I love the message of the story, especially the bell that can be still heard by the narrator but not by his family. My children and I were talking about that the other night.

The computer animation, though, has always unsettled me a bit--I think it has to do with something called "the uncanny valley," a way psychologists measure our response to animation and artificial faces. The uncanny valley, I think, refers to the frequency of eye blinks there are in certain animations. There is a range where the frequency apparently makes people generally more uncomfortable than comfortable. Weird science!

 

I was watching it, the other night and feel asleep.....LOL  It's a great movie and I have seen it many times.  It's so satisfying that the film maker stuck as close as possible to what and actual train looks and sounds like.  Even though most real trains don't ice skate.....LOL

Dan Padova

 

"In the course of my life I have had to eat my words, and I must confess it was a wholesome diet"..........Winston Churchill

                                                                                                                                        

The bell still rings for me!  🎅

I’ve watched it twice which; when taking into consideration those periods of time my eyes “were resting”, means I’ve seen about 75% of the movie this year.  I may have to pop the DVD in to be able to watch it start to finish.

Curt

Dave NYC Hudson PRR K4 posted:

I still haven't seen it and have heard about some people and animated movies affecting them. My one coworker gets put to sleep if he watches them.

Find the Tom Hanks character to be nightmarishly scary looking.

The train animation is nicely done and interesting to see how many times the number of passenger cars in the consist changes!

We watch it every Christmas Eve.   

We have a tradition of watching Christmas movies all month long leading up to Christmas and it's my son who decides on what movie we watch and when.  It was his suggestion when he was 12 or so and we all look forward to the tradition every year.  Those of you who know me, know I am a big kid at heart and can DEFINITELY still hear the bell.   It's very gratifying to me that this message from the movie has always resonated with my soon to be 18 year old son.  This is why he's chosen it to be the final movie we watch before going to bed every Christmas Eve.   And though he is not in anyway into the hobby, he did approve of my purchase of the new Bluetooth version of the Polar Express and helped me set it up under the tree! 

-Greg

 

 

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Yes, while we have it on DVD, it was on AMC the other night and I caught most of it...always thoroughly enjoyable...although the kid in the yellow pajamas gets annoying, lol.

If it is ever released via I-Max 3-d, do yourself and family and friends a nice thing and go see it. In a world where we're constantly bombarded by techno this and that, the Polar Express in Imax 3-d truly lives up to expectation. Simply magical all around.

Paul Kallus posted:

Yes, while we have it on DVD, it was on AMC the other night and I caught most of it...always thoroughly enjoyable...although the kid in the yellow pajamas gets annoying, lol.

If it is ever released via I-Max 3-d, do yourself and family and friends a nice thing and go see it. In a world where we're constantly bombarded by techno this and that, the Polar Express in Imax 3-d truly lives up to expectation. Simply magical all around.

I saw that and it was tough to not watch it!

-Greg

Member of the Brotherhood of the Crappy Basement Layout

 

Please check out the NJ HiRailers website for information about our club.  Our What's New page shows what we've been working on. While visiting the website check our Show Dates for a listing of all our public shows and be sure to visit our Club Store for unique items available for purchase to support our club and worthwhile charities!!

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I will be watching it eventually. I may decide to watch it at my local theater since they are playing it this weekend. Also the price can't be beat for it with 1 ticket being $3 or 2 for $5.  I have the older Polar Express without Bluetooth around my tree at home. Though my tree may only end up with lights on it because of one of our cats we have.

My wife, sister and I watched it on AMC and since I have it in DVD I'll watch it again before Christmas gets here.   One of the biggest mistakes I ever made was not catching it in the movies in I-Max 3D.  Hopefully I'll get another chance.

Dare I even risk saying this, but while this film has made millions for Lionel, and that is good, I can really take it or leave it.  The story bogs down when the train arrives at the North Pole and the children run amok in Santa Land, facing fears of falling off mile high beams, etc.  The animation is creepy (as  mentioned above).   I wonder what they could do with it if it were re-made with current technology?

We have a Blu-ray 3D DVD of the Polar Express, have a 3D Blu-ray player, 3D TV, and the glasses.  Watched the movie in 3D once, not that impressed.  Haven’t watched it yet this year but most likely will just watch the 2D version if/when we do.

Greg

PAUL ROMANO posted:

Have you watched the Polar Express movie yet this year with your kids or grandkids? I'm down to just two grandkids watching now. A couple of them can't hear the bell anymore..... 

Thanks for the reminder, Paul.  The granddaughters are coming on Sunday to decorate the tree and I think they both still hear the bell.

Some years ago Polar Express was showing at the OmniMax in Cleveland and I wanted to see that version.  My wife took me for my birthday in January and it was the last day for the showing.  Had the place to ourselves.  It did not go well.  It made my head spin.  Years ago I was with Air Force Intelligence and had some cool rides but I never felt like that.  

