The Christmas movie countdown is our way of sharing the movies that get us in the festive mood, every day until xmas (kinda like an advent calender, minus the chocolate, sorry)
The Polar Express came out in 2004, when I was 7, and is one of the first real christmassy films I ever watched (and have done every year following.) To me, watching it really signifies the beginnings of the Christmas season, and is around the time I start getting really excited about the festivities. Be warned: If you’re planning on watching this, I’d suggest you have a cup of hot chocolate, or at least some in the house. If not, you’ll be having some serious cravings. The storyline follows a young boy wavering in his belief of Santa Claus – He’s poured so much into the effort of finding out the truth that he has drawers full of newspaper articles on fake Santas and exposé’s on who the guy really is. On Christmas Eve, he lies in his bed planning to sleep, only to be abruptly awoken by a huge steam train making its way through his street. He is given the choice to board it – which he does reluctantly, and so his journey to the North Pole begins. On his journey he encounters various different people – some filled with the spirit of Christmas, others serious Scrooges. He befriends another boy and a girl, who accompany him in his carriage and get him out of any trouble he finds himself into.
It might not have the best narrative story, but the Polar Express is an undoubtedly christmassy film. It makes me nostalgic of the days when I did believe in Santa Claus, and in my opinion, the magical atmosphere this movie gives off is enjoyable for people of any age. Also, Tom Hanks voices pretty much everyone, and who couldn’t get enough of Tom Hank’s acting? This movie makes me want to climb aboard that train on Christmas Eve and drink gallons of hot chocolate, then wake up in my bed on Christmas day ready for everything it has to come.
DOES IT PASS THE BECHDEL TEST??
Sadly, no. The Polar Express features only three women with one of them being a main character – The protagonist’s mother and sister, and our Hero Girl. However, the Hero Girl is incredibly headstrong and often is the one keeping Billy and the Hero Boy out of shenanigans. She is the person with the most Christmas spirit, and is incredibly caring and warm to people she barely even knows. She’s the only POC in the film, but it does have a small cast and she is one of the three main protagonists.