The Polar Express
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- Directed by Robert Zemeckis. Written by Robert Zemeckis and William Broyles, based on the children's book of the same title by Chris Van Allsburg.
This Holiday Season... Believe (taglines)
- Seeing is believing, but sometimes the most real things in the world are the things we can't see.
- One thing about trains: It doesn't matter where they’re going. What matters is deciding to get on.
- [repeated line] ALL ABOARD!
- [repeated line] Why, to the North Pole, of course! This is the Polar Express!
- [repeated line] That's more like it.
- What in the name of Mike!?
- CARIBOU CROSSING!?
- You. [angrily approaches the Hero Boy] In case you didn't know, that cord is for emergency purposes only! And in case you weren't aware, tonight is Christmas Eve! And in case you hadn't noticed, this train is on a very tight schedule now, young man. Christmas may not be important to some people, but it is very important to the rest of us!
- (to the engineer and fireman) GET US THE BLAZES OUT OF HERE!
- Turn this sled around!
- Tracks! Dead ahead! Right! Left! Right! Hang a Louie! Toss a Richie! Port astern! To the starboard! Right! All right, keep up with me: Left! Right! Left! Right! Left! Right! Left! Right! Left! Right! Left! Right! Left! Right! (Hero Boy and Hero Girl: OH NO!) [To Hero Boy and Hero Girl as the train is nearly going to sink] BRACE YOURSELVES!!!
- [from teaser] On Christmas Eve, many years ago I lay quietly in my bed. I did not rustle the sheets. I breathed slowly and silently. I was listening for a sound. The sound I was afraid I'd never hear.
- [first line, as narrator] On Christmas Eve, many years ago I lay quietly in my bed. I did not rustle the sheets. I breathed slowly and silently. I was listening for a sound I was afraid I'd never hear. The ringing bells of Santa’s sleigh.
- [last line, as narrator] At one time, most of my friends could hear the bell. But as years passed, it fell silent for all of them. Even Sarah found, one Christmas, that she could no longer hear it's sweet sound. Though I have grown old, the bell still rings for me. As it does for all who truly believe.
- [repeated line] I believe.
- [to Lonely Boy and worried about Hero Girl] Where'd they go? What happened to them? Please, she's in big trouble and you have to help me.
- [singing] The best time of the year
When everyone comes home.
With all this Christmas cheer,
It’s hard to be alone.
Putting up the Christmas tree
With friends who come around.
It’s so much fun
When Christmas comes to town.
- [slouching dreamily with hot chocolate around his mouth] You know, Montezuma, the king of the Aztecs, would drink drink fifty quarts of hot chocolate every day. It was thick as mud and red, because they put chili peppers instead of chocolate. Get it? Hot chocolate?
- [to Hero Boy] Hey! You missed it! WE rode down some really sharp hills and then we were on what looked like a frozen lake! But, I know it was just an optical illusion caused by moonlight and atmosphere! He said "The train was actually on the ice", but I said "That was impossible!", because you can't put a train track-- HEY, WHERE ARE YOU GOING, NOW!?!?!?!?
- [to Hero Boy] Hey, what are you doing!? You're going to get us in trouble!!
- This bell is a wonderful symbol of the spirit of Christmas as am I. Just remember, the true spirit of Christmas lies in your heart.
- [holding up the silver sleigh bell] The first gift of Christmas!
- [in a note from Hero Boy] Found this on the seat of my sleigh. Better fix that hole in your pocket. Mr. C.
- [to the Hero Boy] One other thing; do you believe in ghosts? [the Hero Boy shakes his head, then in a sinister tone] Interesting.
- Conductor: Well... you coming?
- Hero Boy: Where?
- Conductor: Why, to the North Pole, of course! This is the Polar Express!
- Hero Boy: The North Pole?
- Conductor: WHO IN THE BLAZES APPLIED THAT EMERGENCY BRAKE!?
- Know-It-All: [points to the Hero Boy] He did!
- Conductor: You. [angrily approaches the Hero Boy] In case you didn't know, that cord is for emergency purposes only! And in case you weren't aware, tonight is Christmas Eve! And in case you hadn't noticed, this train is on a very tight schedule now, young man. Christmas may not be important to some people, but it is very important to the rest of us!
- Hero Boy: But--but--but--but--but...
- Hero Girl: He was just trying to stop the train so that kid could get on!
- [Conductor sees Billy sitting alone in the next carriage.]
- Conductor: I see. Young man, is that what happened? [Hero Boy nods.] Well, let me remind you we are on a very tight schedule. [checks watch] a-a-and I've never been late before, and I am certainly not going to be late tonight! Now, everybody! Take your seats, please! [Everyone sits down] Thank you.
- Conductor: [to Hero Girl] You mean... Am I to understand you have lost your ticket!?
