Black Girl From Polar Express (7 Things You Need To Know)

Polar Express has become a classic Christmas movie in my house. As a father, writer, and movie lover, I know an embarrassing amount of trivia from this film.

For example, Who is the black girl from Polar Express?

The black girl from Polar Express is Holly, known as Hero Girl in the movie. Hero Girl is played by Nona Gaye with additional motion capture by Chantel Valdivieso and musical support by Tinashe. Nona Gaye is considered the main actress to portray the role of the little black girl.

In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about the black girl in Polar Express.

What Is the Name of the Black Girl From Polar Express?

(This post may have afilliate links. Please see my full disclosure)
Train in Winter—Black Girl From Polar Express
Image by the author via Canva

The name of the movie character is Holly (we don’t get her last name).

She’s also referred to as Hero Girl in the movie. The reason she is called Hero girl is that she discovers her self-confidence through the events of the film.

In several scenes, she acts heroically:

  • Stopping the train
  • Standing up for others
  • Leading other characters through dark passageways

Near the end of the story, the train conductor (played by Tom Hanks) punches the word “LEAD” into her ticket.

Which Actress Plays the Black Girl From Polar Express?

The black girl from Polar Express is played by three different people:

  • Nona Gaye
  • Chantel Valdivieso
  • Tinashe

Nona Gaye is the daughter of Marvin Gaye and the main actress for the part of the little black girl on the train. She’s also a former model and singer.

Chantel Valdivieso is an actress and voice-over artist who also contributed to the role of Hero Girl.

Singer Tinashe performed the songs for the character.

How Old Was Nona Gaye in the Polar Express?

At the time of filming, Nona Gaye was 29 years old.

Nona was born on September 4, 1974, and the Polar Express came out in 2004. Therefore, she was still fairly young when she took on this memorable animated movie role.

Hero Girl, herself, is estimated to be between the ages of 10-13 in the story.

Which Artist Sings for the Black Girl in Polar Express?

The artist known as Tinashe sang the songs for Holly in the Polar Express.

She gave a beautiful voice to Hero Girl.

While her racial heritage is technically mixed, she views herself as a member of the black community.

“There’s colorism involved in the black community, which is very apparent. It’s about trying to find a balance where I’m a mixed woman, and sometimes I feel like I don’t fully fit into the black community; they don’t fully accept me, even though I see myself as a black woman.”

—Tinashe ( interview)

More stats on Tinashe:

  • Nationality: American
  • Full name: Tinashe Jorgensen Kachingwe
  • Heritage: She is the daughter of a Danish mother and Zimbabwean father

What Does the Black Girl in Polar Express Look Like?

The black girl character in Polar Express has a very distinctive appearance that most moviegoers remember fondly.

Namely, she is known for her double-braided ponytails, warm smile, and pink pajamas.

Although her pajamas are mostly pink, they feature a hodgepodge of tiny Christmas-themed vignettes. For example, one of the images on her pajamas is of a kid holding a stuffed animal in front of a large clock.

Another is of a crackling fireplace.

Who Is the Black Gorl From Polar Express?

The question “Who is the black gorl from Polar Express,” is a typo of the question, “Who is the black girl from Polar Express?”

In other words, the question is the same.

So is the answer: The black “gorl” from Polar Express is Holly, Hero Girl, and Nona Gaye.

It’s just a simple mistake some people make when saying or typing out the question. It probably stems from clumsy fingers on the keyboard, although it could also come from misheard pronunciation.

Here is a good video that also talks about the identity of the black girl from Polar Express:

YouTube Video by Writing Secrets

Black Girl From Polar Express Meme

The meme related to the black girl from Polar Express is a photo of Hero Girl next to a picture of a black girl.

Overlay text on the picture of the black girl reads: “It’s me, ASAP Rocky.”

The idea is that both the unidentified black girl in the photo and Hero Girl both resemble the artists known as ASAP Rocky.

ASAP Rocky is an American Rapper.

Since I don’t have rights to the Hero Girl image, here is a related Polar Express meme:

Black Girl on Polar Express Meme
Meme by the author via Canva

Black Girl From Polar Express Movie Quotes

Here is a list of movie quotes delivered by the little black girl from Polar Express:

  • “Slow down! Watch the speed!”
  • “I’m sorry about the bell. It was a very special present.”
  • “It says Merry Christmas Billy, from Mr. C.”
  • “You’re goanna lose your ticket!”
  • “Of course. It’s a magic train. We’re going to the North Pole.”
  • “I left my ticket right here on the seat. But it’s gone.”
  • “Look! Santa got to his house already!”
  • “They put me in charge. The engineer had to check the light.”
  • “No, he said this was the brake.”
  • “It’s too late.”
  • “Thank you, thank you. I can’t believe you found my ticket.”
  • “Makes me wanna cry…seeing toys that were treated this way.”
  • “Shh.”
  • “Yeah, let’s go outside and find it right now.”
  • “Look!”
  • “There should be elves. Where are the elves?”
  • “Excuse me.”
  • “It’s always what I dreamed it would be.”
  • “Come on show us the bell.”
  • “What about him?”
  • “Look you have to come with us.”
  • “But Christmas is such a wonderful and beautiful time! A time for giving and being thankful. Friends and family, people hanging decorations and lights, and then Santa comes and leaves presents under our Christmas trees!”
  • “It’s still five-two. We’re gonna make it.”
  • “Yes, come with us. Will go together.”
  • “AAH!”
  • “We’re gonna crash!”
  • “Isn’t that amazing?”
  • “You hear that? The bell.”
  • “I’m sorry.”
  • “The sleigh bells. Don’t you hear it? It’s coming from that tunnel.”
  • “He was just trying to stop the train so that kid could get on!”
  • “He’s here! HE’S HERE!”
  • “This is for him.”
  • “Aren’t those bells the most beautiful sound?”
  • “That’s the way we should go.”
  • “Yes, I hear it.”
  • “Alright, get in.”
  • “I don’t hear it. Do you?”
  • “We’re gonna miss everything!”
  • “What are you doing here!?”
  • “And it’s going to 11344 Edbrooke Avenue.”
  • “Wait wait wait, STOP! Look.”
  • “It says ‘LEAD’ (led), like ‘lead balloon’.”

Other Polar Express Cast

Here is a quick breakdown of the rest of the Polar Express cast:

Voice ActorPolar Expres Character
Tom HanksHero Boy / Hobo/ Father / Scrooge / Santa Claus / Conductor
Leslie ZemeckisMother / Sister Sarah
Eddie DeezenKnow-It-All
Nona GayeHolly (Hero Girl)
Peter ScolariBilly (The Lonely Boy)
Polar Express Cast

Final Thoughts

It’s important to study great stories, characters, and the actors who portray them.

By doing so, you learn to write your own masterpiece.

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