Klaus: Movie Review

"Klaus" feels fresh and familiar, both inventive and clichéd at the same time. But there's no denying that "Klaus", while full of limitations, had its own share of outstanding moments and beautiful animation that makse this an easy heart-warming recommendation for the family this holiday season.

When Jesper (Jason Schwartzman), the son of a very rich man, distinguishes himself as the postal academy’s worst student ever, he is punished by his dad and stationed on a frozen island called Smeerensburg above the Arctic Circle. He miust process 6,000 letters within one year or risk losing his inheritance. The island is not only isolated but also home to feuding locals that have hardly exchange words let alone letters. Jesper is about to give up when he finds an ally in local teacher Alva (Rashida Jones), and discovers Klaus (J.K. Simmons), a mysterious carpenter who lives alone in a cabin full of handmade toys. These unlikely friendships return laughter to Smeerensburg, forging a new legacy of generous neighbors, magical lore and stockings hung by the chimney with care.
Who knew that an origin story about Santa Claus can feel fresh and inventive? "Klaus" found a way to put a grounded spin on the all too familiar old Saint Nick. In this version, Santa ain't so saintly and holy and just a regular human person with his own emotional and dark past. At the helm is the character of Jesper who is forcibly stationed at the isolated island of Smeerensburg at the threat of losing his inheritance. This is what we loved most about the narrative of "Klaus". This is a kids film no doubt but its characters were fleshed out and grounded - each with their own flaws that they had to overcome. More than the the writing, the biggest selling point for "Klaus" would be its animation. At an age where 3D is king, "Klaus" just proved that 2D still has its own merits. Each scene had that certain pop and grandeur and the experience was like having a children's book literally come to life. While the characters and story were outstanding, the voice acting and sound track were just okay at best. The sound track in particular felt like it was just put there out of necessity. Overall, "Klaus" may have its faults but there's no denying that it will be a wonderful time for the whole family and its one film that certainly adds a human touch into the story of Santa Claus.
Rating: 3 and a half reels

Why you should watch it:
- the animation is outstanding and beautiful
- an origin of Santa Claus that has an original and grounded spin

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- it lacks depth and feels conventional at times
- the voice acting was just okay

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