Christmas films are an important staple of the holiday season, so what better way to celebrate any given festive period than with an excellently made, Christmas-themed animation like Klaus?
Klaus is a 2019 animation directed by Spanish director Sergio Pablos and distributed by Netflix. It features the voices of stars such as Jason Schwartzman, Joan Cusack and J.K. Simmons, and was produced by Pablos’ own animation company Sergio Pablos Animation Studios. The story follows Jesper’s (Schwartzman’s) trials and tribulations of being a postman on an island that doesn’t send letters, his unlikely friendship with a woodsman (Simmons), and how the duo transform the gloomy, feud-ridden island into a place of joy through delivering presents. It was a nominee for Best Animated Feature Film at the 2020 Oscars, and won the equivalent award at the 2020 BAFTAs.
It has been lauded by many as one of the great animated films made outside of the Hollywood studio system in the past ten years, but what makes Klaus so special? In this Movie List, we’re looking at this Christmas themed animated feature to offer 5 Reasons Why Klaus (2019) Is an Amazing Christmas Film.
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1. The Animation
In an age of animation inhabited almost exclusively by 3D releases, 2D animation is a breath of fresh air. With both 2D and 3D animation styles being blended together, Klaus is full of added depth but stays true to its nostalgic and unique art style.
Smeerensburg, where the film takes place, is inspired by German Expressionism in its design, both in terms of the buildings and the town’s inhabitants. The colour scheme also plays a large role in the atmosphere building throughout the film; Smeerensburg’s first appearance is dark, grey and rundown, but as time goes on, warmer tones begin to take over, especially in scenes of isolated happiness such as during the first present delivery.
Unlike the bland and corporate offerings of some of the US’s biggest animation studios – Illumination Entertainment, Warner Animation Group, etc. – every aspect of Klaus’ animation really adds to the emotional weight of its story, helping it to connect with audiences young and old.
2. It’s an Original Look at Santa’s Origin
The origin of Ol’ Saint Nick has been revisited time after time, both in literature and on screen, so to have a film in 2019 have a fresh take on the beginnings of Santa is already impressive, but to then have it be emotional, comical and magical takes the film to the next level.
The story behind why Klaus makes toys is enough to reduce any adult to tears, but then the comical edge of Jesper’s struggles with the actual delivering of the presents helps to ease the emotional tension. Jesper’s involvement in the story is actually very important, since it finally gives credit to postal workers – the ones who work extra hard to deliver the Christmas presents over the holidays.
Vitally, this change in perspective and in tone doesn’t kill the magic of Father Christmas, as despite the legendary figure’s disappearance, he still delivers presents every year.
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