11 Polar Express Characters Who Take a Leap of Faith

Meet The Polar Express characters on their magical train ride to the North Pole. Discover each child’s unique story of friendship, courage, and the spirit of Christmas as they travel to the North Pole to visit Santa. 

The Polar Express Characters

The Polar Express is an exciting motion capture story about an 8-year-old boy who doubts Santa Claus. Therefore, he embarks on a journey of self-discovery by a magical train destined for the North Pole. Besides, the train is filled with many young passengers on the same path to discover what they are missing.

The train takes them through a treacherous and incredible landscape into the icy land of the North Pole. The movie has something for everyone: a blend of emotional and comedic moments, clear moral lessons, and different characters. Let’s get to know more about Polar Express characters.

The Polar Express Trailer

YouTube video

The Polar Express Cast and Characters

  • Tom Hanks – Conductor, Hero Boy, Santa, Hobo, Scrooge, Father
  • Leslie Zemeckis – Sister Sarah, Mother
  • Eddie Deezen – Know-It-All
  • Nona Gaye – Hero Girl
  • Peter Scolari – Billy
  • Michael Jeter – Smokey, Steamer

11. Conductor

The Conductor in The Polar Express

The Conductor is one of Tom Hanks’s many roles in the film. The Conductor is a major character and the most well-known. He is the one who needs to make sure that the train reaches the North Pole on time so that everyone can meet Santa.

The Conductor also helps children to have a good time while teaching them essential life lessons. The Conductor helps perform the film’s most popular musical numbers while the train staff dances and delivers a cup of hot chocolate to each of the kids.

His physical appearance is tall and thin. He has a mustache and eyeglasses with only the bottom half of the lenses. The Conductor wears a blue jacket with a white shirt and black tie. He wears a matching blue train conductor’s hat on his head, and when he removes his hat, the top of his head is shown as bald. 

10. Hero Boy – Chris

Hero Boy in The Polar Express

The Hero Boy Chris is a young boy and the main character in The Polar Express. His experience leads him to receive the first gift of Christmas from Santa. In the beginning, the Hero Boy lacked confidence in Santa and the spirit of Christmas, questioning things. At the film’s climax, Hero Boy gets his answers from Santa.

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Hero Boy’s physical appearance is that of an 8-year-old boy. He is short and skinny with light-colored skin and short brown hair. Hero Boy wears golden yellow pajamas, a blue robe, and dark red slippers.

9. Hero Girl – Holly

Hero Girl in The Polar Express

Hero Girl is a lovely girl with a caring and kind personality who is also a lead character. She tries to bring positivity even in challenging situations.

Hero Girl defends Hero Boy when he pulls the train’s emergency brake by telling the Conductor that he was only trying to help Billy get on the train. When Hero Girl meets Santa, she is told she has Christmas spirit and should keep up the good work. 

Hero Girl’s physical appearance is that of a little girl with brown skin and braided pigtails. She wears pink pajamas with matching pink hair clips and pink slippers.

8. Billy – Lonely Boy

Billy in The Polar Express

Billy the Lonely Boy is another likable character in the movie. Coming from the wrong side of the tracks, Billy joins the other cartoon characters on the Polar Express. He is poor and embarrassed by his family’s lack of money.

He doesn’t get many Christmas Eve gifts, causing him to doubt Santa and the magic of Christmas. While initially shy, his confidence grows as the film progresses. When Billy meets Santa, he is told that he is lucky to have made new friends since friendship is a great gift. 

Billy is an eight-year-old boy with short, light brown hair and brown eyes. He is a little boy who is short for his age, and his face is round with big ears. Billy wears brown pajamas with black boots. 

7. Know-It-All

Know-It-All in The Polar Express

Know-It-All is one of the children on the train who has an answer for everything. Even though he isn’t always right, Know-It-All tries to explain how the train works and, later, why it wasn’t sliding across the ice.

When Know-It-All meets Santa, he is told he needs some patience and a smidgen of humility. Some fans refer to Know-It-All as the annoying kid from Polar Express.

Know-It-All’s physical appearance is a cute boy with an average-built body, light-colored skin, and short light brown hair. He is seen wearing glasses and a yellow sweater.

6. Santa Claus

Santa Clause in The Polar Express

Although Santa Claus isn’t in the movie for long, his presence is impactful. He is the most honest and kindest character. Santa knows exactly what to say to the Hero Boy to capture his imagination and exceed his expectations. He’s jolly, kind, and has all the qualities that make for an iconic Santa Claus character.

Regarding his physical appearance, Santa Claus takes on his traditional look of a large belly, white beard, and red suit.

