versatile performance, voicing four main characters and two supporting characters: Hero Boy, Father, Conductor, Hobo, Scrooge, and Santa Claus.
Senior Mike La Bella said, “I thought Tom Hanks was a great train conductor. He was kind, yet stern. His overall performance embodied the spirit of Christmas.”
Also, the movie’s unique representation of the North Pole, Santa, and elves opens viewers’ eyes to a whole new representation of Christmas, which was much needed in the holiday movie industry.
“The representation of Santa and the North Pole is pretty cookie-cutter in cinema. The refreshing take on the skinny elves who looked relatively normal and the whole city layout and manufacturing function of the North Pole, instead of a little tiny village and workshop, continues to be really entertaining,” said senior Ethan Hedke.
If the fabulous plot, animation, acting, and creative depiction wasn’t enough, the movie hits it out of the park when it comes to its soundtrack. With classics like “The Polar Express,” “Believe” and “Hot Chocolate,” the movies soundtrack leaves viewers in jubilant Christmas spirit.
“Home Alome”? Yeah, I’d rather be home alone then go see this Christmas movie in the theater.
The box offices agree with me. On opening weekend “Home Alone” grossed $17,081,997, while the outstanding “The Polar Express” grossed $23,323,463.
Put a cute little kid on screen and America forgets what a good plot is. Compared to the elaborate and multi-layered plot of “The Polar Express,” the one-dimensional plot of “Home Alone” falls short of creative genius.
Wow, a small kid tricks old, dumb house robbers. Not to mention how inconceivable this plot actually is. How could the parents actually forget their kid before a huge vacation? They couldn’t call a friend or neighbor to pick up Kevin and watch him? They could have at least called the police to inform them their 8-year old son was home alone.
Don’t be mistaken; “Home Alone” is a holiday classic, but “The Polar Express” is cinematically a more well-rounded movie. Take the time over Christmas break and decide for yourself.
“I made my family disappear.”
¨Home Alone¨ is a Christmas movie which takes you through the thrilling days of eight year old Kevin McCallister being left home alone.
When you think of Christmas, what movie comes to mind? Not the ¨Polar Express.¨
In the opening weekend, ¨Home Alone¨ topped the box office, only making $17,081,997, while the ¨Polar Express¨ topped off at $23,323,463. Even though the earnings for ¨Home Alone¨ were not as much as the ¨Polar Express,¨ it maintained the number one spot in the box office for a full 12 weeks and remained in the top ten until June of the following year. Not only was ¨Home Alone¨ one of the highest grossing films of the 1990’s, it also earned a title in the Guinness Book of World Records as the highest-grossing live-action comedy ever released domestically. Was the ¨Polar Express¨ a record breaking movie? I don’t think so.
¨You guys give up yet? Or are you thirsty for more?¨
Based on an article, ¨The 20 best Christmas films of all time¨, ¨Home Alone¨ is ranked as number two out of 20 behind the infamous movie, ¨It’s a Wonderful Life¨
Although the ¨Polar Express¨ was a decent movie, wouldn’t you want to see a young child outsmarting and beating up on two dumb burglars? ¨Home Alone¨ is super funny with a lot of action. The ¨Polar Express¨ has none of that. Not only is ¨Home Alone¨ ranked better, it has real people acting, while the ¨Polar Express¨ is just an animation. People tend to relate to a live-action movie like ¨Home Alone¨ over an animation because it is easier to recognize the characters emotions and social cues.
Over all I think ¨Home Alone¨ is one of the best Christmas movies and is just simply a better movie, especially when being compared to the ¨Polar Express¨.
Which movie do you think is better?