For whatever reason this Robert Zemeckis animated film has attracted its share of admirers over the years. Personally, I find the whole motion-capture animation approach disturbing and the film itself downright creepy. At the time of its release, in fact, I termed it “the world’s first Christmas horror movie.” Subsequent exposure has done nothing to change my opinion of this tale of a little boy who climbs aboard the title train and goes to the North Pole to see Santa Claus. Technically, the film is nonetheless something of a marvel, and the train itself is impressively realized—on that level, it’s worth a look. As a charming Christmas tale, well, that’s another matter.
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