How to watch The Polar Express: stream the Christmas classic online anywhere

watch polar express online
(Image credit: Warner Bros)

Based on Chris Van Allsburg’s 1985 children’s book and brought to life by Back to the Future director Robert Zemeckis, Polar Express is a groundbreaking computer-animated movie that's utter Christmas eye-candy, led by Tom Hanks as the benevolent train conductor taking viewers on an immersive adventure to the North Pole. Prepare to be transported - here's how to watch The Polar Express online wherever you are right now.

Magical and dream-like, The Polar Express is more a series of events than a story. It begins with a young boy witnessing the improbable: a steam locomotive pulling up outside his house on Christmas Eve. 

How to watch The Polar Express online

Released: December 10, 2004

Director: Robert Zemeckis

Cast: Tom Hanks, Daryl Sabara, Eddie Deezen, Nona Gaye, Michael Jeter, Peter Scolari, Josh Hutcherson

Run time: 100 minutes

Rating: PG

Stream: watch FREE with FuboTV 14-day trial (US) | Crave (CA) | Sky TV (UK)

Watch anywhere: try the top VPN around 100% risk-free

Onboard it’s full of equally hesitant yet awe-struck children – a kind-hearted girl (voiced by Nona Gaye), an overzealous know-it-all (Eddie Deezen), and Billy, “the Lonely Boy”. 

Headed for the North Pole, they encounter rowdy railroad ghosts, waiters acrobatically serving hot chocolate, and an Elf command centre on the way, before finally meeting the Father Christmas.

It’s style over substance, certainly - but geez, what a spectacle! There's a glorious tracking shot of a gold ticket fluttering over a ravine, into the clutches of a great eagle, before being reunited with its owner; while the momentum of a train hurtling down a 179-degree slope is like being on a rollercoaster. And, while it’s undoubtedly a technical showpiece – it became the first all-digital capture film in 2006 – it’s got a majestic Christmas spirit, too.

So, slip on your PJs/jim-jams and settle down with a hot coco as we detail how to watch The Polar Express online and stream this Christmas classic from anywhere, including on Netflix.

Is The Polar Express on Netflix?

Yes - but not universally.

The Polar Express is available to watch on Netflix in a number of the service's other markets, including: Japan, Belgium, France, Israel, Netherlands, and Poland.

However, Netflix's US, UK, Australia, and Canadian libraries don't feature the film, which is a bit of a bummer. But that being said, anyone with a Netflix subscription from a country where the film is available can still watch it wherever they are with the help of a VPN

It's really easy, completely legal, and we'll guide you through the process below - we even have a dedicated guide to the best Netflix VPN if you want to dive even deeper. But everything you need to know to watch Polar Express online is right here.

How to watch The Polar Express from outside your country

Visiting family abroad over the holidays? If you find yourself in another country, geo-blocking restrictions will mean you’re unable to stream regionally specific content like you would back home.

Thankfully for fans of Christmas entertainment, there’s a simple solution. Downloading a Virtual Private Network (VPN) will enable you to alter your IP address, meaning you can access geographically restricted content from anywhere in the world.

Use a VPN to watch The Poland Express online from anywhere

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How to watch The Polar Express online for FREE in the US

14-day free trial

With FuboTV you can stream this immersive Christmas adventure straight into your living room. You’ll enjoy a 14-day free trial – which includes access to over 100 live channels – after which monthly subscriptions begin at $64.99.

Those with a HBO Max subscription can also watch The Polar Express.

Amazon, meanwhile, has The Polar Express available to rent or buy. A one-off viewing costs $3.99 and you get 30 days to begin watching and 48 hours to finish once you press play. But, if you’re a fan of the Zemeckis brand of movie magic, you’ll want to pay $9.99 to buy it outright. You can enjoy the film in HD at the same price, which we’d heartily recommend where possible.

Away over the holidays? Download a VPN to connect to your preferred VOD service, and stream all your festive favorites no matter where you are in the world.

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How to watch The Polar Express online in Canada for FREE

7-day free trial

The Polar Express has pulled into Canada on Crave, alongside a range of other festive flicks. Choose between its Crave Mobile plan for $9.99 a month, or Crave Total plan for $9.99 a month, and benefit from a 7-day free trial.

If you're simply after this sleekly made Christmas classic, however, Amazon provide another option. You can rent the film from them for $4.99 for a single viewing, or buy a digital download for $9.99 and watch this enchanting escapade again and again.

Leaving Canada for some winter sun? Then you’ll want to download a VPN to keep watching your favorite films and TV shows during the holidays. 

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How to watch The Polar Express online FREE in the UK


Sky TV customers can watch The Polar Express whenever they like, available on-demand through Sky Go. For those without a subscription, you can check out our Sky TV deals and packages page.

Alternatively, you can also stream on the more flexible NOW platform with a Cinema pass.

Alternatively, purchase this seasonal extravaganza via Amazon. It’s £3.49 for a single viewing, or £4.99 to keep, and the price is the same no matter whether its in SD or HD format.

Intrepid travellers will want to pack a VPN though if they’re abroad. That way they can connect to the on-demand service they're already registered to, and keep warm with their festive favorites from anywhere in the world.

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How to watch The Polar Express online in Australia

Unfortunately The Polar Express currently isn't available in Australia to stream. However, you can opt to rent or buy the Tom Hanks-starring animation with Amazon. It’s AUS$4.99 for a one-off viewing – perfect to get into the festive mood on Christmas Eve – or pay AUS$9.99 to keep it instead.

Don’t forget - you can watch your home streaming service of choice anywhere in the world with the help of a VPN.

Daniel Pateman

Daniel Pateman is a freelance writer, producing articles across the cultural spectrum for magazines like Aesthetica, Photomonitor, The Brooklyn Rail and This is Tomorrow. He also provides text-writing services to individual curators and artists worldwide, and has had work published internationally. His favourite film genre is horror (bring on Scream 5!) and he never tires of listening to Absolute 80s on the radio.