Articles and interviews with Chris Van Allsburg abound with the release of The Polar Express Movie. This one by Johnette Rodriguez in the Providence Phoenix has some interesting biographical information as well as Van Allsburg's feelings about the upcoming movie. He describes his conversations with Tom Hanks about the story:
He [Hanks} said, furthermore, it’s not the kind of story that should be awash in the kind of irony and pop culture that you see in kid’s films, and I agreed with him. Because the story couldn’t accommodate that; trying to do that with this particular story would have made — not necessarily a bad film — but it wouldn’t have been this book. Because the book’s pretty earnest, and Tom thought that’s the way the film should be too.
About the movie he says:
It really is kind of unusual to see a film, with its intended audience as younger kids, and there are no jokes about flatulence, no kids on skateboards. You look at the film and even though the technology clearly puts it absolutely contemporary, there’s nothing about the quality of the narrative or the story values that tells you whether it was written in 1950 or 1940 or 1980. It’s devoid of time reference. It’s actually one of the nicest parts of the film.
Other Van Allsburg articles:
An AP story
Grand Rapids Press story
Movie Premier story in Detroit News
How they made the movie in the NY Daily News