- Hero Boy: She didn't lose her ticket, I did. I was trying to return it to you, but the wind blew it out of my hand. [Shows hero girl his ticket] You can have my ticket.
- Conductor: Ah! [snatches it] These tickets are not transferable. [gives back the hero boy his ticket] Young lady, you're just going to have to come along with me. [they leave through the back of the car]
- Know-It-All: You know what’s going to happen now, don't ya? He’s going to throw her off the train! Yeah, he’s going to probably throw her right at the rear platform. It’s standard procedure. That way, she won’t get sucked down under the wheels. They may slow the train down a little bit, but they’re never going stop it.
- Hero Boy: "Stop it"? That’s it! I have to stop the train again.
- Know-It-All: No, please, don’t do that again!
- Hero Girl: They put me in charge. The engineer had to check the light.
- Hobo: Is there something I can do for you?
- Hero Boy: I'm looking for a girl.
- Hobo: A gir...? [bursts out laughing hysterically] Ain’t we all?
- Hero Boy: I have her ticket.
- Hobo: What exactly is your persuasion on the big man? Since you brought him up.
- Hero Boy: Well, I... I want to believe, but...
- Hobo: But you don’t wanna be bamboozled. You don’t wanna be led down the primrose path! You don’t wanna be conned or duped, have the wool pulled over your eyes. Hoodwinked! You don’t wanna be taken for a ride, railroaded! Seeing is believing. Am I right?
- Hobo: That skirt you're chasing must have moved on ahead. We gotta hightail it to the hog, pronto!
- Hero Boy: To the hog?
- Hobo: The engine. The engine, you tenderfoot. We gotta make the engine before we hit Flat-Top Tunnel.
- Hero Boy: Why? How come?
- Hobo: [sighs] So many questions. There's but one inch of clearance between the roof of this rattler and the roof of Flat-Top Tunnel. Savvy? It's just a run up to the hump, kid! This'll be interesting! [Hobo slides backward and uses his muck stick on the handle but Hero Boy slips off him] Get back on, kid! Hurry! Grab my muck stick! [Hero Boy does so and Hobo swings him back on the roof and the sled down to the engine] There's only one trick to this, kid! When I say "jump"... [Flat-Top Tunnel's teeth fly out] you JUMP!!! [Hero Boy jumps on to the tender and slides down the coal and finds Hero Girl in charge of the train]
- Hero Boy: [To Hero Girl] You! I thought you got thrown off and, you're driving the train!?
- Hero Girl: They put me in charge. The engineer had to check the light.
- Steamer: [holding a light bulb for Smokey to install on the train] Here's the light! Careful. All right, now!
- [After Hero Boy stops the train seconds before impact with thousands of caribou, the fireman and engineer, the twins on the front of the engine on the train]
- Conductor: THERE CAN BE NO CHRISTMAS WITHOUT THE POLAR EXPRESS ARRIVING ON TIME!!! AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO UNDERSTANDS THAT!?!?!?! [enters the engine's cabin] YOU!!!! I should've known. Young man, are you bound and determined that this train never reaches the North Pole?
- Hero Girl: [leans out of the window of the engine and points her finger at some Caribou] But look!
- Conductor: [looks out the window] CARIBOU CROSSING!?
- Engineer: I make that herd to be at least 100,000, maybe even 1,000,000! It's gonna be hours before they clear this track!
- Fireman: A tough nut to crack!
- Conductor: Boy, we are in some serious jelly!
- Engineer: In a jam!
- Fireman: Tight spot!
- Engineer: Up a creek!
- Fireman: Up a tree!
- Engineer: Lost in the grass!
- Fireman: I'll tell you what's grass, our a-- [Hero Boy slips and pulls the fireman's beard resulting in him yelling in pain]
- Conductor: Problem solved! All ahead, slow!
- Hero Boy: We're going pretty fast.
- Conductor: Tell the engineer to slow down.
- Hero Girl: SLOW IT DOWN!!!!! WATCH THE SPEED!!!!!
- Engineer: Ah! Jumping Jeepers, the cotter pin sheared off!
- Fireman: What?
- Engineer: The pin!
- Fireman: Where?
- Engineer: There!
- Engineer and fireman: Oh, no!
- Hero Girl: They can't hear me!
- Conductor: They can't? Oh. I don't like the look of this. Quick, under the safety bar!
- Hero Boy: Is every-- everything all right!? What do we do!?
- Conductor: Well, considering the fact that we have lost communications with the engineer, we are standing totally exposed on the front of the locomotive, the train appears to be accelerating uncontrollably, and we are rapidly approaching Glacier Gulch, which happens to be the steepest downhill grade in the world, I suggest, we all hold on... TIGHTLY!!!!!!!!! [the train speeds down with the Conductor, Hero Boy, and Hero Girl standing on the front of the engine while the conductor screams]
- Engineer and fireman: Whoa! The pin! [They try to grab it, but goes down to the engineer's stomach leaving him yelling]
- Conductor: Jiminy Christmas, the ice has frozen over the tracks!
