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The Polar Express 3D Blu-ray

United States
Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray Warner Bros. | 2004 | 100 min | Rated G | Nov 16, 2010

The Polar Express 3D (Blu-ray)

Codec: MPEG-4 MVC
Resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 2.41:1
Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1

English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
French: Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
Korean: Dolby Digital 5.1
Mandarin: Dolby Digital 5.1

English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Cantonese, Korean, Mandarin (Traditional)

50GB Blu-ray Disc
Single disc (1 BD)
Blu-ray 3D

Slipcover in original pressing

Region free

List price: $44.95, Price history

Amazon: $29.45 (Save 34%)
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Movie rating
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Blu-ray rating
3D 3.2 of 53.2
Video 3.8 of 53.8
Audio 4.2 of 54.2
Extras 3.4 of 53.4
Based on 8 user reviews

Movie appeal 

The Polar Express 3D


The Polar Express 3D Blu-ray offers solid video and great audio in this overall recommended Blu-ray release

When a doubting young boy takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole, he embarks on a journey of self-discovery that shows him that the wonder of life never fades for those who believe.

For more about The Polar Express 3D and the The Polar Express 3D Blu-ray release, see the The Polar Express 3D Blu-ray Review published by on where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.

Director: Robert Zemeckis
Writers: Robert Zemeckis, William Broyles, Jr.
Starring: Tom Hanks, Eddie Deezen, Charles Fleischer, Michael Jeter, Steven Tyler, Leslie Zemeckis

» See full cast & crew

The Polar Express 3D Blu-ray, Video Quality

  3.5 of 5

The Polar Express 3D chugs its way onto Blu-ray with a decidedly average 1080p Blu-ray 3D transfer. Technically, the image is generally proficient but far from consistently perfect; occasional banding is readily visible, and the transfer does sink deep into a fairly constant puddle of murky, overwhelming blacks that tend to devour all but the most well-lit and closes-to-the-virtual-camera objects. The film's opening sequence in particular that sees "Hero Boy" peering out of his bedroom door's keyhole, gazing out the window, or pretending to be asleep when his parents enter the room are all victims of overly thick blacks. Detail, too, is only a little better than average; this is certainly no Shrek Forever After in terms of raw detailing on character faces and clothes, which often appear rather smooth and indistinct. The animation is fine, but it simply doesn't allow for the kind of detail Blu-ray fans might expect. Colors are steady and seemingly accurate; even the picture's brighter hues seem reserved, but the transfer handles them well. Much of the film seems made of darker blues and blacks, with brighter colors gravitating towards slightly dull but glowing oranges and yellows; these shades look quite good, and it's in the coloring where the Blu-ray 3D really seems to take several steps ahead of the previously-released anaglyph 3D presentation of the film.

The 3D elements might best be described as "serviceable." There's nothing at all special or unique here; The Polar Express 3D gives off a "so what?" sort of vibe, one that certainly looks good and stable at-a-glance but never really captures the imagination or excites the senses in quite the same way as the best of the currently-limited Blu-ray 3D releases. Depth is decidedly average, and nowhere near as good as A Christmas Carol. The transfer is at its best when looking at the train extending far back into the screen or inside the main car where the children await their arrival at the North Pole; both of these, in certain shots, allow the frame to seem to extend well back beyond the limits of the television, but for as many "average" 3D shots as there are and even considering a few "wow" moments -- such as when the iron, triangular-shaped bumper of the train seems to crash into the living room as the locomotive screeches to a halt to avoid hitting a herd of Caribou -- there are an equal number that don't do much of anything to excite the senses. A few shots look a bit softer than they do on the 2D version as well, particularly the first appearance of the "Know-it-all" child on the train. The transfer also exhibits a fair bit of "ghosting" when viewed on Panasonic's first-gen hardware, occasionally to the level of distraction. Fans of The Polar Express will definitely want to upgrade from the anaglyph 3D version for the vastly superior colors and steadier 3D effect, but casual Blu-ray 3D fans may want to, unfortunately, allow this disc to slide further on down the wish list. Please note that all screenshots in this review have been taken from the 2D presentation found on this Blu-ray 3D release.

The Polar Express 3D Blu-ray, Audio Quality

  4.0 of 5

The Polar Express 3D powers onto Blu-ray with an impressive DTS-HD MA 5.1 lossless soundtrack; this is the third different primary soundtrack the film has received across its three Blu-ray releases, graduating from the Dolby Digital 5.1 presentation accompanying the film's inaugural 2D-only release and supplanting the Dolby TrueHD 5.1 lossless mix found on the aforementioned anaglyph 3D disc. Warner's latest DTS offering is quite good in every category, but not groundbreaking or all that memorable, either. The track handles some of the lighter supportive elements very well. The jingling of sleigh bells heard off in the distance at the beginning of the movie and foreshadowing what will become a symbol for one's belief in Christmas later in the film is expertly handled; the sense of distance is impressive, and the clarity of the bells seems second-to-none. Soon thereafter, the Polar Express rumbles into the soundstage with a prodigious level of realistic bass, accompanied by the high-pitched and very well-realized screaming of the whistle. Additionally, the soundstage is wonderfully wide and spacious, noted in several scenes and particularly as doors fling open to either side of the listening area. Atop the speeding train in several scenes, listeners will faintly hear the sounds of a chilly wind and the rattling of the train as it powers along the railroad tracks. Unfortunately, neither sensation is seamless, as both fai to completely immerse the listener with a heftier surround support that might have made the scene into a classic audio demonstration segment. As it is, it's a serviceable disappointment of sound. Nevertheless, the track features nicely-spaced and crisply-delivered music -- notably heard during the full rendition of The Polar Express theme song heard in chapter 12. With excellent dialogue reproduction, The Polar Express 3D delivers a strong, but not quite complete and top-tier, sonic experience.

The Polar Express: Other Editions




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The Polar Express 3D Blu-ray, News and Updates

Warner Announces Six 3D Blu-ray Titles for General Release - September 16, 2010

Alleviating the scarcity of 3D Blu-ray titles at retail, Warner Home Video has announced that on November 16 it will release six 3D BDs unfettered by exclusive hardware bundles: Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore (WHV's first 3D day-and-date title), Clash ...

The Polar Express 3D Blu-ray, Forum Discussions

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The Polar Express 3D Blu-ray

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