This movie was so stunning with it's weird "motion-capture animation," that I was afraid my eyes would hurt after watching the entire thing. Luckily my TV is about the same size as my computer monitor right now, and the movie is shot in exxxtra wide angle, so my eyes did not ache from the animation, but the fact that this movie only utilized the middle third of my screen. I don't think I ever read this book as a child, but I kind of knew the story from just being around when it and this movie came out. The bell is very crucial. The bell also reminded me of those special mosquito ringtones that were hugely popular for awhile that age 20+ people with developed eardrums couldn't hear. Poor parents, they don't believe in Santa or the amount of texts their teenage children were getting in 2009.
This movie was a lot of fun, at least. Lots of pseudo nail-biting moments, where you pretty much knew nothing bad could happen to these kids, but the close-calls kept the excitement building. I was confused by many things in this movie, which makes me feel a little bit like I wasn't being in-the-moment while watching it. I couldn't help but wonder why only those children were chosen out of the whole world, and why they would invite children who seemed to already know what was going on and whole-heartedly believed in Santa. I feel like the whole train should be full of kids who aren't sure, like protagonist Boy. (no one has a name!)
I was also confronted with the same silly parents-who-do-not-believe-in-Santa-still-have-toys-magically-appear-under-the-tree conundrum. What tricks them into believing that they bought all the presents themselves? Do they just assume their spouse bought all the presents they weren't familiar with? This Christmas movie fallacy is very confusing for me, but I guess as a viewer, we again have to accept that in their universe there is a Santa Claus, and in ours there are parents who probably put presents out while drinking wine and splitting the cookie plate.
There was no shortage of MAGIC in this movie… I LOVED IT. I was totally missing that in Miracle on 34th Street. The children rode on a magic train to a magical world, and they all learned things about themselves. I don't want to sound like I hated the film, because I really thought it was a nice adventure that, again, used a non-believer's journey towards the truth to tell the story of the holiday. I guess my only critique would be that a story that works in a short children's book does not necessarily translate to the big screen without a more complicated backstory, thus, I'll be leaving this movie to the animation gurus and the kiddies.
Tomorrow I'm going to grandma's house with MK&A. YEAH.