Hero Girl
Character information
Primary wardrobeSalmon colored nightgown
OccupationPolar Express passenger
Polar Express engineer (briefly)
AlliesHero Boy, Billy the Lonely Boy
Background information
Motion captureNona Gaye (primary)
Chantel Valdivieso (secondary)
VoiceNona Gaye (speaking)
Meagan Moore (singing)
Appeared inThe Film
Hero Girl is a young, African-American girl with looped braided pigtails and appears to be between eight to ten years old. She is rather independent and mature for her age and a very confident person.

She's the deuteragonist of the film.


Hero Girl befriends Hero Boy and Billy and leads them on their adventures on the Polar Express and North Pole. She is a leader, but seems unsure of herself at first, but gains confidence towards the end of the film. She is the first to befriend Billy the Lonely Boy, bringing him hot chocolate and singing When Christmas Comes to Town with him. Hero Girl is shown to know the true meaning of Christmas, for she could hear Santa's bells. at the end of the movie. When they are re entering the train, the conductor finishes punching into her ticket the word, "LEAD."


Hero Girl first appears when Know-It-All asks Hero Boy what kind of train this was. She responds by simply saying it was a magic train that goes to the North Pole. Later, when Hero Boy got in trouble with the Conductor for pulling the emergency brake, Hero Girl stands up for him and explains that he was just trying to help Billy get on the train, so the Conductor lets Hero Boy off with a reminder of the train's tight schedule.

After that, the waiters begin serving hot chocolate to all the children. Hero Girl decides to save hers for Billy with the Conductor helping her get to the observation car. However, Hero Boy finds her ticket, which had not been punched, left on her seat. He tries to return it to her, but it ends up being blown out of his hand while he was trying to cross to the other car. It eventually gets stuck to a window, but it gets free after Hero Boy opens the window. It lands in the woods, but is blown away again when a pack of wolves run by. An eagle catches it and flies back to its nest to feed it to its baby. It forms into a crumpled ball while in the baby's mouth, but the baby spits it out, causing it to land in the snow and roll down the hill into a big snow ball. The snow breaks off after the ticket hits a rock and the ticket lands on the pilot of the locomotive, then gets blown underneath the train and back into the passenger car and onto the radiator.

Later, the Conductor realizes he forgot to punch Hero Girl's ticket, but she cannot find it, so the Conductor takes her to walk on top of the train. Know-it-All thinks she is going to get thrown off, also pointing out that the train will slow down, but not stop, giving Hero Boy the idea to pull the emergency brake again. However, he finds Hero Girl's ticket before doing so, grabs it and goes after Hero Girl and the Conductor. While walking on top of the train, he meets the Hobo, who helps him get to the locomotive right before the train enters Flat Top Tunnel. There, he finds out that Hero Girl was made to drive the train while Smokey and Steamer fix the locomotive's headlamp.

Suddenly, Smokey and Steamer see something ahead on the track call out to Hero Girl to stop the train, but she and Hero Boy cannot figure out which lever is the brake. Hero Boy eventually pulls the lever which Hero Girl claims she was told was the brake and stops the train before crashing into a large herd of caribou. After the track is cleared and the train is on its way again, Hero Boy notices that the train is going too fast. Hero Girl tries calling out to Smokey and Steamer to slow down, but they were too busy trying to fix the throttle, which had gotten jammed, to pay any attention, so the Conductor uses the ropes from Hero Boy's robe to fasten him and Hero Girl to the safety bar in preparation for Glacier Gulch.

After Glacier Gulch, the train ends up on the Ice Lake and tilts after hitting an iceberg, causing Hero Girl to nearly fall off. The Conductor and Hero Boy try to save her, but their strength proves to be too little, so the Hobo shows up and helps them, but disappears before anyone but Hero Boy could see him. While Smokey, Steamer and the Conductor try to get the train back on the tracks, the wind blows Hero Girl's ticket out of Hero Boy's slipper. Both Hero Boy and Hero Girl try to catch it and manage to grab it at the same time. The train eventually gets back on the rails and the Conductor, after overhearing Hero Girl thank Hero Boy for finding her ticket, punches the ticket with the letters "LE," the same thing Know-It-All got.

The Conductor then leads Hero Boy and Hero Girl back to the passenger car, going through the Abandoned Toy Car along the way. While there, Hero Girl mentions how sad she finds the sight of toys that were treated so horribly.

Hero Girl and Hero Boy later notice Billy looking out from the back of the train singing "When Christmas Comes to Town," which Hero Girl joins in. The train soon stops at the center of the North Pole and everyone gets off, but Hero Boy and Hero Girl notice that Billy is staying behind, so they go to try to convince him to come. However, Hero Boy accidentally presses a lever which uncouples the car from the rest of the train, causing the car to roll away. It eventually stops on a turntable at the end of the tracks and the three children get off and try to find their way back to the city center by following the sound of the silver bells, but only Hero Girl and Billy can hear them.

Along the way, they pass through an elf office where a few elves leave on the pneumatic to go to the city center. The children decide to use the pneumatic too, but they end up in a factory where they one last present on the conveyor belt, which is meant for Billy. Billy grabs onto the present with Hero Boy and Hero Girl following. They go down a slide, into a black hole onto Santa's big bag. Billy is tempted to open his present, but Hero Girl points out a note on it that reads, "Do not open until Christmas." They and the presents get enclosed in a big bag and carried to the city center. Hero Girl also helps Billy get free from Know-it-All who was pulling on his leg, thinking it was a present. After the bag is put on Santa's sleigh, the children are freed by the elves.

Before Santa announces who will receive the first gift of Christmas, he compliments Hero Girl for her confidence and Christmas spirit.

For the return trip, Hero Girl's ticket gets punched again with the resulting word being, "LEAD" (leed). She initially reads it as the metal lead (led), though. She is also one of the children wanting to see Hero Boy's silver bell, only to find out he lost it. Later, she, along with Know-it-All, say goodbye to Hero Boy before he leaves the train to go home, still feeling sorry about the bell.


  • Hero Girl is one of many characters in the film to not appear in the book. She is the only female character and probably the most major character to do so.


  • "Of course. It's a magic train. We're going to the North Pole."
  • "He was just trying to stop the train so that kid could get on!"
  • "They put me in charge. The engineer had to check the light."
  • "No, he said this was the brake."
  • "Slow down!"
  • "Makes me wanna cry...seeing toys that were treated this way."
  • "Look! The Northern Lights!"
  • "It says 'LEAD' (led), like 'lead balloon'."
Children: Hero Boy (Chris) Hero Girl Know-It-All Billy the Lonely Boy Sarah Gus the Toothless Boy Boy on Train Red Head Girl Little Boy Young Boy
Adults: Conductor Hobo Smokey and Steamer Santa Claus Pastry Chefs Waiters Hero Boy's Parents
Elves: Elves Acrobatic Elves Elf General Elf Lieutenant Elf Singer
Animals: Caribou Santa Claus' Reindeer
Toys: Ebenezer Scrooge Puppet Jack-in-the-Boxes

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