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neumu
Saturday, November 1, 2014 
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Cinematronic by Michael Snyder
Film
cinematronic
  The Polar Express cinematronic
  director

Robert Zemeckis

cast

Tom Hanks, Nona Gaye, Peter Scolari, Daryl Sabara, Eddie Deezen

year

2004

rating rating cinematronic
  Angling to be a new seasonal classic, the meticulously designed, often lovely computer-animated feature "The Polar Express" shows the potential and the limitations of the form. It's a sometimes thrilling, sometimes banal, sometimes preachy adaptation of author Chris Van Allsburg's book about the fantastic Yuletide adventure of a pre-adolescent boy at the age when he's starting to doubt the existence of Santa Claus. Imagine the kid's surprise when he awakens just before midnight on Christmas Eve and sees a wondrous sight: a magical train that rolls up his suburban street, and stops in front of his house to pick him up for a trip to the North Pole with a cadre of his peers. Tom Hanks, helping to create six characters for the movie, wore a motion-capture suit to let the animators encode his movements, and he changed his voice a bit to differentiate from one role to the other (although they all sounded quite Hanks-ian). There are lessons about kindness and determination and exhortations to "Believe!" that wouldn't sound out of place coming from a pulpit. The makers of "The Polar Express," including director/co-screenwriter Robert Zemeckis (who teamed with Hanks on "Forrest Gump" and "Cast Away"), used the latest technology in the attempt to convincingly evoke real human beings. But even at its most kinetic and eye-seducing, it still looks and feels like a highly sophisticated and articulated… video game.  
cinematronic
cinematronic


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