The Polar Express

1695 Words7 Pages
The CGI animated movie The Polar Express (2004), based on Chris Van Allsburgs ' novel that was published in 1985, was directed by Robert Zemeckis and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. The Polar Express is considered to be a magically haunting Christmas movie, when it was first released on November 10, 2004. The movie gained mixed reviews but was able to rack up $309.8 million in the box office $165 million being their budget, they gained $144.8 million from the movie (IMDB). It tells the classic story of a young boy (Hanks) who is close to losing his faith in Christmas. On one fateful Christmas Eve, the boy awakens in the middle of the night when he hears a loud sound outside. He walks outside to find an enormous train has pulled up alongside…show more content…
The facial animations, in particular, were a big issue in the movie which leads it into Uncanny Valley, this is because as the more something is made to resemble a human the more you see the flaws, thus making it unsettling, ironically the less detailed or realistic something looks it can pass off as human, for example how the 3D Disney character style is always accepted and never seen as uncanny. In Polar Express the characters are not badly made, they do look good, but it is the character animation that does not do the movie any justice, the animation is stiff and mannequin-like unfortunately and which made many reviews deem it as creepy. The animator Ward Jenkins wrote a blog post about Polar Express ' "valley" and how it is narrow enough that it could have been bridged easily (Ebert) meaning they could have taken themselves out of uncanny valley easily, mainly by tinkering with the eyes and even mouth movements, by stepping back from the motion capture just long enough to introduce a little good character animation that makes you see past the Uncanniness. It 's a pity that Zemeckis and Hanks did not make use of the cure so close at…show more content…
Not to mention the background props, in general, were very well done in 3D as they made the haunting yet funny Christmas movie come to life and distract you from the uncanny valley character animations.

When it was released the made $162,800,000.00 in the box office which is great, they got over their budget and it is considered a popular Christmas Film. When the reviews came out most people thought it was creepy and weird that the characters didn 't have names, it was hard to relate to the main character as it didn 't have much of a background story for him to lead up to him not believing in Santa and more of a story for the shy kid. But it was seen as visually stunning which helped take away from the uncanniness of the characters. Since the film never properly investigates why hero boys beliefs in Santa is dwindling the revelation of Santa 's existence is hollow which also adds to the uncanniness, especially when all the evidence beforehand did not convince him
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