Being a feature wonderful in essentially every way possible, it’s difficult to pinpoint it’s best quality
Any Christmas film that can simultaneously bring in a dashingly original style of animation with a wonderful fresh take on an age old story gets immediate pluses, but for that film to then be heartwarming, entertaining and entirely lovable, is an incredibly impressive achievement.
Directed by Spanish film maker Sergio Pablos, Klaus tells the story of Jesper (Jason Schwartzman) as he is sent to Smeerensburg, a remote town in the northern outreaches where no postal worker has previously succeeded. Determined to actually do something while positioned in his new town (and desperate to leave as quickly as possible), Klaus takes it upon himself to get the town’s children involved in sending letters.
Boasting animation like a point and click adventure, Klaus feels refreshingly original, as it takes an age old story, turns it on its head, and opens it up as if it were a brand new legend. This innovation that drives the entire piece is perhaps it’s most charming element, but being a feature wonderful in essentially every way possible, it’s difficult to pinpoint it’s best quality.
Schwartzman’s childish yet driven Jesper is a great lead, as he takes the story not necessarily where would be expected, but certainly to a happy and festive place that fits the film’s embracing nature. Klaus has a lot of positives that a large portion of modern animation seems to consider entirely moot when creating features. It’s refreshing compared to a the majority of its animation contemporaries around, even though it’s an entirely festive showpiece.
Even through just its plot and animation style, Klaus is winning, but mix in the amazing character and set design, and add the charm that Klaus brings by the sackful, and the film becomes a completely joyous entity.
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