Dissecting The Polar Express
Start writing a post
Entertainment

Dissecting The Polar Express

I just watched the Polar Express for the first time since childhood and was astounded by the things I picked up on that I had never perceived before.

82
Dissecting The Polar Express

As the Christmas season rolls around again everyone snuggles down to watch their favorite Christmas films. For me, "The Polar Express" was on the top of my list. I had recently seen a post on Instagram that commented on the decision of the screenwriters to leave all of the character nameless. Reading this, I was reminded of how Tom Hanks plays multiple parts in the movie. These two unique elements of the film made me realize that this seemingly simple movie about a boy visiting the North Pole on a magical train is actually much more complex.

First, I would like to remark on the religious undertones of the movie. The central theme of the film is "Believe." The main character is challenged to have belief in what cannot be seen. This idea is shown through the ghost hobo who saves the little boy's life many times, yet disappears shortly after. This theme is also shown when the conductor says, "Seeing is believing, but sometimes the most real things in the world are the things we can't see." I was struck by how this line seemed to be blatantly communicating a basic religious and spiritual principle. Further, developing this theme of religion, the "know it all kid" seemed to be a sinner, so to speak, who, by the end of the film was redeemed and could repent for his sins. I am sure that I could go on further about specific details of the film that seemed to be biblical references, but there are too many instances. After watching the movie, I was excited about this new revelation, but found out that the screenwriters did not intend for there to be any religious undertones. Yet, allegedly, the marketing team did target the Christian population, specifically Evangelicals, when promoting the movie.

Next, I contemplated the dream- like nature of the entire film. First, the protagonist is welcomed onto a magical train that is headed to the North Pole with a select group of young children on board. While aboard, he encounters what appears to be a ghost and he has many near-death experiences. This magical train takes him to the North Pole where he meets Santa and many elves. One could argue that this was a dream, yet the next morning a bell lays under the tree along with a hand written note from Santa Claus. I think that the dream-like nature of this film is a commentary on the fluency and transcendence of childhood and youth. Although fleeting, childhood is an important period of one's life to develop values and a spiritual perspective.

I hope that you have found my take on this classic film interesting and I encourage you to watch and dissect your favorite Christmas movies!

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less
Featured

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

75277
houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee
nappy.co

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

138692
college students waiting in a long line in the hallway
StableDiffusion

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments