Movie Picture

The cast and crew of The Polar Express talk about this holiday's CGI fest

Tom, this is your third animated movie in some form. What do you get out of seeing your likeness represented in these formats? Also, Disney has talked about doing Toy Story 3 and 4 without Pixar. Would you continue to be the voice of Woody if that happened?

TH: I don't know. The creative team that put together the original Toy Story movies was very specific and quite organic, I think, to the success of the process, not that there aren't other talented people that would be involved. But I don't know. That would be a bridge to cross when I come to it. The aspect of looking at yourself in the Toy Story movies, it's a little puppet. He sort of looks like me, but his head was nine-feet-tall. The difference between that and The Polar Express was extraordinary because The Polar Express really is me as opposed to some rendering of a character that supposed to be me.

Tom, what was it about The Polar Express that interested you enough to get involved with the film and second, did you have a favorite children's book when you were growing up?

TH: The book itself, the 29 pages of it, is a haunting, very effective story, and you really can't quite put your finger on it. I've been reading it to my kids, I think, since it was published. And as you get closer and closer to Christmas you read it more and more. There's something very stunning, quite frankly, about Chris Van Allsburg's paintings. They're not drawings. They're impressionistic versions of this child's house and what it was like to be on a train and all the aspects of the adventure that they go on. It was always a very tactile feeling that I got from reading the book as well as a very elegant, simple, but complicated, sophisticated story about what Christmas means to each and every one of us. The idea of maybe that turning into a movie is a complete X-factor. You have no idea if that's going to be possible or not, which was why when Bob and I first started talking about it it was really only from the perspective of,