The Polar Express

2004 G 1h 40m Blu-ray / DVD

The Polar Express

2004 G 1h 40m Blu-ray / DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
A young boy's faith in the holiday spirit is revived after he makes his way by train to the North Pole on Christmas Eve in this warm-hearted computer-animated tale inspired by Chris Van Allsburg's award-winning children's book.
Tom Hanks, Leslie Zemeckis, Hayden McFarland, Connor Matheus, Peter Scolari, Julene Renee, Chantel Valdivieso, Eddie Deezen, Christopher Coppola, Michael Jeter, Josh Hutcherson, Ed Gale, Nona Gaye
Robert Zemeckis
Blu-ray DVD
Widescreen Anamorphic 2.35:1
English, Spanish (Neutral), French
English: Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish (Neutral): Dolby Digital 5.1, French: Dolby Digital 5.1
Widescreen Anamorphic 2.40:1
English, Spanish (Neutral), French
English: Dolby Digital 5.1, French: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
G - All ages admitted. Nothing that would offend parents for viewing by children. G - All ages admitted. Nothing that would offend parents for viewing by children.
age 6+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 6+
age 6+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that despite the wonderful messages and warm-hearted story, the film is primarily an adventure, with lots of roller coaster thrills and some scary characters that might be too intense and frightening for the youngest children. The Express roars, speeds, and skids on its perilous journey to the North Pole. Sometimes out of control, sometimes racing against dangers and obstacles in its path, it's filled with suspense almost from beginning to end. The child heroes are frequently in danger: from falls, getting lost, left alone on a careening train, in dark and shadowy unknown places facing characters who may wish them harm. The story focuses on a boy who doubts whether or not there is a Santa. (According to the movie, yessiree -- but the boy's initial uncertainty could spark questions in some kids.)

Sexual Content

Not applicable.


There are continuous close calls: multiple careening rides (train, pneumatic tube) filmed from a child's point-of-view; treacherous climbs and balancing atop the train; falls and lost kids; a runaway railway car; cracking ice beneath a speeding train; and a ghostly hobo appears to shatter into pieces at one point. No one is injured and the hobo reappears in fine form later.


Not applicable

Social Behavior

Filled with positive messages about the importance of believing, the value of friendship, respect for leadership and courage, and the beauty of being kind to others. Some specific messages: "The true spirit of Christmas lies in your heart," "It doesn't matter where the train is going, it's deciding to get on that counts," and "There is no greater gift than friendship."


Not applicable

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

Not applicable

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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