Only just recently available on Netflix, here we have another title that manages to reinvigorate that childhood Christmas spirit within. A great movie for the whole family, 'Klaus' takes a different approach on the history of certain Christmas traditions, namely, what Santa does every Christmas Eve.
It all starts, somewhat unexpectedly, with a guy named Jesper (Jason Schwartzman) who purposefully fails at following in the footsteps of the family business - postman. His Dad, in an attempt to make him turn things around, sends him to the secluded town of Smeerensburg. He must post 6,000 letters in a year, or he's cut from all of his fancy privileges
Once in Smeerensburg, it becomes quickly known as a sort of mild war zone as two families have been feuding for generations. As a result, the mail flows like frozen molasses. Just as he's about to give up, Jesper discovers that there's a very secluded place nearby, home to a hulking, toy-making hermit named Klaus (J.K. Simmons). Upon seeing Klaus for the first time, imagining him to be some sort of axe murderer, Jesper flees, dropping a drawing he got from a kid that portrays an unhappy child.
Klaus, picking up the drawing, is the beginning of everything. Klaus enlists the help of Jesper to deliver a toy to the child portrayed in the drawing. Jesper takes the idea of Klaus delivering toys to the children of the town, and opens a post office for kids to deliver their letters to Klaus, requesting toys. As the film unfolds, we get a really cool depiction of where the legend all started, making things a little more realistic, and everything we know about Santa being word of mouth from kids - things like fitting down the chimney, reindeer flying, etc. Everything has a good explanation behind it, and the way it ends really tops it all off, filling the viewer's heart with a certain joy.
Any flaws I saw in this film has to do with a bit of the character designs (for example two children bigger than Klaus' sleigh), and the very unconventional soundtrack and dialogue (playing much more modern music some of the time, when it takes place a very long time ago). But with that said, it's still not enough to knock the story off its tracks. It's definitely one of the best Christmas movies of the year, and it's a Netflix original.
So, this holiday season, if you're looking for a great, easily accessible and brand new Christmas movie for the whole family, look no further than Netflix. It's an easy hour and a half, has some good laughs, somewhat dark moments for the grown-ups (nothing too scary), and a great voice cast that also includes Will Sasso, Rashida Jones, and Joan Cusack among others.I had a great time with it, and it could very well become a new tradition for yours truly. Despite any minor flaws, it's a lot of fun, and it's a high recommendation on my part.