A young boy lies awake in his room one snowy Christmas Eve, excited and alert. Breathing silently. Hardly moving. Waiting. He's listening for a sound he's afraid he might never hear -- the ringing bells of Santa's sleigh. The time is five minutes to midnight. Suddenly, the boy is startled by a thunderous roar. Clearing the mist from his window he sees the most amazing sight - a gleaming black train rumbles to a stop right in front of his house, the steam from its powerful engine hissing through the night sky and the softly falling snowflakes. The boy rushes outside, clad only in his pajamas and slippers, and is met by the train's conductor who seems to be waiting just for him. "Well, are you coming?" the conductor asks. "Where?" "Why, to the North Pole, of course. This is the Polar Express!"