The Polar Express

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The Polar Express is a 2004 film about a boy who learns the the true meaning of Christmas when he takes a train ride to the North Pole.

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)


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?

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: You're completely wrong! Christmas was never important to me! It never was! I was only doing that because it was his idea! [points at the Know-It-All] I only wanted to go to the North Pole to meet Santa Claus! I had no other choice!
[Hero Boy looks at Hero Girl glaring at him. The Conductor, steaming red with fury, kicks Hero Boy out. The conductor sees Billy sitting alone in the next carriage. Hero Boy goes back in the train.]
Conductor: 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... 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?
Hero Boy: You're 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]
Engineer: Hello friend!
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 Boy: [gives the conductor a sad yet angry look] You idiot! I never care about this train! I never did! I only care about one thing: Santa Claus! The only thing I care about is Santa Claus! I care about Santa Claus and nothing else! I never care about anything but Santa Claus! I only came here just to meet Santa Claus and I never would have got here IF IT WEREN'T FOR THOSE STUPID CARIBOU!!!
Conductor: [throws Hero Boy out] AND STAY OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
[The caribou run away from the train's path. The train speeds away. Hero Boy sighs in sadness. Later, after sitting in the snow and feeling lonely and cold, the train arrives.]
Conductor: I know what you mean. I am sorry for throwing you out twice. Would you mind going back in?
Hero Boy: Y-yes.
Fireman: A tough nut to crack!
Conductor: Splendid. Right this way. [Hero Boy goes back in the train. The train chuffs slowly.]

Hero Boy: We're going pretty fast.
Conductor: Tell the engineer to slow down.
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? Uh-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] 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


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