While Pixar continues to expand and
improve upon the world of CGI animation
with their wonderful film The
Incredibles, Warner Brothers and
director Robert Zemeckis have taken a
tremendous misstep with The Polar
Express, an unintentionally creepy
movie. By employing a "motion capture"
technique that allows filmmakers to put
Tom Hanks facial expressions and body
movements into a little boy character, the
film creates a bizarre world where
everything seems more than a little bit off.
Frankly put, this film doesnt look good.
The movement of the characters is
alternately slow, stiff and even spastic,
with the enthusiasm of the voiceovers
often not matching the body
performances. A hollow story tied
together by a bunch of sequences where
the train slides, falls and climbs along the
way to the North Pole. While the first
slipping and sliding sequence inspires a
few "oooh-ahhs!," the device quickly
becomes tedious, like watching a 3-D
film without the glasses.