Sure, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Elf, and A Christmas Story all reign supreme when it comes to holiday movies, but if you love America’s Dad(TM) Tom Hanks as much as we do, then you don’t want to sleep on The Polar Express. (Really, you might miss your stop.) In addition to voicing the enthusiastic and incredibly punctual conductor in the film, Hanks plays a total of six other characters who contribute to the whimsy and magic radiating from the 2004 Christmas movie.
As the narrator, he shepherds us into this snow-covered world where an enchanted train can carry children directly to the North Pole, and as the ghost of the homeless man who rides the train, he tests the Hero Boy’s faith in Santa. And as Santa Claus, he keeps the spirit of Christmas alive in our hearts by reminding the Hero Boy to always believe. “This bell is a wonder symbol of the spirit of Christmas as am I,” Santa tells the Hero Boy after giving him the magical silver bell. “Just remember, the true spirit of Christmas lies in your heart.”
Take a closer look at Hanks’s Polar Express characters and relive some of their best moments throughout the film ahead — oh, and don’t forget your hot (hot! hot!) chocolate!