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Why the Polar Express is my Favorite Christmas Movie

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Holy Cross chapter.

When asked what people’s favorite Christmas movie is, I feel like more often than not we hear Elf, Home Alone, or The Grinch. While many people have said they enjoy The Polar Express, I have yet to find anyone who relates to me with it being their absolute favorite. I have grown up watching the movie, and whether I was 5 or 19, it was just as enjoyable, and here’s why: 

  1.  The Soundtrack 

Let me just start by saying that the only song I really mean when I say “soundtrack”, is Believe by Josh Groban. Hearing this song, even in a month like July, for some reason teleports me right to the holiday season and makes me feel all warm inside. The song, which is not a typical happy jolly christmas tune, makes itself even more unique. It almost reminds me of the feeling you would get as a child on Christmas Eve, which is fitting since that is when the film is based. 

  1. The Message 

The film’s overall message of having to believe is perfect for the holiday season, but it can develop and double over as an entire life lesson. Because the holiday season is specifically in the time of the year where everyone feels more burnt out, the days are shorter, and the weather is far from motivating, this message is uniquely uplifting. Whether this film can be viewed the night before Christmas, or December 1, it still is just as powerful. 

  1. The Animation 

Growing up I was forced to watch the clay figure Christmas movies because they were from my parents childhood, and were my mom’s favorite. While I have nothing against animated Christmas films, those I simply cannot stand. The Polar Express, despite being animated, is a different animated film experience. The work they put into this film is so perfectly realistic, to the point where it feels like real actors even though it is still animated. Another aspect of this is the infamous Tom Hanks. This man single handedly played 4 of the main characters in this film, including the boy, Santa, the conductor, and the hobo. Whether a Christmas film or not, that immediately makes it 10x more impressive. Not to mention, I also love Tom Hanks. 

This holiday season, if you do, try not to sleep on The Polar Express. It has so many spirited and festive aspects to it that makes it a top tier movie, and one that does not get old year after year. 

Charlotte Keane

Holy Cross '24

Charlotte currently a senior Holy Cross who is a co-correspondent of HerCampus for 2023. She is from Connecticut and can't wait to make her mark and contribution to HerCampus HQ her senior year!