Am I The Only One Confused?

>> Friday, December 11, 2009

I have now seen (most of) the movie Polar Express twice. The movie sure is a fun one, with a great moral about growth and development and learning to trust, to lead, and learn, and blah, blah, blah. Of course, Tom Hanks is always cool, even in multiple cartoon roles. (Take that, Jim Carey!)

But, honestly, does anyone actually get this movie?

I swear it was written as a string of repetitious mishaps involving children in runaway carts that were graphically designed with the amusement park industry in mind. DH and I count at least 4 potential roller coasters and one water ride that can come out of this one film. Heck, they won't even need to invent a new plot for the rides -- they can just download the digital footage from the film and run it through the giant screen with the moving cart. Job done! I'm surprised it isn't up and running already somewhere.

Putting aside the roller coaster mania for a moment, we are left with a kitchy Christmas moral and ... what? Children who walk on the top of trains, a hobo that lives on top of a moving train and disappears miraculously from time to time, and adults that leave kids in charge of driving a magic train. Okay, I can be persuaded that a magic train can have goofy adults that leave children in the passenger seat to apply the brakes. After all, this is (allegedly) a children's movie and children need to be the heroes, right? But then what about that hobo/ghost/angel guy? What are we supposed to get from his presence in the movie? And if this is a kid's movie, why does the little boy we are supposed to be rooting for end up in such a dark and scary place on top of the train for scene after scene, swinging dangerously off the side and -- of all things -- skiing and jumping into a mountain face?

Suddenly I feel like I might be watching a digitized nightmare instead of a Christmas movie. Yeesh. I don't wonder that Toddler refused to watch most of the movie. If I had remembered, I might not have let him see it. Then again, I managed to survive Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, and if there is a bigger example of people being mean to each other for no apparent reason, I can't think of it. Oh. Wait. Maybe Charlie Brown at Hallowe'en. Yes, maybe that one. "I got a rock."

With all this meanness in our children's specials, I'm considering getting amazed that we all survived childhood intact. Then again, I watch how considerate everyone is to each other in the DC traffic scene and it all makes sense again.

Eh, quit analyzing, grab the eggnog, and keep watching. We survived. They'll survive too.

Merry Christmas movie-watching season. I'll see you for the Grinch, Rudolph, Frosty, and Harry Potter. Yes, Harry Potter. I don't know why those are considered Christmas movies, but they happen this time every year. (Actually, I'm sure that ABC is merely promoting the new movie that will be released -- actually, has been released prior to -- this blogdate.)

I'll be watching. You will be too. You know it. Just admit it.


Anonymous December 13, 2009 at 9:51 AM  

forgive others but not yourself........................................

Susan December 15, 2009 at 2:37 AM  

The movie is made after the book by Chris Van Allsburg. The book isn't that long so I think they had to work hard to add content to make it a full length movie which probably makes those crazy roller coaster like scenes mind-blowing. What I don't get is that they go on about adults not believing in Santa in the book (and movie) and my daughter immediately caught on that, if the presents are in the stockings and the adults don't believe in Santa, then who do they think brings the presents? Hmmmm. Something isn't adding up. And she was 4 at the time. We just watched it again this year and I cringed during many parts worrying that she's not going to believe in Santa because of this movie. I'd avoid it for years if you can.

Susan December 15, 2009 at 2:38 AM  

P.S. Visually the movie looks like the book illustrations.

Karin December 17, 2009 at 4:28 PM  

Okay, Susan, I've got it. Here is what really happens. Once you stop believing in Santa, the old guy stops bringing you presents. I mean, why waste good presents on snobs, right? As for where all the other presents in the hosue are coming from (i.e., for the children that do believe), well, Santa does bring them. But no one figures it out Dad thinks Mom did it because she did everything else, and Mom thinks Dad did it and forgot to tell her because that he what he always does.

Easy, right?

Karin December 17, 2009 at 4:29 PM  

Oh, and what about that song, "I Believe in Santa Claus"? Talk about a cringer. If there was nothing to discuss, there would be no need for a song, so the very existence of the song casts doubt.

I have a love/hate relationship with that song.

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