Polar Express (USA, 2004, Zemeckis) AKA Six Flags Magic Mountain: The Movie*
My full-length review's up at Apollo, so I'll only add a few scattered notes here. The film's gorgeous, that's for sure, and Zemeckis does a great job of turning the first half of his movie into a carnival ride, but when it comes to the nuts and bolts of constructing a complete narrative, the wheels fall off at about the half way point. Nevermind the whole question of whether or not photo-realistic animation ought to even be a serious goal of animators in the first place, given how we've got real live unemployed actors who can take care of that particular business without spending the hundreds of millions of dollars on techno-wankery, Polar Express simply runs outta steam. Check it out for the first 45 minutes, if virtual-reality roller coasters are yer or yer littluns cuppa tea; otherwise, you might wanna save yer money for a second viewing of The Incredibles.
*props to Jeff Chen, who coined this monicker