Klaus user review

  • A novel idea gives a much needed injection of originality into Christmas animation.

    The main trick up the sleeve of this new animated Yuletide offering from Netflix isn't its CGI as hand drawn aesthetic or it's very capable voice cast, though both of those might be enough to make a stale Christmas cartoon more palatable anyway.
    The thing that Klaus does is find a new story out of the Santa Claus myth that feels like old folklore. And what's more, it eschews the usual Christmas trapping until the final minutes in order to tell its story.

    A postman, for reasons of plot, is posted (pun ashamedly intended) in a town in the far north with the task of reinvigorating the postal service. And so, for reasons which are born out of selfishness, he comes up with the notion that he could make his numbers by getting the kids of the town to write requests for toys from the local philanthropic toymaker hermit.

    I don't know, maybe it's been done before but the conceit of a postman inventing the idea of letters to Santa is certainly something new to me and I really like it. It's devilish and not just a little believable.

    Sergio Pablos, the creator of the Despicable Me franchise handles it with more earnestness than you might expect with that pedigree. There is some goofiness to the proceedings but only once or twice does it feel like it's a bit much. Mostly the film is very sincere and all the more engaging for it.

    Some of the talented supporting cast including Joan Cusack and Rashida Jones have fun with their material. Others (JK Simmons), do not.
    The main character, voiced by Jason Schwartzman, seems to have stolen a performance and cast-off dialogue from The Emperor's New Groove and some of the townspeople have a decidedly Tim Burton appearance. Luckily those things don't distract to greatly.

    While it's unlikely that this is going to make anyone's 'best of' list, it is a great looking, sincere and original Christmas movie.

    Grade: B-

    Pros

    • Original
    • Great cast

    Cons

    • Some ropey performances
    • Some goofy character design

    Scores

    6

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Klaus

Comments
0
Author
Tom Davies
Review score
6 / 10
Average score
6.0 / 10
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