While Pixar continues to 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 somewhat off. Frankly put, this film doesn’t 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. It’s a hollow story tied together with a bunch of sequences where the train slides, falls and climbs 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.