The Music of The Polar Express

Title of the Movie:

"The Polar Express" is a film adaptation of Chris Van Allsburg's best-selling children's book which won a Caldecott Medal in 1986. The movie was directed by Robert Zemeckis using CGI and live-action motion technologies.

What the Movie is About:

The story is about a young boy who doubts if there really is a Santa Claus and how one snowy night a magical train suddenly appears and takes him on a journey of self-discovery.

He meets new friends along the way and learns that sometimes all you need to do is to "believe."

Notable Names in the Movie:

Robert Zemeckis who directed "Forrest Gump" and "Cast Away," Tom Hanks as the voice of the conductor, the boy's father, the hobo, hero boy and Santa. Tom Hanks also sings the song "Hot Chocolate."

The soundtrack is a mix of new and classic Christmas tunes, my favorites are the songs "When Christmas Comes To Town" by Matthew Hall/Meagan Moore and "Believe" by Josh Groban.

The Music of "The Polar Express":

Other songs in the soundtrack are:

  • The Polar Express - Tom Hanks
  • Rockin' On Top of the World - Steven Tyler
  • Hot Chocolate - Tom Hanks
  • Spirit of the Season - Alan Silvestri
  • Seeing is Believing - Alan Silvestri
  • Santa Claus is Comin' To Town - Frank Sinatra
  • White Christmas - Bing Crosby
  • Winter Wonderland - The Andrews Sisters
  • It's Beginning to Look Like Christmas - Perry Como
  • Silver Bells - Kate Smith
  • Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Claus Lane) - Bing Crosby and The Andrews Sisters
  • Suite From the Polar Express - Alan Silvestri

Awards Received:


  • Oscar nominated for Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Best Achievement in Sound and Best Achievement in Sound Editing
  • Golden Globe Nominated for Best Original Song - Motion Picture
  • Won the Grammy's for Best Song Written for Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media
  • Composer Alan Silvestri also won an ASCAP Award

"The Polar Express" won and/or was nominated by other award-giving bodies, for either the film or the music.

Music Composers:

Composer Alan Silvestri and Glen Ballard teamed up to create the music for this movie. Alan Silvestri studied film scoring at Berklee College of Music. He composed the music for memorable movies like "Forrest Gump," "Cast Away," "Back to the Future" (trilogy), "Contact" and "Romancing the Stone."

Glen Ballard is a record producer and songwriter who plays both the piano and guitar. He produced the album Jagged Little Pill by Alanis Morissette.

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