Movie Review: Klaus (2019)

Synopsis: When wealthy and spoiled Jesper deliberately tries to flunk out of the postal academy, his father assigns him to a remote town in the arctic with the task of posting 6000 letters in one year to avoid being cut off financially. Unfortunately for Jesper, the town is embroiled in a generations-long feud that has made the post office obsolete. However, he finds renewed hope when he convinces the town's children to send letters to a woodsman named Klaus in exchange for the toys he makes.

Who's in it? The animated movie uses voices from Jason Schwartzman, J. K. Simmons, Rashida Jones, Joan Cusack and Norm Macdonald.


Review: My youngest daughter wanted to see our town's holiday parade yesterday evening but, since none of the rest of us was really all that interested in standing out in the cold, I convinced her to stay home with a bribe of hot chocolate and a Christmas movie. I had noticed this film on Netflix a few days ago and thought it looked interesting. And, after watching it with the family last night, I can honestly say it is one of my new favorite Christmas films.

I think the thing that surprised me most about this film was how unpredictable it proved to be. I correctly figured it was another Santa Claus origin story. But, the film managed to make this version of the story a lot more interesting by using practical (and sometimes funny) ways to explain everything from how he started making toys to his "flying" reindeer. Even my wife, who didn't think she would like the film, seemed to be amused.

The townspeople themselves are also very memorable. I especially loved how the film, through various acts of random kindness, had the town gradually change from a war zone to a community of friends, while still keeping a couple bad guys around to keep things interesting. Their growth, along with Jesper's (Schwartzman), was heartwarming to watch, though I was also glad to see the movie keep the "creepy" children around, mostly because my daughters loved them.

The thing that really surprised me most about this film, however, had to be the ending. I have to admit, I never saw it coming and loved how it managed to tie-in the human version of Santa with the more-magical version we're familiar with. Heck, it even managed to get my oldest daughter to pause in reflection as the twist sunk in. That's not something that happens often.

Final Opinion: This was a funny, entertaining and even magical animated film that my entire family enjoyed. I recommend taking the time to watch it if you get a chance.

My Grade: A

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