An Expensive Lesson in Animation

I can’t think of anything sweeter than watching Zemeckis and Hanks fall flat on their faces with the absolutely pathetic opening of POLAR EXPRESS. The film, which cost well north of $250 million to produce and market, couldn’t muster better than a $23.5 million weekend, a financial performance almost as decrepit as the film’s visuals. Hopefully now that they’ve been taught, Bobby and Tommy will crawl back onto their live-action sets and halt this make-believe fantasy that they’re animation producers. Leave animation to the people who have actually bothered to learn the craft and who have dedicated their lives to the art form – artists like Brad Bird, whose INCREDIBLES managed to pull in another $51 million in its second weekend. Just for laughs, here’s an encore presentation of Zemeckis’ delusional appraisal of his animation skills: “I think when you see [POLAR EXPRESS], you’ll realize it’s absolutely nothing like an animated movie. You’ll see such subtlety in the performance of these characters that you would have to have the genius-of-all-genius animators. In my opinion, there’s no animation in the world that could have created it.”