- Conductor: All right. All right, ladies and gentlemen, two columns, if you please. Shorter in the front, taller in the rear. Even-numbered birthdays on the right, odd-numbered on the left. No pushing. No pushing. But let's not dilly-dally, it's five minutes to midnight.
- Know-It-All: Hey, what gives? It was five minutes until midnight four minutes ago.
- Conductor: Exactly!
- Hero Boy: We're going to be okay. [they get diverted onto another track downhill] OR MAYBE NOT!!! The emergency brake! The emergency brake! [hurries to the front of the car] THERE'S NO BRAKE! I CAN'T FIND THE BRAKE!!!!
- [Someone grabs Billy's foot]
- Billy: AAAH! Something's got me! It's got my leg! [the Hero Boy and Hero Girl grab Billy's arm]
- Hero Girl: I can't hold him!
- Hero Boy: Give me your other hand. Give me your other hand!
- Billy: I can't!
- Hero Boy: On three! One, two, three! [they pull Billy up, but he is still stuck] Look! [sees a hand grabbing Billy's foot]
- Billy: It's still got me!
- Hero Boy: On three again! One, two, three! [they pull Billy up again, and the person pulling Billy is revealed to be the Know-It-All] YOU!
- Know-It-All: YOU!
- Hero Girl: What are you doing here!?
- Know-It-All: Same as you, I'm checking out my Christmas presents. I wanna make sure I'm getting everything on my list. All I found was one present, and all it had was a bunch of stupid underwear!
- Santa: I see you've made some new friends.
- Billy: Yes, sir. I sure have.
- Santa: That’s a lucky lad. There’s no greater gift than friendship.
- Conductor: We made it! With 5 minutes to spare! We made it!
- Hero Girl: It’s everything I dreamed it would be.
- Billy: Could all this be nothing but a dream?
- Hero Boy: No.
- Know-It-All: Hey! You'll get coonies on 'em!
- [All the children gather with the Conductor and elves in the North Pole city square. The elves bring the reindeer out]
- Elves: [singing] It's the spirit of the season! You can feel it in the air! You can hear it if you listen! Everywhere, so much care, like a prayer, whatever it is, you need to share it! [the reindeer are lined up] It's the spirit of the season! [Horns are played. The elves bring the harnesses out] It's the spirit of the season! You can feel it in the air! [Everyone cheers. The elves place the harnesses on the reindeer]
- Hero Girl: Aren't those bells the most beautiful sound?
- [The Hero Boy is unable to hear the bells. The entire square grows silent]
- Elves: [singing] Ohhh, yooouuu better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout, I'm tellin' you why! Santa Claus is comin'... TO TOWN! [Santa finally emerges from the doors. A massive cheer erupts from the children and elves as Frank Sinatra's 1948 recording of "Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town" begins blaring over the city's PA system]
- Recorded music: [singing] You better watch out. You better not cry. You better not pout. I'm tellin' you why! Santa Claus is comin'... to town. He's makin' a list--
- Hero Girl: [elated] HE'S HERE! HE'S HERE!!
- Hero Boy: [confused] Where!?
- Billy: I see him! He's over there!
- Hero Boy: I can't see him!
- Recorded music: Santa Claus is comin' to town. [The Conductor takes off his hat in respect. The Hero Boy is unable to see Santa, due to the elves stacking themselves on top of each other, blocking his view] He sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake. He knows if you've been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake! Oh, you better watch out--
- Hero Boy: I can't see him! I CAN'T SEE HIM!!!
- Recorded music: Santa Claus is comin' to town. [Suddenly, a loud clatter erupts from the reindeer, who prance about excitedly. The camera zooms in on the Hero Boy's eyes. The sequence begins to slow down] You better watch ouuuut, beetteer noot cryyyy, [a bell breaks loose from the harness and is thrown into the air] beetteer noot pooouut, [the bell falls back down, bounces on the ground and rolls right to the Hero Boy] III'm teeellin' yooou whhyyyy! Saaanta Clauus iis cooomiiin'... too toooooown.
- Hero Boy (narrating): At one time, most of my friends could hear the bell. But as years passed, it felt silent for all of them. Even Sarah found, one Christmas, that she could no longer hear its sweet sound. Though I've grown old, the bell still rings for me. As it does for all who truly believe.
- This Holiday Season... Believe
- Journey Beyond Your Imagination
- Don't miss the holiday film of the season
- Tom Hanks - Father/Conductor/Hobo/Santa Claus/Adult Hero Boy as the Narrator
- Nona Gaye — Hero Girl
- Joe Ranft – Smokey
- Michael Jeter — Steamer
- Eddie Deezen — Know-It-All
- Jimmy Bennett — Lonely Boy/Cour and a Si