Regards,

Lou N

I haven't watched it yet this year, but I will one day soon since I have it on DVD. I did spend a good part of this past Wednesday afternoon discussing The Polar Express prototype locomotive (Pere Marquette 1225); the Van Allsburg book; and Lionel's Polar Express train products with first- and second-grade classes at a local elementary school. Took a Polar Express set with me and set it up on a figure-8 shaped track plan. I let each of the students have a turn at running it. At the end of the presentation, I gave each student a silver bell on a long red ribbon so they could hang them around their necks. Kids love trains. . . that has not changed much over the years.

When my grandson was only two, he was able to run my Polar Express with FlyerChief.  He's just turned 7 and may soon not hear the bell.  Last week we took him to Owosso, Michigan to ride behind the actual 1225 Pere Marquette locomotive that was digitally captured for the film.  A couple days later we took him to see the movie in 3D at the Giant Screen Experience at the Henry Ford Museum.  We all had a great time riding the train and seeing the movie which he saw for the first time. 

He still loves to run the Polar Express train on my layout when he comes over, and it will again appear under our tree this year.

And yes, seeing the movie on a LARGE screen in 3D is very cool. 

 

 

I have not watched it in years.  When I first started volunteering on the Cuyahoga  Valley  Scenic Railroad's Polar Express I watched the movie to get familiar with the story. We recreate the story on board CVSR'S Polar Express.  Disney requires strict adherence to the book & movie story.   Chefs serve hot hot chocolate, cookies, Trainman punch golden tickets, we roll through a well decorated, elf filled North Pole where Santa climbs on board to visit the kids. 

CVSR runs 2 Polar Express trains daily from mid November through just before Christmas.  50,000 passengers this year are riding CVSR trains to the North Pole from both Akron and Cleveland, Ohio.   It's lots of fun, but lots of effort as well by many hundreds of volunteers. It is always kind of sad when it wraps up in later December.  Pictured below are the 2 CVSR Polar Express consists at CVSR's Fitzwater Yard.  It's only 330pm but the evening trains are already being prepared for the North Pole trips.  20191115_14543120191115_14544420191115_145331

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fwiw: About 8-years ago I purchased on new Sony 55" HDTV with 3-d enabled technology...I was quite excited about this feature after I had seen the Polar Express in IMAX 3-d in 2004. The HDTV 3-d feature (can be turned on and off) requires Blue Ray 3-d made movies and purchase of battery operated 3-d glasses. At that time, cable networks and companies were talking about transmitting shows/movies in 3-d signals, but I don't know if that ever materialized.

The Polar Express Blue Ray 3-d was one of my first subsequent purchases to watch on the TV, along with some other 3-d movies. My wife and I donned our glasses (they fit over regular optical glasses), and began the movie, waiting in youthful anticipation for the magic to happen. It definitely had 3-d effects, but I started to experience eye-strain after about 20-minutes, and the effects are not even close to the outstanding presentation I had seen in IMAX 3d. Note that there was a prior Polar Express Blue Ray that came with cheap cardboard glasses - and this version is not as good as the later one IMO.

In short, the Blue Ray 3-d movies leave something to be desired, and for whatever reason some have better effects than others. For example, the Disney Christmas Carole animated movie's 3-d effects work very well. I have two 3-d documentaries that are outstanding - one is undersea tour of the oceans and the other is a space episode. Kids find the glasses fun and a novelty...but remember to remove the lithium batteries after use, otherwise they drain out fairly fast and at $4-$5 a piece are costly.

Perhaps, it was my HDTV that was lacking, and perhaps there were better versions out there (for more $$$)...shopping for TV's is quite over-whelming, so many choices and the differences are subtle...you almost have to camp-out at the store and take copious notes. For me, like many others no-doubt, it always comes down to making a good deal.

My then state-of-the-art HDTV (1920 x 1080 pixels with 16:9 aspect ratio) is now considered antiquated technology, although I still love the picture...they have something entirely better now, 4k Ultra-HD or some space-age name like that, and it requires an upgrade of HDMI cables to even better ones that can transmit the larger signal! I'll have to stop in the Best Buy this season to see if they've made improvements in 3-d effects. I don't relish the thought of buying a new TV or having to run new cables through the wall though...I did that with HDMI cables 8-years ago thinking this was a once-in-a-lifetime job.

This move is what got me into the hobby.  The power, the noise, the deep rumble, the steam, the overall might of it stopping at the boy's house.  The scenes of it running at night with the blue atmosphere contrasting with the warm glow inside the passenger cars.  The scene at the North Pole as Santa arrives and the first gift is given and Santa flies off.  The final scenes of the movie.  The way the theme song is played throughout the movie in its various forms, starting with the iced over WB logo at the very beginning and the bell starts playing the theme.  Ending with Josh Groban's version as the credits roll.

I love it!  Yes, I get it about the animation and I agree that there is a weird lull as the kids wander through the buildings at the North Pole.  But when you look at it as a whole, one of my favorite movies, Christmas or not, of all time.  

Grampstrains posted:
VistaDomeScott posted:

I have not watched it in years.  When I first started volunteering on the Cuyahoga  Valley  Scenic Railroad's Polar Express I watched the movie to get familiar with the story. We recreate the story on board CVSR'S Polar Express.  Disney requires strict adherence to the book & movie story.   Chefs serve hot hot chocolate, cookies, Trainman punch golden tickets, we roll through a well decorated, elf filled North Pole where Santa climbs on board to visit the kids. 

