The Polar Express 3D (Blu-ray 3D)

A boy (Daryl Sabara) has lost the Christmas spirit and doesn't believe in Santa Claus. He awakes on Christmas Eve to the sound of a train arriving in his front yard. Invited to join the Polar Express on its journey to the North Pole by the train conductor (Tom Hanks), a magical world opens his eyes to the spirit of Christmas.

I'm the only one in my family that isn't in love with this picture and I can't say the 3D experience improved it for me that much, if at all. The story is somewhat tedious and forced, so I was paying more attention to the technical details of the presentation and while the audio is outstanding, the Blu-ray 3D presentation wasn't as good as other titles I've watched the past couple of weeks.

Video Highlights

  • MVC/1080p encode on a BD-50 disc
  • Adequate depth
  • Insufficient brightness
  • Below-average detail (somewhat intentional)
  • Occasional ghosting

Audio Highlights

  • DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack
  • Wide soundstage
  • Tight bass response
  • Excellent dynamics
  • A ton of discrete effects

While this isn't the best 3D presentation I've seen on Blu-ray 3D, it’s a big improvement over the anaglyph release from 2009 with more accurate color reproduction and greater depth. The audio has been updated with a DTS-HD MA 5.1 track in lieu of Dolby True HD, but you'd be hard-pressed to distinguish any difference between the two.

Bonus Materials

  • "Smokey and the Steamer" song not seen in theaters
  • You Look Familiar: The Many Polar faces of Tom Hanks
  • 5 Featurettes
  • True Inspirations: Profiling author Chris Van Allsburg
  • Believe: Josh Groban performance and behind the scenes
  • 5 motion-capture sessions
  • Snow Angels: Moviemakers' Christmas memories
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Blu-ray 3D and Blu-ray

If you like the movie and have a 3D display you may want to consider the upgrade, but the presentation isn't as solid as other 3D offerings. Sure, it's better than anaglyph but that isn't saying much.

Release Date: November 16, 2010
Studio: Warner

Movie: 8/10
Picture: 6/10
Sound: 10/10

Review System

Movie: 9/10
3D Picture: 10/10
Sound: 10/10

Review System

Oppo BDP-93 Blu-ray player

JVC DLA-RS40 projector
Stewart FireHawk screen (76.5" wide, 16:9)

Integra DTC-80.2 pre/pro
Anthem PVA-7 power amplifier
Belkin PVA-PF60 power conditioner

M&K S-150s (L, C, R)
M&K SS-150s (LS, RS, SBL, SBR)
SVS PC-Ultra subwoofer

Monoprice HDMI cables (source to pre/pro)
Best Deal analog-audio cables
PureLink HDC Fiber Optic HDMI Cable System (15 meters) from pre/pro to projector

Acoustical treatments from GIK Acoustics