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If you weren't feeling the holiday spirit already, Netflix's animated film Klaus aims to instill some Christmas joy.
Klaus takes place in the gloomy town of Smeerenburg, where children don't have friends and being mean to one another is the expected social etiquette.
But outcast Jesper, played by Jason Schwartzman, has a plan to remind the town of the importance of community and togetherness.
When Jesper — dubbed the postal academy's worst student — notices Mr. Klaus (J.K Simmons), the mailman gets an idea. Klaus is a recluse carpenter with a finesse for crafting toys. But when Jesper realizes these toys are just collecting dust on Klaus' shelves, he suggests that he could deliver the gifts to the children in town.
The duo forms an unlikely friendship, as Mr. Klaus asks to accompany Jesper on his journey, creating a new origin story for Santa Claus.
But not all in Smeerenburg desire change. While some become more optimistic and hopeful for a future — especially one where Mr. Klaus will bring children presents — certain townspeople become fearful of change.
The Hollywood Reporter film critic John DeFore called the movie an "unexpected charmer." He added: "A family holiday film that should sit especially well with members of the family who feel they could probably do without another holiday film, Sergio Pablos' Klaus invents its own unexpected and very enjoyable origin story for the big guy who gives out toys every Christmas eve."
Directed by Pablos, creator of other animated stories such as Despicable Me, Klaus hit theaters Nov. 8 and became available on Netflix on Nov. 15.
Pablos spoke to Animation Magazine about the film’s unique look and its use of 2D animation. "If you learn to listen, you’ll find that some ideas clearly lend themselves more to CGI, some to live action, and every now and then you come across an idea that clearly would benefit from the organic quality that only traditional animation can bring,” Pablos said. “This was the case with Klaus.”
Read on to meet the actors who bring life to the townspeople of Smeerenburg.
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