Klaus – Film Review
Director: Sergio Pablos
Writers: Zach Lewis, Jim Mahoney
Stars: Rashida Jones, Joan Cusack, J.K. Simmons, Jason Schwartzman
Available on Netflix from Nov 15th
Jesper (Jason Schwartzman) is living in the lap of luxury! His father is the head of the Post Office and allows his son anything a young man could desire. Servants to meet his every whim and satin sheets to sleep on every night. That is until his father decides to toughen him up a little. He sets Jesper a near-impossible task and tells him he’ll be out on the street unless he achieves the goal of processing 6,000 letters in a year on the remote island of Smeerensburg. There, he will have to set up a new post office and convince the locals of the value of writing letters. When he arrives, he meets much animosity from the local inhabitants and also meets a mysterious woodsman called Klaus.
Believe it or not, this is Netflix’s first original animated feature film! It is directed by Sergio Pablos, who has previously worked on a number of animated films and acted as a producer for Smallfoot (2018) and Despicable Me (2010). This is his directorial debut, but he seems a natural in the role. The film gives the back story of Santa Claus for the first time, as we see how a lonely woodsman called Klaus eventually becomes the man in red!
The film has a lot for older audience members, with many visual gags and wordplay. The town of Smeerensburg is a great creation, with two warring families and near-constant battles between them. There’s a bell in the town square and once rung, all types of mayhem is released!
The film has its flaws and a few sections are relatively standard issue for these types of films. It is better suited to older kids, especially those who are fans of work such as Coraline or Songs of the Sea. Despite the subject matter, it can be quite dark at times and may scare younger audience members. Although it is not getting a cinema release, it is actually one of the better animated films I’ve seen this year and is an easy one to recommend.