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The Polar Express: All 7 of Tom Hanks's Characters

Tom Hanks Played 7 People in "The Polar Express," Including Santa Claus

The Polar Express: All 7 of Tom Hanks's Characters
Image Source: Everett Collection

Sure, "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," "Elf," and "A Christmas Story" all reign supreme when it comes to classic holiday movies, but if you love Tom Hanks as much as we do, then you don't want to sleep on "The Polar Express." (Really, you might miss your stop.) In addition to voicing the incredibly punctual conductor in the film, the actor and America's Dad plays six other characters who contribute to the 2004 film's whimsy.

"Just remember, the true spirit of Christmas lies in your heart."

As the narrator, he shepherds us into a snow-covered world where an enchanted train can carry children directly to the North Pole, a universe straight out of the 1985 book of the same name that inspired the film. As the ghost of the man who rides the Polar Express, he tests the Hero Boy's (Daryl Sabara and Josh Hutcherson) faith in Santa Claus. "Seeing is believing. Am I right?" he tells the Hero Boy as they make their journey to see Santa in person once and for all. With the help of his friends — the Know It-All (Eddie Deezen) and the Hero Girl (Nona Gaye) — the Hero Boy hangs onto hope that Santa is real.

And of course, Hanks also voices Santa, keeping the spirit of Christmas alive in our hearts by reminding the Hero Boy to always believe. "This bell is a wonder symbol of the spirit of Christmas, as am I," Santa tells the Hero Boy when they finally meet. As a token to remember him by, Santa gifts the boy a magical silver bell that can only be heard by those who believe in the spirit of Christmas. "Just remember, the true spirit of Christmas lies in your heart," he adds.

From wild shrieks and stern warnings to the bellowing "ho ho ho" he lets out as Santa Claus, Hanks's heartfelt performances make "The Polar Express" a modern-day holiday classic. Ahead, take a closer look at all his characters, and relive some of their best moments throughout the film.

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