The animation in this movie was amazing!!
What’s this about?
This movie starts off with a very privileged Jesper Johansson acting like a spoiled rich kid, not willing to learn any responsibly and purposefully fails every job his father assigns him at the Postal Academy. When nothing else works, his father literally sends him to the middle of nowhere (Smeerensburg) to start a post office and if he fails, he will be cut off from his wealthy family.
Despite Jesper being a bit annoying at first, his eccentric and sarcastic nature makes it easy to like him and invest in his character development. Jesper is not the only character in the film that is bitter and miserable which is oddly comforting in a movie about the supposed origins of Christmas and Santa Claus. The movie has a large set of characters, but thankfully focuses on few characters that are very much jaded and angry about life’s harsh realities and are looking for ways to either run away or forget about their problems.
Jesper and Klaus are the heart and soul of the movie and even though their friendship started off on based on Jesper’s self-interest, their relationship is a genuine joy to watch. The working relationship between Jesper and Klaus unintentionally creates positive changes in Smeerensburg and that kindness is duly noted by the Sámi people. For the exception of Margu (she is so cute), the Sámi people are mostly side characters, but they are influential to Jesper and Klaus’s schemes and they helped create the iconic imagery we associate with Christmas and Santa Claus. It’s important to note that Director Sergio Pablos and his animation team collaborated with Sámi reindeer herders so that Sámi people could be represented authentically in the film.
The animation in the movie is fantastic and the environment feels very lively. The use of shadows on the characters and backgrounds gives the movie a 3D vibe, even though it’s 2D. The setting in the movie never let’s us forget the characters live in a cold environment and whenever good things happen to them the scenery changes to express the warmth the characters are feeling. The animation did a good job conveying both those warm feelings and that living in cold areas has its own perks. The attention to detail helps establish hints that magical and spiritual elements exist in the world and while it’s never explained, it doesn’t need to be. The idea that there are forces (ancestral love maybe) beyond our own looking out for us is really beautiful and that love is strongly felt in the movie. It’s ultimately that love that changes Smeerensburg and helps unite a formerly fractured community for the better. It’s honestly a really sweet story.
The holidays are a hard time for many people dealing with toxic families. Klaus is a wonderful surprise in the array of sadness so definitely check it out with friends, chosen families or by yourself. You can watch Klaus on Netflix.