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As we all are here at New On Netflix, we are crazy about films. My two children, not so much. So when looking for a Christmas film to watch and review, it would have been easy to pick a more grown-up Christmas film, but recently a new animated movie came on Netflix and so I decided I would give it a shot.
“Klaus” is an origin story of sorts. Where did the traditions of Christmas actually come from? Why do we get presents? Why do people on the naughty list get coal in their stockings? Why are reindeer used to pull the sleigh? All those questions and more are answered by the story in “Klaus”.
“Klaus” tells the story of Jesper. Jesper is a trust fund kid who is currently in training to be a postman, just like the rest of his family. The difference is, it’s his family that owns the postal company, so Jesper takes a few liberties. Doesn’t try very hard in his training, doesn’t care like the other postmen and generally flaunts his self-identified superiority over everybody else, until one day when his father has had enough and orders Jesper to continue his training, or start it at least’ by moving to the place that is the least in need fo a postman…..Smeerensburg. If he refuses or fails to deal with a certain number of letters while living in Smeerensburg, the Jesper will lose access to his family’s money. No more butlers, no more money and no more silk sheets!
After traveling FOREVER he arrives in Smeerensburg which, as it quickly becomes clear, is like no other place. It is dark, gloomy and for the most part, is populated by only two families. The Ellinboe’s and the Krums, who just so happen to absolutely hate each other.
Between the feuds, the fistfights and the spears being thrown, Jesper tries to establish his very own Post office, process the number of letters his dad requested so he can get out of there, he discovers a major obstacle… nobody in Smeerensburg sends letters.
One day a child seemingly kept a prisoner in their own home, probably for safety, loses a picture they had drawn. Jesper finds the picture and tries to convince the child to post their own letter to get it back, therefore giving Jesper at least one letter to post. Jesper ends up keeping the picture and travels into the forest to escape the child’s father. Here he meets Klaus, who after seeing the child’s photograph depicting a sad child, gives Jesper a toy he had made and asks Jesper to deliver the toy and hopefully cheer the child up.
This works and slowly, the tradition of sending a letter to Klaus and receiving a gift was started. I won’t wander into the story anymore to avoid giving the whole film away, even if most of what happens is, or was, your own traditions at Christmas.
The animation is great. The look of the characters sometimes reminded me of a more polished version of the hand-drawn animation used in old Disney films such as 101 Dalmations. There is a great use of lighting in “Klaus” – when we enter Smeerensburg, the colours are dark and the lighting low, but when we first meet Klaus and as the films progress, the colours become brighter and the lighting becomes brighter.
The script is great and is delivered by a great voice cast made up of some great names such as Jason Schwartzman as Jesper, Rashida Jones as Alva, Joan Cusack as the miserable Mrs. Krum and J.K. Simmons as Klaus.
I really enjoyed “Klaus” and I think my kids would too if only I could get them to watch it!
Have you seen this film? Let us know your opinions in the comments below and of course if there are any films on Netflix UK you want us to review let us know!