North Star Christmas Movie Picks: Why The Polar Express is the best Christmas Movie


The Polar Express is a train that picks up kids to take them to the North Pole to meet Santa Clause. Photo credit:

Makayla Nason, Photo editor and Entertainment Editor

 We all have our own favorite Christmas movies that we love watching during the winter season, however, mine is the Polar express.

  The Polar Express is a 2004 children’s film, telling the tale of a young boy (whose name is never mentioned) who gets visited by a train with a conductor that claims it is en-route to the North Pole. The boy boards the train after finding a ticket to it in his pocket, and meets new people including a young girl, a boy named Billy, a kid that claims to know it all. Together, they have trouble staying on time to arrive at the North Pole. Like all great movies, the idea for The Polar Express actually comes from a 1985 book written by Chris Van Allsburg, that has the same ideas as the movie.



  The train first gets stopped because the boy wanted to let Billy on the train after he first declined to get on, but then changed his mind. But the conductor refused to stop, until our unnamed main character pulled the emergency lever. They were then stopped because the brakes wouldn’t work, there was a bunch of reindeer on the tracks, and the tracks were covered in ice. At one point, the boy lost his ticket after it fell out of his robe pocket, it got sucked into the vents of the train, but he recovered it later after it went through an adventure of its own. The girl also lost her ticket, which made the conductor take her to the front of the train to control it, sending the boy on a wild adventure to find her.

  After overcoming many challenges, to the boy’s surprise, they actually arrive at the North Pole. The conductor tells everyone to get off of the train and that Santa would be picking one kid from the Polar Express to open up the first present of Christmas, but Billy never gets off. The boy and the girl get on to comfort him and persuade him to come along. As they are getting off, the boy accidentally unclips the train cart that Billy was in, sending it back to a railway turntable in Santa’s workshop.

  The young girl and Billy claim to hear a bell ringing, but to the boy’s disavail he cannot hear it. He blindly follows the girl and Billy as they continue to find the mysterious ringing of the bell. They go on an adventure through the elf communication center, and the gift sorting office, before being dumped into Santa’s big sack of presents. The elves then escort them out of the big bag while Santa and his reindeer arrive.

  A bell then fell off one of the reindeers reins, and the boy picked it up. He then held it up to his ear and rang the bell, but he still couldn’t hear it, until he truly believed in the magic of Christmas. He then shows Santa the bell, and Santa chooses him to open the first present of Christmas and lets the boy keep the bell, and he places it in his robe pocket, which as we discovered earlier, has a hole in it.

The boy returns home on the train and wakes up on Christmas day to see that he had lost the bell. But to his surprise, he opened a present that contained the bell and showed it to his sister Sarah who could also hear the ringing of the bell, but his parents could not and claimed that it was broken.

Over the years, Sarah started to not hear the ringing of the bell as her belief in the magic of Christmas slipped away. But as the boy got older, no matter what, he could still hear the ringing of the bell as he never stopped believing as it only rings “For all who truly believe.”

The reason The Polar Express is such a great movie, is because it takes kids on a wild adventure to the North Pole, and keeps the fire of Christmas magic burning in them. I remember as a kid, staying up till midnight to see if the Polar Express would come pick me up from my house and take me to the North Pole. And because there is a train running through the intermediate area of L’anse Creuse North, I would hear the train, but I would believe that it forgot about me.
The film also has an amazing and memorable sound track with iconic music and lines that play throughout the movie. The main melody to the movie is one that just about everyone knows, as it is such a beloved movie.

It teaches kids to never stop believing even when no one believes in you, or when no one really believes you. It tells you never give up and that you do not actually need to see something to prove that it is real. It  proves that many people have won arguments just from facts and evidence, instead of photos and tangible items.

Although we sadly can’t visit the North Pole through a train, we can still spread the Christmas spirit by believing in the magic of it. Make sure to spend your Christmas surrounded by lots of family and friends and have a wonderful holiday season. Merry Christmas!

This article was a part of the North Star Staff’s Christmas Movie Picks series, where each staff member wrote an article on their favorite Christmas movie. you can view the other articles here: Dominic’s Elf review:

Chris’s How The Grinch Stole Christmas review: