I saw this on Saturday. It was and wasn't a kid's movie. I could see kids getting upset by it. However, it was a great little story and I can see where the basis for many other modern Christmas movies with the "little kid loses the "magic" of Christmas" theme got thier inspiration.
My wife was read this book as a child and it made for a great story! The CGI was excellent and at times, if it wasn't for some of the cartoonish colors, the animation looked like live action. Tom Hanks was the conductor's voice and while a couple of kids looked freaky, it was tremendously entertaining and touching. Tom Hanks, as usual, put in a remarkable performance. I just find it insulting that so many people view Santa and gift giving as the "magic" behind Christmas. Personal thoughts and beliefs aside though, this was a rare find in today's world. It was pure, unabashed and fun. There are no heavy undertones, it's not preachy and the movie plot doesn't try to teach a lesson. It's just a story about a kid who "lost the magic" and how he goes about finding it. So the characters get a little preachy to each other but you don't get the feeling that the director is scolding the audience for some sort of steretypical behavior.
Overall, a great holiday movie to go see and defintly a 'must own' for the DVD collection! I enjoyed it immensely and from the sound of it, so did everyone else in the theater!
Oh, it's REALLY cool in the sound effects department if you like trains! Especially steam engines!