|The Polar Express|
|Directed by||Robert Zemeckis|
|Based on||The Polar Express|
by Chris Van Allsburg
|Music by||Alan Silvestri|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Box office||$314.1 million|
The Polar Express is a 2004 American computer-animated Christmas fantasy adventure film co-written and directed by Robert Zemeckis, based on the 1985 children's book of the same name by Chris Van Allsburg, who also served as one of the executive producers. The film features human characters animated using live-action motion capture animation. The film tells the story of a young boy who, on Christmas Eve, sees a mysterious train bound for the North Pole stop outside his window and is invited aboard by its conductor. The boy joins several other children as they embark on a journey to visit Santa Claus preparing for Christmas. The film stars Tom Hanks, who was also one of the film's executive producers, in multiple distinct roles, with Daryl Sabara, Nona Gaye, Jimmy Bennett and Eddie Deezen in supporting roles.
Castle Rock Entertainment produced the film in association with Shangri-La Entertainment, ImageMovers, Playtone and Golden Mean Productions for Warner Bros. Pictures, as Castle Rock's first animated film. The visual effects and performance capture were done at Sony Pictures Imageworks. The film was made with a production budget of $165 million, a record-breaking sum for an animated feature at the time.
The Polar Express was released in both conventional and IMAX 3D theaters on November 10, 2004. The film grossed $286 million worldwide during its initial run, and $314 million with subsequent re-releases, and was later listed in the 2006 Guinness World Records as the first all-digital capture film. It also marks Michael Jeter's last acting role before his death, and the film was thus dedicated to his memory.