Klaus

Since the weather of late has been like it is December, I think it is totally appropriate to watch a Christmas film. Especially when it is of such high quality as this one.

To be honest, I fall into the category of people who are just kinda done with Christmas films. It is a combination of saturation point having been reached and the quality of them not being great. Films like Klaus, directed by a pair of first time directors Sergio Pablos (first film) and Carlos Martinez Lopez (first film), really renew my faith in the genre.

Originally released in 2019 it is a story about how powerful a simple act of kindness can be. An important message any time, but especially apt for today. Shows how kindness brings with it hope and how powerful a combo they can be.

The film was Oscar nominated in the Best Animated Feature category. Well deserved. It did not win (though it would have been a worthy winner), as there was some stiff competition in this category. If you have not seen the film it is a perfect one to sit around with the entire family, no matter what age, to watch.

Being rather privileged his entire life, Jesper (voiced by Jason Schwartzman – Rushmore, Moonrise Kingdom) has turned into a self-centered rather lazy young man. His father has had enough of it, so decides to teach his son a lesson. He has decided to cut him off his money along with having him work as a post man. This does not go well at all as Jesper’s lazy ways continue. Upping the ante his father places him as the postman in a remote, frozen island just above the Arctic Circle telling him that if he does not succeed there that there will be no more money.

Lazy as he is Jesper is motivated by money. So he really wants to do well. His undertaking is made even more difficult by the fact that the residents of the town don’t really get along with one another. They are not really very welcoming to the newest member of the community. Local school teacher, Alva (voiced by Rashida Jones – from television’s Parks and Recreation) is the only person who even gives him the time of day. Things look grim.

Just as he is about to give up all hope, Jesper comes across Klaus (voiced by J.K. Simmons – Whiplash, Juno). Klaus, since the death of his beloved wife, has become somewhat of a recluse, so he is not pleased with intrusion of Jesper. Jesper himself is about to write off Klaus when he discovers that the bearded mountain of a man has a special talent. He is an excellent toy maker. This gives Jesper an idea. An idea he thinks will help him be a success as a postman and get him back in his father’s good graces.

A heartwarming take on the Christmas origin story. You will alternate between laughing and being moved by the film. The animation is well done and the voice cast do a great job. Besides Schwartzman, Jones and Simmons, Will Sasso, Joan Cusack and Norm MacDonald also lend their pipes.

You can watch this film on Netflix.

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