2. The Polar Express
The message: It’s fine to sneak off in the middle of the night with a stranger if they seem to be magical
The Polar Express is a film that only exists in our collective memory due to its status as Christmas film. Without that, it’s simply another animated film about a little boy whisked away on a magical journey, and it’s not even that well animated, truth be told. Its uncanny valley visuals might be a little off-putting in places, but generally, The Polar Express is an enjoyable tale of childhood and the magic of Christmas.
It also has a pretty bad message for the children watching it: if something seems magical, it’s fine to leave your house in the middle of the night without telling you parents, no matter how dangerous it might seem. Now, hopefully, no children actually took that message to heart, but still – a young boy leaves his home without anyone’s knowledge, and takes a train to the North Pole with a group of strangers, risking his life on numerous occasions as he goes. It’s every parent’s worst nightmare, no matter how magical it might seem.