Friday, December 13, 2019

'Tis the Season - Klaus (2019)

Streaming Service: Netflix
Movie Name/Year: Klaus (2019)
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Length: 96 minutes
Rating: PG
Production/Distribution: The SPA Studios, Aniventure, Atresmedia Cine, Netflix, Altitude Films, TriPictures
Director: Sergio Pablos, Carlos Martínez López
Writer: Zach Lewis, Jim Mahoney, Sergio Pablos
Actors: Rashida Jones, Jason Schwartzman, Joan Cusack, J.K. Simmons, Norm MacDonald, Will Sasso, Sergio Pablos, Mila Brener, Neda Margrethe Labba

Blurb from IMDb: A simple act of kindness always sparks another, even in a frozen, faraway place. When Smeerensburg's new postman, Jesper, befriends toymaker Klaus, their gifts melt an age-old feud and deliver a sleigh full of holiday traditions.

Selina’s Point of View:
This is it. This is the one.

Always, almost without fail, the same question comes up in December. People ask me, “what’s your favorite holiday movie?” Now, people have been asking me this since I was kid. It has nothing to do with the blog. Everyone I’m close to just knows how much I love movies.

Every year, without fail, I don’t have an answer.

I know everyone likes A Christmas Story (1983), but I actually kind of despise it. Objectively it’s a good movie, but for my tastes? No thanks. There are all the classics – like A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965), Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964), Miracle on 34th Street (1947/1994), It’s a Wonderful Life (1946), Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966), The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983), etc. – but as much as I like them, I couldn’t really ever choose one as a favorite. They were all just movies I watched if they happened to be on. They weren’t movies I sought out.

Honestly? I felt kind of weird not having a favorite.

I don’t have to worry about that know. Klaus is my favorite Christmas film. This is the movie I’m going to put on every year when December starts.

Klaus gives an interesting look at the origin of Santa Claus, and it covers all the morality lessons behind the season without feeling preachy. It shows a dark and dangerous world that becomes lighter because of some good deeds. It even goes into how ANY good deed can lead to goodness, even if it didn’t originally come off as selfless.

I have absolutely no complaints about this film. I look forward to a long tradition of watching it on Christmas morning.

Cat’s Point of View:
I’ve been waiting with much anticipation for Klaus. The trailer looked great and, honestly, the only reason it didn’t make it onto my Top 20 for this month was that I simply had too many movies to choose from and only 20 slots to fill.

As an added bonus, my daughter piled in on the couch to watch this one with me. Talk about a holiday win-win.

The movie didn’t disappoint. Klaus’ story is original and tells the Santa origin story with a new spin. Not only does it give us the beginnings of the big guy in red, but also the tradition of writing him letters filled with Christmas wishes.

The story was witty and well-told so that viewers of all ages would likely enjoy it quite a bit.

I was also quite surprised and pleased to find that this animated feature broke new ground in the genre in its production. Writer and director Sergio Pablos (Despicable Me, Smallfoot, Rio) had the film animated in the traditional hand-drawn style. However, to update the style a bit he added lighting and textures using CGI. This was the first film to be created in that manner.

Did I mention that this is Pablos’ directorial debut? He has quite a few animating credits to his name for well-known movies, as well as writing credits, but this is his first full-length direction. I’d say that this is a stellar first offering, and I can’t wait to see what he might put together next.

I would definitely recommend this movie for family holiday viewing, and will likely be watching it again at my daughter’s request before this season’s over. 

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 92%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 98%
Metascore – 63/100
Metacritic User Score – 9.3/10
IMDB Score – 8.3/10
CinemaScore – None

Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating5/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating4/5
Movie Trailer:

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