Based on the children's book of the same name. A young boy boy from Grand Rapids, Michigan in the 1950's is hoping for a true belief in the Christmas spirit, but it seems every encyclopedia and source of information denies the existence of Santa at the North Pole. On Christmas Eve night a large train called the Polar Express pulls up outside the boy's house and the conductor tells him to board for a trip to the North Pole. The boy soon finds himself on the train along with an African-American girl, a nerdy and smart-alecky boy, and a shy boy. Upon arriving at the North Pole, all the children prepare to witness a true miracle, Santa delivering the first gift of Christmas before taking off, and letting children know that Christmas spirit only exists to those who believe.