CVSR runs 2 Polar Express trains daily from mid November through just before Christmas.  50,000 passengers this year are riding CVSR trains to the North Pole from both Akron and Cleveland, Ohio.   It's lots of fun, but lots of effort as well by many hundreds of volunteers. It is always kind of sad when it wraps up in later December.  Pictured below are the 2 CVSR Polar Express consists at CVSR's Fitzwater Yard.  It's only 330pm but the evening trains are already being prepared for the North Pole trips.  20191115_14543120191115_14544420191115_145331

The Polar Express is a Warner Brother's film not Disney.

The Polar Express is now owned by Disney.  You probably have a copy that is pre Disney ownership, but trust me, It is ALL a disney show now and VERY strict as far as what we can and cannot do with this program.  

RadioRon posted:

 I wonder what they could do with it if it were re-made with current technology?

I'd like to see it redone with real people as well as the real PM 1225.  Along with "well done " CGI i.e.along the lines of what Steven Spielberg did in the original Jurassic Park  for the mountain scenes of course.

Never happen, but one can dream.

040003

" No matter how far we travel, the memories will follow in the baggage car."

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VistaDomeScott posted:
Grampstrains posted:
VistaDomeScott posted:

I have not watched it in years.  When I first started volunteering on the Cuyahoga  Valley  Scenic Railroad's Polar Express I watched the movie to get familiar with the story. We recreate the story on board CVSR'S Polar Express.  Disney requires strict adherence to the book & movie story.   Chefs serve hot hot chocolate, cookies, Trainman punch golden tickets, we roll through a well decorated, elf filled North Pole where Santa climbs on board to visit the kids. 

CVSR runs 2 Polar Express trains daily from mid November through just before Christmas.  50,000 passengers this year are riding CVSR trains to the North Pole from both Akron and Cleveland, Ohio.   It's lots of fun, but lots of effort as well by many hundreds of volunteers. It is always kind of sad when it wraps up in later December.  Pictured below are the 2 CVSR Polar Express consists at CVSR's Fitzwater Yard.  It's only 330pm but the evening trains are already being prepared for the North Pole trips.  20191115_14543120191115_14544420191115_145331

The Polar Express is a Warner Brother's film not Disney.

The Polar Express is now owned by Disney.  You probably have a copy that is pre Disney ownership, but trust me, It is ALL a disney show now and VERY strict as far as what we can and cannot do with this program.  

Since when? Disney hasn’t acquired Warner Bros.

Jim R. 

Dennis Rempel posted:

Too long.

I heard that Lionel has sold more Polar Express sets than any other.

That wouldn't surprise me in the least.  It's been around for quite a while, and it's not only available in O and HO, but in S.  Many of my Brothers and Sisters in S have a PE set.  

I'm also wondering if Warner Brothers has a licensing agreement which requires payment to use the name.

 

 

Jim R. posted:
VistaDomeScott posted:
Grampstrains posted:
VistaDomeScott posted:

I have not watched it in years.  When I first started volunteering on the Cuyahoga  Valley  Scenic Railroad's Polar Express I watched the movie to get familiar with the story. We recreate the story on board CVSR'S Polar Express.  Disney requires strict adherence to the book & movie story.   Chefs serve hot hot chocolate, cookies, Trainman punch golden tickets, we roll through a well decorated, elf filled North Pole where Santa climbs on board to visit the kids. 

CVSR runs 2 Polar Express trains daily from mid November through just before Christmas.  50,000 passengers this year are riding CVSR trains to the North Pole from both Akron and Cleveland, Ohio.   It's lots of fun, but lots of effort as well by many hundreds of volunteers. It is always kind of sad when it wraps up in later December.  Pictured below are the 2 CVSR Polar Express consists at CVSR's Fitzwater Yard.  It's only 330pm but the evening trains are already being prepared for the North Pole trips.  20191115_14543120191115_14544420191115_145331

The Polar Express is a Warner Brother's film not Disney.

The Polar Express is now owned by Disney.  You probably have a copy that is pre Disney ownership, but trust me, It is ALL a disney show now and VERY strict as far as what we can and cannot do with this program.  

Since when? Disney hasn’t acquired Warner Bros.

You can argue the point all you want, but I work the train and we at CVSR are very well aware that it's now Disney owned story.  We had to go through specialized training this year to comply with the Disney specifications.  I do not follow entertainment news so I could not tell you when or how Disney acquired the Polar Express story.   Fact is that Polar Express story, movie, book, rights to merchandising, all Disney.  

poniaj posted:

 

I'm also wondering if Warner Brothers has a licensing agreement which requires payment to use the name.

No doubt.  I can't see Warner passing on the cash cow that the Polar Express phenomenon is.

The disclaimer in the Lionel 2019 V2 catalog reads: "The POLAR EXPRESS and all related characters and elements @ (tm) Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc (s19)."

As far as watching the movie goes, some years I feel like watching it, other years I don't.  This is an "off" year for me.  I will admit some of the visuals are stunning, particularly as the train goes through the forest with the wolves in the foreground.  

Rusty

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