Posted in Women Who Wow Wednesday

Hero Girl

She doesn’t have a name. Her costume consists of a nightgown. By the time it’s all over, she sports the moniker “Leader”. I’m proud to include Hero Girl from the movie Polar Express in my Women Who Wow Wednesday series.

Polar Express' Hero Girl
Polar Express’ Hero Girl

During its release, not many people liked the film Polar Express. Ratings on IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes confirm the movie’s status as, if at best, average. The production budget for the flick came in at $165 million while the overall take at the box office worldwide netted $308 million. I wouldn’t call it a financial disaster. Far from it, I’d call it an opportunity movie where it’s best to watch with the lights turned low a few days before Christmas.

Since its release in 2004, this film has become a staple viewing tradition for our family every evening of December 23rd.

Why do we like it so much? For us, the song Believe by Josh Groban says it all:

Believe in what your heart is saying
Hear the melody that’s playing
There’s no time to waste
There’s so much to celebrate
Believe in what you feel inside
And give your dreams the wings to fly
You have everything you need
If you just believe

That’s where Hero Girl comes in. We don’t know her name and throughout the movie she second-guesses every decision she makes. In some respect, she wouldn’t qualify as a hero at all. But her faith in what she doesn’t see is what pulls everyone together to work as a team, lending credence to her belief in something altogether greater than anyone or anything they know as real.

Leading the others
Leading the others

Hero Girl also provides the direction the group needs to continue on their way to the North Pole. Not an easy task for a young child, let alone a girl who doubts everything she says. Her strength, however, lies in her ability to lead those willing to follow her to their true destination. This involves trust on the part of her friends, and an eternal hope that she will lead them to their true destination.

Once Hero Girl affirms her leadership status, not in name but in action, the group of kids follows this time without dismissing her ideas. She leads them to where all the magic begins.


Have you seen Polar Express? What did you think of Hero Girl’s role in the film?


Jack Flacco is an author and the founder of Looking to God Ministries, an organization dedicated to spreading the Word of God through outreach programs, literature and preaching.

11 thoughts on “Hero Girl

  1. I saw this at the movies when it was released. I do remember being totally awestruck by the visuals. It’s true that the reviews weren’t that great but I really enjoyed it. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. Will watch it again over the holidays, seeing that I forgotten most of the movie, it will be like watching it for the first time again!

  2. I’ve seen the movie. At firstI thought Hero Girl was just indecisive, but later I thought she was just unsure. She has stong sense of fairness and of what needs to be done. Not shy but strong of charater that leads her to be a leader. Regardless of second guessing herself she knows that is is right and brings others along because of that. Good movie better each year I watch it.

    1. I agree. This movie gets better and better with every viewing. And the more I watch Hero Girl’s reactions and actions, the more I find new nuances with how she helps those who fall under her charge!

  3. I’ve never seen it, but I remember it being really popular during Christmas time. We always needed extra rental copies in the video store because we inevitably ended the holiday season with only one or none left.

    1. I’ve watched this movie every year since release. It’s that good. The story rocks, the visuals inspire and the music always makes me smile. Such a good movie, Charles!

    1. You’ll love it, Karen! It’s quite an entertaining movie sporting a gorgeous 50’s look. You’ll find the music being catchy, inspiring and filled with lots of Christmas cheer!

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