The Polar Express

Features, Shorts, Live-Action and Direct-To-Video
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Post by taguirre69 » November 18th, 2004, 6:07 pm

I finally saw Polar Express the other night and was quite impressed. I have not enjoyed a movie like that for some time that was not Disney. I thought the animation in it was just amazing, with the exception of the people. The biggest problem that I had with the characters was the ears. They just did not look like ears to me.

But other than that, I would definitely tell people to see it. It is a great holiday movie and the animation will just amaze you.

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Post by Special_Ed » November 20th, 2004, 12:06 pm

Don't forgt that Disney also had to create the Secret Lab just to do the film thenshut it down. Then there were all the deaths in production too....

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Post by Macaluso » November 20th, 2004, 12:10 pm

With the exception of the "Jerkasarous" line... I really enjoyed Dinosaur

<_<

>_>

o_o;

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Post by Special_Ed » November 20th, 2004, 1:34 pm

"With the exception of the "Jerkasarous" line... I really enjoyed Dinosaur "

Notice how fast that flick vanished from the scene....and it was dubbed "the next Lion King" HA! Guess the "love monkey" scared them off...

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Post by Stego » November 23rd, 2004, 3:07 am

Honestly, i thought the first 20 min. or so of the film were it's best points. This includes the whole "love-monkey" thing...that to me was truly a different take on a dinosaur story...a dino raised by lemurs, and the opening sequence of the egg's journey was beautiful.

It's really a shame the film decided to become a CG Land Before Time. Personally, i was hoping that the film WOULD be silent...and then of course they spoke and the headaches began...

Back on the topic at hand: I'm all for trying new things in animation, but i've got to be honest, the characters in PE look creepy! It's like the film is composed of actors who have their faces printed on small pieces of plastic that are then stretched over their heads.

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Post by Ben » November 23rd, 2004, 8:12 am

Well, that IS kind of how it is done.

Looks awful to me. Opens next weekend here.

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Post by Stego » November 23rd, 2004, 8:04 pm

True, that is indeed how it works...i just don't like seeing a movie's proverbial underpants, so to speak, in the final product :D

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Post by Ben » November 24th, 2004, 6:49 am

Especially when they are creepy, unwashed underpants! ;)

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A Polar Express diary at vfxworld.com

Post by Uli » November 27th, 2004, 7:30 am

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Last edited by Uli on May 25th, 2007, 8:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Stego » November 28th, 2004, 11:28 pm

Oh those are the WORST kind! On the contrary, though, i've always thought that the "butt-flap" & flannel underthings have been sorta funny, and they always find a way into animation, one way or another.
"When cartoonists draw, they should strive to create enduring images. These images are extremely important, and we have to keep growing and getting better." -Charles Schulz

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Post by Uli » December 3rd, 2004, 7:53 am

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Polar Express up to $100 million.. and still climbing!

Post by James » December 6th, 2004, 12:06 am

The Polar Express is about to hit the $100 million mark and it is still climbing UP the box office chart! Two weeks ago it was number 5, last week number 4, this week number 3 - just barely missing being the number 2 film of the week!

With three weeks until Christmas, I think The Polar Express' future looks bright. It could get up to $125-150 million before this year is done, and I think there is little doubt now that it will be the third Oscar nominee for Best Animated Film.

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Re: Polar Express up to $100 million.. and still climbing!

Post by Lindsay » December 6th, 2004, 3:12 am

James wrote:The Polar Express is about to hit the $100 million mark and it is still climbing UP the box office chart! Two weeks ago it was number 5, last week number 4, this week number 3 - just barely missing being the number 2 film of the week!

With three weeks until Christmas, I think The Polar Express' future looks bright. It could get up to $125-150 million before this year is done, and I think there is little doubt now that it will be the third Oscar nominee for Best Animated Film.
Yuck.

Sorry, James. But yuck. I see nothing wonderful or redeeming about this film. Its style and technology is repulsive, first and foremost of course, but its story is also bloated and cold, and it has an extremely gimmicky feel to it that simply exploits people's gooey sentiments over Christmas. I sincerely hope this Big Hollywood abomination is not nominated for any Oscars - it's all just obscene razzle dazzle to me. :?

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Post by GeorgeC » December 6th, 2004, 5:12 am

Box office speaks nothing about a film's artistic value... or its enduring appeal to the mass public.

There are so many bad films that made tons of money that are frankly overrated. There are many good films that bombed that were much better than the big moneymakers of the year they were released.

Ultimately, time sifts out the classics from the garbage heap of what's popular at the moment. At least half the Disney animated classic features were financial bombs when they were first released but became appreciated AND profitable over time in re-releases. It's A Wonderful Life and The Wizard of Oz didn't become cultural institutions until they started playing every year on TV around the Thanksgiving/Christmas holidays.

Many, many other films that were more popular in their original release era have faded into obscurity while these "failures" have endured and have become more popular over time.

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I seriously doubt Polar Express will turn a profit in the US because it cost close to $200 million to make in the first place. It has to make AT LEAST $400 million just to break even. There's no way any animated feature besides Shrek 2 will make that kind of money this year in box-office. Even The Incredibles is falling considerably short of Shrek 2's record. (Frankly, Shrek 2's overrated and even with the problems I have with The Incredibles it's the best animated feature of the year by far. Too bad it doesn't have all the fart jokes, product placements, and blatant celebrity voice-overs that makes Shrek 2 more popular! :roll: )

Yeah, Hollywood economics don't make sense but with all the people and companies that have to be paid the backers of Polar Express probably won't make a dime until this "movie refugee raft of escaped department store mannequins" gets released on home video.

I predict Polar Express will become a small cult film and sit next to Tron in the expanding shelf of technologically-driven films that are ultimately emotionally empty and best forgotten. There sure seems to be no end of films to fill that particular shelfspace.

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Post by Ben » December 6th, 2004, 7:57 am

Tron is definitely NOT "best forgotten"!

But it speaks volumes that, as a HUGE Bob Z fan and someone who likes Hanks as an actor, that I haven't caught Polar Express yet, even though it's been out a week here in the UK (the fact I've been unltra busy hasn't helped), but I don't feel the urge to run out as I did with The Incredibles, Shrek 2 or even Shark Tale (however good or bad those films turned out to be).

And big BO does not a third nomination make.

I'm very suprised that it's been pushed for inclusion in the Animated Feature category actually. It's amotion capture extravanagnza...nothing more, nothing less. Sure, fans can say that they "tweaked the animation", but this is all (badly) based around live actors' recorded movements.

That, simply, is a cheat.

We didn't like it when Bakshi and Bluth extensively used rotoscoping in their animated films - how exactly is this CGI variant on the technique any different?

Frankly, as Andy Serkis' Gollum was unable to be nominated in the actor stakes, likewise I feel that Express should be placed (and, who knows, even perhaps win) the Best Visual Effects award (as The Nightmare Before Christmas was nominated).

After all...it's one big effect. Not an "animated" film.


Now, having said all this, I'm going to catch it sometime this week, and may end up liking it.

I wanna like it...I really do, but I am truly scared by those soulless, lifeless eyes and the characters' stiff movements in "Edgar-bug"-type rubbery skin and clothes.

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