Everyone's favorite animated film The Polar Express is a staple of Freeform's 25 Days of Christmas. The yearly roundup of holiday films and Christmas movies is a beloved part of every December, going way back to when the network was ABC Family — and The Polar Express replays a bunch of times because it's such a comforting, nostalgic story. The 2004 film was actually based on a children's book of the same, and the author, Chris Van Allsburg, was an executive producer on the film.

Since the movie is such a beloved tale, we decided to find out as much about the filmmaking process as we possibly could. Like, did you know that Josh Hutcherson was the physical inspiration for Hero Boy? Or that Tinashe was also the motion capture model for Hero Girl. We had no idea! Both grew up to be total superstars and they all started out as kids on The Polar Express. Wow!

Click through to see 8 mindblowing facts about the film. Did you already know any of the facts?

This story was originally published on December 4, 2014. It has since been updated.

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