This Song Earned ‘The Polar Express’ a Grammy Award (and an Oscar Nomination)

You’ll have everything you need if you just believe. The Polar Express premiered in 2004. Since then, this film has become a favorite holiday film of many Christmas fans. Here’s what we know about some of the most popular songs from this film’s soundtrack, including one performed by Josh Groban.

Tom Hanks at the premiere of 'The Polar Express'
Tom Hanks at the premiere of ‘The Polar Express’ | Franziska Krug/Getty Images

‘The Polar Express’ included several original songs, like ‘Believe’ performed by Josh Groban 

It’s the magic of Christmas brought to life. The Polar Express, initially inspired by a children’s book, tells the story of one boy who doubts the existence of Santa Claus. After taking a train ride to the north pole, he learns the importance of believing in others — and yourself.

According to Fandango, Tom Hanks technically voiced seven characters in this motion capture film — the protagonist known as “Hero Boy,” his father, the train conductor, a hobo, the Ebenezer Scrooge marionette puppet, Santa Claus, and the narrator. Back to the Future’s director, Robert Zemeckis, helped create this magical holiday story.

“It was really a fantastic experience,” Zemeckis said during an interview with Ian Winterton. “It was the most relaxed movie I’d ever worked on. I had to compromise less because I wasn’t limited by the physical world.”

As reported by the Guinness World Records, The Polar Express was the first feature-length movie to entirely use performance capture, also known as motion capture technology, for all of its characters. This film also included several musical moments, whether it was dancing waiters serving hot chocolate or elves voiced by Steven Tyler of Aerosmith. One Polar Express song performed by Groban even earned a Grammy Award.

‘Believe’ earned ‘The Polar Express’ and Josh Groban a Grammy Award

In addition to holiday favorites performed by Bing Cosby, Frank Sinatra, and others, there are several original songs included among The Polar Express’ official soundtrack. “Believe” was written by Glen Ballard and Alan Silvestri. It was this track that earned an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song at the 77th Academy Awards. 

Additionally, the film earned Academy Award nominations in the Best Sound Mixing and Best Sound Editing categories, with The Polar Express’ credits song earning recognition at the Grammy Awards. “Believe” did win the Grammy Award for Best Song Written For Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media in 2006.

Based on the number of streams on the music platform Spotify, “Believe” is the most popular original song. In 2021, the track has just over 20 million plays. “When Christmas Comes to Town” has over 10 million Spotify plays. “Believe” is also included in Groban’s holiday album, Noel.

Some songs on The Polar Express’ official soundtrack are performed by the Toy Story, Saving Private Ryan, and Forrest Gump actor, Hanks. That includes the Polar Express title track, which also earned over 10 million Spotify plays. 

Physical copies of The Polar Express are available for purchase at retailers like Amazon, Walmart, and Target. 

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