5. Hobo

Hobo in The Polar Express

Hobo is the only character in the movie who has a dual personality. Sometimes, he shows a friendly personality where he gives sound advice to people around him. However, he can be equally cruel and creepy at the same time. Hobo doesn’t believe in Santa or the Christmas spirit, which tests Hero Boy’s belief in Santa Claus.

Since he is the ghost that appears on top of the train, not much can be assumed about his physical appearance. Still, Hobo possesses a sturdy, grown man physique. He wears a black coat, a cap made from wool, and red gloves with his fingertips cut off.

4. Smokey

Smokey in The Polar Express

Smokey is responsible for driving the train smoothly to the North Pole. He makes sure that there is enough coal to get the job done. Smokey works with Steamer as the train engineer. Together they fix the train’s headlight and try to slow down the train to stay on track. 

Smokey is skinny and tall in physical appearance. Additionally, he has red hair and a red beard. Smokey’s red beard is over three feet long and is used by Steam like a rope to hang on to when they fix the train’s headlight. Smokey wears a white t-shirt with overalls and a navy hat. 

3. Steamer

Steamer in The Polar Express

Steamer is Smokey’s coworker, and both must drive the train to their destination. Steamer has a good personality and shows how helpful he can be when he helps clear the caribou from blocking the train tracks.

Steamer’s physical appearance is short and stout. Unlike Smokey, Steamer is bald. When Steamer is driving the train, he wears a blue coat, a blue hat, and long black gloves. 

2. Sister Sarah 

Sister Sarah in The Polar Express

Sister Sarah is the only child character who doesn’t get to board the Polar Express. Sister Sarah is the only sister of Hero Boy. Sarah worries that her brother Hero Boy Chris doesn’t believe in Santa anymore.

Later, at the end of the film, on Christmas morning, Sarah finds a small package for her brother under the tree, among other gifts. It is one of Santa’s sleigh bells, a silver bell. They can both hear the sound of the bell because they still believe.  

Sister Sarah’s physical appearance is that of a toddler. She has a slim body with shoulder-length brown hair. She can be seen wearing a long green dress along with a headband. She is a lovely person with a soft temperament who has a big heart for her older brother. 

1. Ebenezer Scrooge

Scrooge in The Polar Express

Ebenezer Scrooge shows up as a puppet to Hero Boy. When the Conductor shows the Hero Girl and Hero Boy the mistreated toys, the Hero Boy is left alone in the toy car. This is when the Scrooge puppet appears and tells Hero Boy he should believe in Santa.

The appearance of Ebenezer Scrooge could be more impressive. The puppet has exaggerated features like a long nose and crooked teeth, making him appear scarier. As a puppet, its purpose is to scare people.

all 26 children in the polar express

Popular Polar Express Characters Questions

Do Polar Express characters have names?

The Polar Express characters do have names. Their names are not mentioned in the film, but all 26 of their names are shared in the film’s picture book, “The Art of The Polar Express”.

Who is the sad kid in Polar Express?

The sad kid in The Polar Express is Billy the Lonely Boy. He grew up on the wrong side of the tracks, and his belief in Santa is fading because he never gets any gifts.

How many roles did Tom Hanks play in The Polar Express?

Tom Hanks played six roles in The Polar Express: Hero Boy, Father, Conductor, Hobo, Scrooge, and Santa Claus.

What is the kid’s name from The Polar Express?

The name of the main character Hero Boy is Chris. This was revealed in a companion book, “The Art of The Polar Express”.

What does the Hobo in Polar Express represent?

The Hobo in Polar Express challenges Hero Boys’ doubts while also showing kindness to help others in their most critical time of need.

Is there a villain in The Polar Express?

The villain in The Polar Express is the puppet Ebenezer Scrooge. When Hero boy discovers a train carload of mistreated toys, Scrooge jumps out and scares Hero Boy.

The Polar Express cast was led by director Robert Zemeckis, who also directed Cast Away and Pinnochio (2022)Steven J Boyd co-directed. Executive producers Tom Hanks, Jack Rapke, and Chris Van Allsburg were producers for the film. Chris Van Allsburg, Robert Zemeckis, and William Broyles Jr. received writing credits for the film. 

The Polar Express is a classic Christmas movie starring the voice actors of Tom Hanks, Leslie Zemeckis, Eddie Deezen, Nona Gaye, Peter Scolari, Michael Jeter, Chris Coppola, Julene Renee, Charles Fleischer, and Steven Tyler, among others. See more details on IMDb.

Brandon Crombar

Brandon Crombar

Editor In Chief / Founder

Brandon is an animation enthusiast and animated film critic. He has been writing about animation since 2013 to celebrate animated movies, characters, and songs. His favorite animated movies include Finding Nemo, Aladdin, and The Lion King.

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