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News : Entertainment Nov 15, 2012 - 10:20:24 AM

“The Polar Express,” back on IMAX

By The Maritime Aquarium

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Your ticket is here for a magical train ride to the North Pole in “The Polar Express,” an animated adaptation of the Caldecott Award-winning book, returning for the holidays to the IMAX screen of The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk.
Renew your belief in Santa Claus – and in the power of the immersive IMAX® format – when you get your tickets for “The Polar Express,” the animated holiday film that steams back for a limited engagement to The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk.

“The Maritime Aquarium will be the only place in Connecticut that you can see ‘The Polar Express’ in IMAX this holiday season,” said Chris Loynd, the Aquarium’s marketing director. “Warner Bros. hasn’t re-mastered the movie for IMAX theaters in shopping centers that use digital projection systems. So, with our IMAX film projector, we’re happy to present ‘The Polar Express’ on our six-story screen in its fullest quality.”

IMAX is the world’s largest film format. Outstanding image clarity and the enormous screen size, combined with The Maritime Aquarium’s 12,000-watt surround-sound audio system, results in an immersive thrill that is so unique it’s been trademarked.

“IMAX’s trademark is ‘IMAX is Believing®,’ and that’s an especially appropriate slogan for this movie – about a boy who doubts Santa Claus,” Loynd said.

“The Polar Express” will play at The Maritime Aquarium from Nov. 17 through Dec. 24 at 4 & 7:30 p.m. Fridays & Saturdays and 4 p.m. Sundays. From Dec. 26-Jan. 1, times are 4 & 7:30 p.m. daily. (Confirm times at

Also, preschool and elementary school teachers can book a private weekday-morning pajama party with “The Polar Express” that is BYOB (“bring your own blankey”).

“We’ve started what is becoming a fun holiday tradition for area schools,” Loynd said. “More than 2,000 children are attending, many in their jammies. Teachers can get a holiday respite as their students eat snacks and cozy up for a special experience in our theater.”

Based on the 1986 Caldecott Award-winning book by Chris Van Allsburg, “The Polar Express” follows a young boy who doubts the existence of Santa Claus. On Christmas Eve, a locomotive magically arrives to take him and other doubtful children to Santa's North Pole headquarters. Their shared experiences – onboard with a mysterious conductor, at the North Pole and then on the return leg – make a compelling adventure.

Tom Hanks voices five roles, including the train's conductor, a ghostly hobo and Santa Claus.

Directed by Robert Zemeckis, “The Polar Express” was the first feature film to be shot entirely in Performance Capture, a process by which an actor’s live performance is digitally recorded by computerized cameras and becomes a human blueprint for creating virtual characters.  The highly developed system captures every subtlety of human expression in an actor’s performance, down to the slightest nuance or flutter of an eyelid. 

Film critic Roger Ebert called the film “a movie for more than one season; it will become a perennial, shared by the generations. It has a haunting, magical quality because it has imagined its world freshly and played true to it, sidestepping all the tiresome Christmas cliches that children have inflicted on them this time of year. The conductor tells the boy he thinks he really should get on the train, and I have the same advice for you.”

“The Polar Express” is an hour and 40 minutes long.

Tickets for “The Polar Express” are specially priced at $11.50 for adults and $9.50 for children ages 2-12. Maritime Aquarium members save $1.

To include a visit to the Aquarium with “The Polar Express,” tickets are $25.45 for adults and $20 for children.

Get more details, or reserve your tickets in advance, online at or by calling (203) 852-0700, ext. 2206

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