Klaus (2019)

klaus poster 2019 movie
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Nice story, cast, and look

Takes a bit to get used to at the start

Movie Info

Movie Name: Klaus

Studio: Sergio Pablos Animation Studios

Genre(s):  Animated/Family/Seasonal

Release Date(s): November 8, 2019

MPAA Rating:  PG

klaus jesper johansson santa claus

We both need something…

Jesper Johansson is a spoiled and privileged man who has had everything handed to him in his life. When his father assigns him to the postman of the frigid island of Smeerensburg until he gets six-thousand letters processed, Jesper hopes it will be a quick job, but he quickly discovers the warring island of Smeerensburg barely communicates with each other and writing letters just doesn’t happen. Jesper finds himself seeking out ways to get people to write and stumbles upon a woodsman named Klaus who has a room full of toys. Using the toys to get children to write letters to Klaus, Jesper thinks he’s found his out but helping Klaus could not only change Jesper but the people of Smeerensburg.

Directed by Sergio Pablos, Klaus is an animated family Christmas movie. The film had a limited release on November 8, 2019 and premiered on Netflix on November 15, 2019. The film received an Academy Award nomination for Best Animated Feature.

klaus rashida jones jason schwartzman smeerensburg

Great…Smeerensburg has a Chriskindlemart where they can buy cheap nutcrackers

I didn’t know about Klaus when it was released. It is the type of movie I might have watched during the holidays if I known about the film, but the Academy Award nomination brought the film more publicity. Watching Klaus, it is a great looking and surprisingly heartfelt movie.

The film does feel aimed for kids in many ways with goofy characters and plot points that are easy to figure out while you are watching it. The clever way the film ties the Christmas myths surrounding Santa Claus into the movie are smart and by the end of the film, Klaus had won me over. It is also rather amusing that the film utilized a trick from The Road Warrior to wrap up the story and bring the characters together…another reason to like the movie.

The film utilizes a good cast that has you saying “I recognize that voice” if you don’t look up who does the voice work. Jason Schwartzman has mastered the smarmy type character from his start in Rushmore and he’s a good fit for the Jesper character who is likable despite his attitude. J.K. Simmons of course is a fit for Klaus though he doesn’t have many lines in the course of the movie (his final scene however is magic).  I wish they had involved the Rashida Jones character a bit more throughout the movie because it kind of feels like she dips in and out too much.  Will Sasso and Joan Cusack play the feuding families and Norm Macdonald bring his sarcasm to the boat captain Mogens.

klaus ending santa claus dies

…and Kluas becomes legend

The visuals for Klaus took a little getting used to. In some ways the animation feels very basic and typical, but the sets and the characters interaction with their surrounding shows a greater depth than many animated films have. It might not have the high-tech nature of something that is straight CGI, but it has heart.

Klaus is a worthwhile movie that easily could become a holiday classic. The movie is rather short and too the point, but it feels like it has a lot of what many modern Disney movies (to me) are missing in terms of pacing and concepts. Check out Klaus…even if you do it when it isn’t the holidays.

Related Links:

The 92nd Academy Award Nominations

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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