There’s a very good reason some people get seriously disturbed watching The Polar Express
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Featured Image Credit: Credit: Warner Bros.
It may be a favourite Christmas film among children, but for some people, The Polar Express is one festive film that leaves them seriously disturbed.
The film, which stars Tom Hanks, tells the story of a boy’s magical train journey to the North Pole.
It’s a tale which leaves many feeling warm and fuzzy over the festive period, but for others, they’re not so sure.
In fact, many have called it 'creepy' and 'incredibly weird'.
“Unpopular Christmas opinion: I think the movie Polar Express is incredibly weird and creepy,” said one.
“The Polar Express is so creepy to me I hate it fr,” said another.
“Unpopular opinion but The Polar express will always be such a creepy film,” a third revealed.
With a fourth sharing: “The animation in The Polar Express is kinda creepy, ngl.”
And one viewer was finally pleased that people were able to see the truth about this Christmas classic, adding: “That everyone is coming to terms with the fact that The Polar Express is creepy and/or terrifying (hand clap) I’ve never said anything about it until now because I don’t want to be attacked oops.”
But why are people finding it so terrifying?
Well, it’s because of the animation.
The graphics are so life-like, but at the same time, not quite realistic enough, which has given many the creeps.
Well this is because of uncanny valley – the notion that the more human-like a non-human character becomes, the more we like it, until it becomes too unsettling.
It’s a hypothesised relation between an object’s degree of resemblance to a human and the emotional response to the object, which can sometimes make us feel uneasy.
But it isn’t just animation where this can happen, as it can also be found in robotics and lifelike dolls and is also becoming more prominent in virtual reality, augmented reality and photorealistic computer animation too.
And, in the case of Polar Express, it’s a funny one because when Hanks and the film’s director Robert Zemeckis bought the story (which was originally a book), the sale stated that the film could not be animated – something that the director disagreed with, according to Far Out.
In fact, Zemeckis even told Wired in 2004: “I didn’t want the movie to look like animated cartoons. But live-action would look awful, and it would be impossible – it would cost $1 billion instead of $160 million.”
However, while the animation does a good job at recreating objects and landscapes, when it comes to the humans, the facial expressions have emotions have left people puzzled.
Perhaps they should have rethought?
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