The Real Santa
Here is the sketch I did of Santa for Joanna Johnston on the Polar Express, and also a photo of a bunch of the crew (I am in the red skirt) posing with Tom Hanks, in full costume, as Santa. He looked beautiful! It almost made you cry. The design was based on the same research that we did for the reindeer stuff (Santa was designed first, in fact), and we started in the sketch to keep him a little chubby. Joanna knew that the 'American' Santa is usually sort of round, and was afraid to scare people off by deviating from that (she is British, and they don't think of him as necessarily fat), but we were all glad when they decided to go with a Santa in the proportions of Chris Van Allsburg's Santa from the book. He is a noble, grand, figure, very fatherly, with a deep voice. Larger than life. My favorite in the film.