This is supposed to be a warm, cuddly Christmas movie but I found the weirdly lifeless animation creepy, akin to A Christmas Carol performed by zombies. Based on a children’s Christmas book by Chris Van Allsburg, this is the story of a doubtful boy who is intimidated into believing in Santa Claus after he takes a terrifying nocturnal locomotive journey to the North Pole. The computer-generated animation renders all the characters with vacant eyes and odd too-smooth movement that didn’t fill me with the Christmas spirit, only dread. I call this the Bi-Polar Express because to me it is two movies—on the surface a shiny Christmas movie, but underneath a quite effective horror movie.
I’m giving the Bi-Polar Express 2 stars because as a horror movie it works quite well.