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YMMV: The Polar Express
  • Accidental Aesop and Family-Unfriendly Aesop: Only if you follow orders without questions and believe unconditionally in something you have no way to prove will a jolly fat man in red who constantly talks about his servants make you a gift. This comes off as a criticism against Those Wacky Nazis, Soviets and religious fanatics. Oops.
  • Adaptation Displacement: People who saw the film first seem to like it a great deal better than those who grew up reading the book during The Eighties.
  • Critical Dissonance: Despite the mixed reviews from critics, moviegoers loved the film for the most part. In fact, The Polar Express is one of the rare movies to receive an A+ grade from Cinemascore.
    • Also even though the film got off to a slow start ($23.3 million Friday to Sunday opening, $30.6 million since its Wednesday launch), grossing less than half as much as the second weekend of Pixar's The Incredibles, fantastic word of mouth from audiences eventually brought it to a respectable gross of $162.8 million, nearly 7 times its opening weekend (The IMAX 3D rereleases between 2005 and 2012 add another $20.6 million for a total of $183.4 million).
    • Not to mention in its third weekend (which was Thanksgiving weekend), the movie actually increased 24 percent over its second weekend; $19.4 million ($26.5 million over the 5-day weekend) vs $15.7 million.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: Say what you want about the movie, but the soundtrack is simply awesome. Check it out.
  • Ear Worm: "We've got it hot, hot, hot... Hot chocolate!"
  • Most Annoying Sound: "I didn't do it. I didn't do it. I didn't do it. I didn't do it. I didn't do it. I didn't do it."
    • "'Ring-a-ling *scratch* ring-a-ling- *scratch* ring-a-ling- *scratch* ring-a-ling- *scratch* ring-a-ling-...'"
  • Uncanny Valley: A frequent criticism of the CGI in the film. Considering how they made it, by filming the actual actors performing the whole film then overlaying it digitally, this is kind of expected.
    • The Know-It-All boy's voice. The other children sound like real children, but he's voiced by Eddie Deezen also known as Mandark.
  • Tear Jerker: People have been known to get emotional during "When Christmas Comes To Town" and "Believe"
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Symbolic?: The Hobo's line, "You said it, kid!" carries echoes of Christ's line, "That's what you say. You say that I am." (That's from Jesus Christ Superstar, incidentally, but the point still stands.)

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