‘Polar Express’ is the worst Christmas movie ever

Ebenezer Scrooge Puppet.

Many people get depressed and anxious around the holidays.  

There’s this unequivocal expectation to have the best time of your life.  

The perfect tree, the perfect family, the perfect shades of crimson and evergreen around every corner.  

However, my depression and anxiety around the holiday’s stems from a different source.  

“The Polar Express.”  

The 2004 film follows a young boy as he “embarked on journey of self-discovery that shows him that the wonder of life never fades for those who believe.” 

I hate to be the one to say it, but this synopsis provided by Letterboxd is a crock of shit.  

Really, the movie is about a little kid who—God forbid, doesn’t believe in Santa Clause— is ripped from his family in the middle of the night to board this incredibly suspicious train. 

Our main character, referred to as Hero Boy, meets a sweet little girl, referred to as Hero Girl.  

Because apparently none of the children have names.  

And then… chaos ensues. 

We are introduced to The Hobo who, allegedly, understands the true meaning of Christmas. 

He’s a mysterious character whose purpose is to test Hero Boy’s skepticism of Santa Clause.  

He’s also a ghost that appears to be eternally tied to the Polar Express.  

So not only does the poor kid have to wrestle with the fact that Santa is real, but he also has to come to terms with that fact that so are ghosts.  

And if ghosts are real then what other supernatural elements is this child going to encounter through his lifetime.  

I mean, talk about traumatizing.  

And he’s completely alone! 

Because he’s been kidnapped by a neurotic train conductor, played by Tom Hanks.  

Which brings me to my next point; Tom Hanks is the voice actor for like every character in this godforsaken film. 

He’s the Conductor, Santa Clause, the narrator, Hero Boy’s dad, and the Ebenezer Scrooge Puppet. 

And that man just makes me incredibly uneasy, and I can’t really explain why.  

He’s in some of the saddest movies of all time like “Forrest Gump,” “Cast Away,” “Saving Private Ryan,” and “Toy Story.” 

            And you expect me to believe that he signed on to this movie to spread happiness among children? 

There’s just no way.  

Now, let’s get into this Ebenezer Scrooge character.  

Horrifying, by the way.  

Ebenezer Scrooge gaslights Hero Boy into making him doubt that the Polar Express is real.  

At one point, Hero Boy asks if it’s all a dream.  

My question is, why are we giving an 8- to 10-year-old kid an existential crisis.  

It’s just wrong.  

Then after they all almost die because of the train track situation, they finally reach the north pole.  

Hero boy hears a bell ring, which I guess you can only hear the bell if you truly believe in Santa Claus, but the only reason he believes is because he’s standing nose to nose with the guy.

Because he was kidnapped.  

And forced on this dangerous journey. 

Hello! Stranger Danger! Why would we encouraging kids to watch this!? 

Of course, he never tells his parents that this happened so we’re also encouraging deceit.  

The true meaning of Christmas you’d think is about friends and family and being together to celebrate and spread joy and love.  

But no, it’s about a fat guy and some broken bells. 

– Jess Emery

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