I’ve been putting off seeing Netflix’s animated film Klaus for the past few weeks now because I had a feeling that it was going to leave me in a snivelling pile of snot afterwards and I was right. I don’t know how they do it but Netflix once again succeeded in delivering on a heartwarming holiday film that pleases the young and the young at heart alike, just like last year’s The Christmas Chronicles.
Synopsis: As the son of the postmaster general, Jesper (Jason Schwartzman) feels entitled to every privilege and abuses his father’s authority to no end. Finally having enough of his attitude, his dad sends him to the remote island of Smeerensburg where he is tasked to deliver 6,000 letters within one year to get back to his privileged lifestyle. However, the task is not as easy as it seems because not one person sends a letter in a town where daily life is filled with clan wars and violence. In order to complete his mission, Jesper starts to spread a rumor about the woodcutter named Mr. Klaus (J.K. Simmons), and how he delivers toys to good chidren who write him letters.
I loved Klaus from the beginning because it had a really fun vibe to it. Jesper reminded me of The Emperors’ New Groove‘s Kuzco, with his wild and carefree ways and his general selfishness. Of course, he was annoying and self centered at first, but my heart kind of melted for him when he started exerting an effort to accomplish his mission.
I liked how Santa Klaus was portrayed as a gruff loner who wanted nothing to do with the world because of his loneliness. It was so different from the jolly persona children know him for and gthis becomes an interesting part of the story to know his origins.
I also liked how the partnership and eventual friendship developed between the reluctant toymaker and the reluctant postman.
Klaus was far from being an original story but I appreciated the fact that a simple plot worked around the legend of Santa Claus so everything made sense. The approach was very tongue in cheek and had an air of mischief surrounding the entire movie that doesn’t quite let go because of the main characters.
Of course, the way that the moral lesson of the tale was delivered by the film in a touching way was an added bonus. Some of my favorite scenes included Jesper’s interaction with Margu, Margu’s people acting like Santa’s elves, and kids doing nice things that eventually influenced their parents. I loved the innocence that was perfectly conveyed by the film which truly spoke of the meaning of the season.
Klaus was the perfect film to watch for the holidays but I have a feeling that this will become my picker upper any time of the year. Its just sparks a feel good feeling that was a result of all the elements fof the film coming together — the great story, the beautiful artwork, the seamless animation and great direction from Sergio Pablos. It was just great. Kudos to everyone involved.
PS. Some of the comedy in Klaus was adult comedy disguised as kiddie fun but I’m pretty sure it will go over the kids’ heads with no harm done.