Klaus Review: Netflix’s Original Animated Christmas Movie is Jolly and Bright
For a while, Netflix was the streaming service of choice for families, a purchase made easy due to Netflix creating an entire separate profile for children’s entertainment. However, that stronghold now has serious competition in the form of new streaming service challengers HBO Max, which will house Sesame Street and a slew of new original kids programming, and the more threatening Disney+, which will launch with hundreds of family-friendly properties that kids and parents alike are already familiar with. To keep up with the House of Mouse, Netflix will have to rapidly expand their children’s entertainment offerings.
That initiative starts with Netflix’s first original animated movie, Klaus. Directed by Sergio Pablos (Disney’s Treasure Island and Tarzan), Klaus is a compelling first entry and could signal the way forward for Netflix, offering visually distinctive animated entertainment that could prove enticing to kids and their parents alike. Like Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, also streaming on Netflix, the alternate Santa origin story Klaus looks like no other animated film released in recent memory. Trafficking in a style that looks ornate and hand-drawn, Klaus creates an almost naturalistic lighting and features wonderfully expressive and lively character designs. Its gorgeous style will keep audiences engaged even when the story starts to lag.
Klaus centers on Jesper (Jason Schwartzman), the lazy, entitled son of the head of the Royal Post Office. Jesper’s cozy, pampered lifestyle has kept him from actively participating in postman training because he knows he can coast by on his father’s dime. Finally, his father gets fed up with his spoiled son and ships Jesper off to Smeerensburg, “the land of feuds.” Jesper will be forced to stay in the cold, violent Smeerensburg, where no one has ever been able to successfully start a post office, unless he can get 6,000 letters sent in one year. The townsfolk of Smeerensburg, caught up in something of a Hatfield-McCoy-like feud, are so subsumed by their petty conflicts that they have no need for letter writing or even school, which forces the town’s school teacher Alma (Rashida Jones) to become a fishmonger.
read more: Klaus Trailer: Netflix’s Animated Santa Claus Origin Movie
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