BY KYLE LESNAK
Klaus, directed by Sergio Pablos, is an origin story for the jolly red giant, Santa Claus. Released on Nov 8, 2019, exclusively on Netflix, the movie was overshadowed by many other animated movies showing at the time. Even so, the movie was nominated for best-animated film for 2019 but got beat out by Toy Story 4.
Jesper Johansson, the lazy son of the Royal Postmaster General, is punished for intentionally underperforming in his training at the postman training academy. Jesper is sent to the far-off island of Smeerensburg with the task of posting six-thousand letters in one year, or he will be cut off from his family’s money. After arriving in Smeerensburg, Jesper learns about the feud between the two clans of the village, the Elingboes and the Krums. Desperately looking for letters, he goes down to an isolated cabin on the far end of the island. There he meets Klaus, a reclusive woodsman in a house filled with toys. Scared by Klaus’s intimidating appearance, Jesper runs away, dropping a drawing made by a kid in the village. Klaus finds Jesper and forces him to take him to the house. When they make it to the house, Klaus gives Jesper a toy to deliver to the boy. The next day many Smeerensburg children show up at Jesper’s house, believing that if they give him a letter, a toy will show up at their house. After convincing Klaus to donate his toy collection to the children, Jesper finally starts to gain some traction as his deadline approaches.
This film surprised me with how good it is. I think the best compliment I can give this movie is just how nice the animation is. It has such a unique style that’s very nice on the eyes. It succeeds in standing out with an interesting 3Dlike style. The animation also reflects well off of the character designs. They all seem unique while also feeling like they all belong in the same world. With these combined, the movie just hooks you in with all it’s uses of color and movement.
With the incredible voice talent of people like Rashida Jones and J.K. Simmons, the characters are brought to life. While the soundtrack is by no means bad, it has a lot of songs that have a lot of emotion behind them. It just takes me out of the film when they have a rap about the postman, especially when it’s set in the 19th century. And unfortunately,the story is sadly really predictable. When your main character is lying all the time it’s not surprising that eventually everyone else is gonna find out.
I wish I had watched this movie sooner. I always thought it had such a nice art style, but with the film being exclusive to Netflix, I never had the motivation to watch it. This film feels so underrated. It brings a fresh style to 2D animation that isn’t seen very much nowadays, yet I heard nothing of it after it was released. If you need a good Christmas movie to watch over the holidays, I highly recommend Klaus.