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THE POLAR EXPRESS

Soundtrack / Imax 3D
Since renowned composer Alan Silvestri provided the score for Romancing the Stone in 1984, he and Robert Zemeckis have shared one of the longest-running and most successful composer/director associations in the industry. Two of Silvestri's five ASCAP honors were awarded for Zemeckis films: What Lies Beneath and Cast Away. Additionally, he earned Grammy nominations for his work on Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and Back to the Future, and in 1995 his score for Forrest Gump brought him both Oscar and Golden Globe nominations. The Polar Express marks their eleventh collaboration. 

At this point, Zemeckis warmly notes, they have an incomparable creative rapport. "His music is always wonderful. I count on him to add that emotional layer to the story, to play up and help define the feelings of the characters. That's always true with scores, but with a movie like this it's vitally important.”

On Silvestri's recent project, The Mummy Returns, he teamed with veteran songwriter and producer Glen Ballard on the song "Forever May Not Be Long Enough.” He subsequently brought Ballard aboard The Polar Express to collaborate on several original songs for the film, including a rollicking number called "Rockin' On Top of the World,” to which Santa's elves cut loose after a hard year of making toys. "It's a scene where the elves rock out,” says Zemeckis. "After Santa's sleigh is packed and he's on his way, they throw a party.”

The "Elfin” debut of rock legend Steven Tyler was pure casting serendipity. Ballard had invited the charismatic Aerosmith frontman to perform "Rockin' On Top of the World.” When Tyler arrived at the studio, his high-wattage personality and natural sense of fun immediately struck the director, who decided immediately that he would be the ideal embodiment of a partying elf. Never one to shy away from a new experience, Tyler enthusiastically signed on to don a mo-cap suit and a crop of reflective dots. As Zemeckis recalls, "It was perfect, the way it all worked out.”

The Polar Express soundtrack, a family-friendly mix of contemporary and classic songs with a holiday theme, also features the soaring ballad "Believe,” written especially for the movie by Glen Ballard and performed for the first time by multi-platinum-selling vocalist Josh Groban. Other highlights are perennial favorites from Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby, plus two brand new songs performed in character by Tom Hanks, including the high-spirited "Hot Chocolate,” from the scene in which the children aboard the Polar Express are served cups of cocoa by a troupe of tap-dancing, singing waiters. 

The Polar Express: An IMAX 3D Experience Marks Another Cinematic Innovation

Not only is The Polar Express the first feature film shot entirely in Performance Capture, its November 10, 2004 debut marks another cinematic milestone with its simultaneous day-and-date release in IMAX 3D®.

The Polar Express: An IMAX 3D Experience will be the world's first feature to be presented in IMAX 3D®. Using a revolutionary new process called IMAX 3D DMR™, the footage will be converted to 3D and then digitally re-mastered into IMAX's format through the proprietary IMAX DMR (digital re-mastering) technology, maintaining its 3-dimensional imagery in projection and making its already extraordinarily vivid images virtually leap off the screen for a truly unique moviegoing experience. 

Whether it's the snowflakes floating around the theater or the train screeching to a halt in the laps of the audience, the IMAX 3D version of The Polar Express will offer the sensation of being not just inside the theater but almost inside the movie itself. 

"When I saw the tests for The Polar Express in IMAX 3D, I was tremendously excited that audiences would be able to experience the movie this way,” says Zemeckis. "The 3D adds incredible depth and allows the viewers to experience the visual sple

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