The Polar Express is undoubtedly one of the greatest Christmas films of all time, and this shot represents every essence of wonder, magic and excitement which Christmas is associated with. As the young and confused hero boy (Daryl Sabara) begins to doubt in the existence of Santa Claus, he is taken on an incredible journey on the Polar Express, where he learns the importance of friendship, faith, and as told by the conductor himself ( Tom Hanks) the need to believe.
The North Pole in The Polar Express is beautiful, evoking awe and wonder from the audience. The sea of red from the hundreds of elf uniforms exudes festive cheer, and also creates an audience for the man himself. Santa Claus stands proud on the stage for his annual take off, and certainly lives up to everything young children expect of old Chris Cringle. We can’t help but notice the near-overflowing sack of presents resting precariously on the back of Santa’s sleigh, and every child present is hoping there’s a treat or two in there for them.
Perhaps the most beautiful aspect of this shot is the enormous Christmas tree lighting up the show, shining a blinding light over the North Pole. This is Christmas, and even looking at the back of the characters’ heads, their awe is evident. This moment in the movie provides a short break from the reality of the madness that is Santa’s busiest night of the year. The royal blue sky contrasts magnificently with the warmth of the North Pole’s incredible show, providing just a few precious moments for the children before Santa soars off into the icy midnight sky. The Polar Express embodies everything which Christmas should be, and this shot for me represents the magic of Christmas for children and adults alike.