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The Polar Express: A Christmas Staple and Guinness World Record Holder!

The Polar Express: A Christmas Staple and Guinness World Record Holder!
photo: Telus World of Science / Public domain/Polar Express
23 / 12 / 2023

Railway themes are an integral part of Christmas and winter festivities. This theme has even made its way to cinemas, which is why one of the most beloved Christmas movies unfolds on one of the most famous trains!

The Polar Express is a cult animated film from American studios, featuring actor Tom Hanks. The film centers around a boy who embarks on a magical journey to the North Pole aboard Santa Claus's special train. Throughout his adventure, he encounters various challenges, learning about the importance of friendship, courage, and, most importantly, the spirit of Christmas.

Telus World of Science / Public domain

But did you know that this iconic animated film is surrounded by several interesting facts?

  • The Polar Express is listed in the 2006 Guinness Book of World Records as the "first fully digitally shot" film, where all live-action scenes were captured digitally.
  • The screenwriters left the main character unnamed. In the credits, he is referred to as "Hero Boy."
  • Tom Hanks didn't just voice the main character. He played a total of five roles: the main character's father, a train conductor, a hobo, and Santa Claus himself.
  • Three actors contributed to the creation of Hero Boy. Tom Hanks provided his voice as the narrator, Daryl Sabara voiced the child version, and Josh Hutcherson was responsible for the motion capture that brought the character to life.
  • Director Robert Zemeckis has created several blockbuster movies throughout his career, with 1985's Back to the Future being one of his most famous works. As such, The Polar Express includes references to some scenes from this pop culture icon.