A Movie Review of Klaus

Natalie Mudd, Staff Writer

These days, Netflix seems to be rolling out a movie or TV show every day. Recently, they added to the deluge of Christmas movies popping up at this time of year. Klaus, a new Netflix movie, is a perfect way to get in the Christmas spirit and is a unique take on the legend of Santa Claus.

The story is in a universe where there is a prestigious Royal Postal Academy that everyone attempts to be a part of. The main character, Jesper, voiced by Jason Schwartzman, is the spoiled child of the head of the Royal Postage Academy. It’s a bit cliche, but in order to teach Jesper humility, his father sends him to the isolated, frozen island in the North. 

Jesper’s main objective –  to return home to his cushioned lifestyle – is to get the people of the island to send 6,000 letters within a year. Unsurprisingly, this task proves to be difficult as the audience learns that the people of the town are divided. The two families, the Krums and Ellingboes, have been at odds for centuries. They have no need to send letters as the only messages they wish to send end up being violent acts towards their neighbors (all cartoonishly pictured). The movie does a wonderful job incorporating fun humor and sharp wit while introducing the backstory and characters. It makes it easy to get involved in the story and form opinions about the characters. 

In a last-ditch effort to get letters, Jesper makes a trip to an isolated cabin where he meets Klaus, voiced by J.K Simmons. He is fearful of him at first but soon sees the potential after he helps Klaus deliver a toy. He begins to bribe kids, providing them with presents if they write a letter to Klaus to ask for toys. Slowly, the relationship between Jesper and Klaus transforms and they become friends. It is a true tale of friendship and doing unselfish, good deeds. The town begins to change for the better as the kids clean up and build friendships to stay off the “naughty list.” The conflicts between the two families dissipate and the people are joyful once again.

Of course, there is a climax when Jesper’s reasons for starting the toy deliveries are revealed. However, he proves that he is a changed man and stays in the town instead of returning home to his privileged lifestyle. 

The movie ends in a bittersweet way, with a bit of an ambiguous ending. It implies that Klaus dies yet lives on through magic; he still comes to deliver toys every year and gives joy to children.

Overall, the entire movie is a creative spin on an ancient story that was entertaining and lovable. The movie is not terribly long, just a little over an hour and a half, making it easy to sit down and enjoy. The animated film is a sentimental piece with scattered bits of humor and appeals to any age. Both children and adults alike can have their attention captured. It teaches charity and giving subtly without slamming strict morality into the audience’s face. The animation is extremely well-done and mesmerizing with its modern feeling. The characters are relatable, lovable, quirky, and humorous. It is a fantastic Christmas movie filled with action, love, and friendship as it embraces the Christmas spirit and expands on the true meaning behind the toys: joy.