Role in the film
Sarah first appears at the beginning of the film when Hero Boy goes downstairs to see if Santa has been here. He sees a shadow of what appears to be Santa, but it later turns out to be his parents taking Sarah to bed, so he goes back to his room and watches Sarah get tucked into bed through the keyhole. Sarah tells her parents about a friend who told her that Santa would have to travel faster than light with a bag of presents larger than an ocean liner to deliver so many presents in one night. Her parents assure her that her friend was only joking and that Santa will come, but only if she goes to sleep.
Right before Hero Boy boards the Polar Express, the Conductor mentions him having made Sarah put out the milk and cookies for Santa.
The next morning, Sarah excitedly wakes up Hero Boy and tells him that Santa has been to their house. When he gets up, she goes to wake up their parents. Later, the two children are downstairs opening their presents. Sarah finds one small present hiding behind the tree that is for Hero Boy. He opens it to find the silver bell Santa gave him at the North Pole which he lost, along with a note explaining that it landed in the seat of Santa's sleigh after falling out of Hero Boy's pocket. Hero Boy shakes the bell, which produces a beautiful sound which both he and Sarah enjoy. However, when their parents shook it, they could not hear the sound and assume that it is broken.
At the end of the film, Hero Boy, as an adult, says that while he can still hear the bell, Sarah, along with most of his friends, would lose her belief in the Christmas spirit and, thus, her ability to hear it.
Sarah has one brother, Hero Boy, and her parents.
- In the book, Sarah only appears in the end.
- Sarah is the only major child character in the film to not have ridden on the Polar Express.
- Sarah is one of five characters in the movie to have an actual name, the others being Santa Claus, Billy the Lonely Boy, and Smokey and Steamer (although the latter two’s names are only revealed during the end credits.)