Director: Sergio Pablos
Writers: Zach Lewis, Jim Mahoney, Sergio Pablos
Cast: Jason Schwartzman, Rashida Jones, Joan Cusack

Jesper, a spoiled brat, is enjoying his privileged life in a fictional Scandanavian country. His father runs the Royal Mail Academy that delivers the mail to the entire country. Jesper is living in a world where everything got handed to him. But his father realizes that his spoiled son is not even trying to work. So he ended his luxurious life and banished him to an island named Smeerensburg. He gives him a huge test to deliver 6,000 letters in a year. If he achieves that goal, he will be allowed to return to his luxurious life. If not, he will never have it again.

A new Santa Origin story

The approach of this Santa origin story is very different from the stories we know and love. The twist of having “Jesper, the new mailman” in it as a companion is new and refreshing.

A lot of Christmas features are touched, such as the origin of the reindeer, the letters, the cookies, the chimneys, …

We get to see Klaus in his previous life before becoming Santa. His story was heartwarming to discover, and it left me some tears. They portray him as a kind man who does real selfless acts.

One of his most meaningful quotes is:

We need to show people that a truly selfless act, sparkles another

Smeerensburg

When Jesper got banned, he travels to the Island Smeerensburg.

This is an unhappy place where two clans hate each other. They have been at war for generations.

The two main clans are the Krums and Ellingboes. They all live in the same village, and some are even neighbors. The only social interaction between them is violent feuds.

Smeerensburg has become a wasteland due to their war and hatred. No one can be nice to each other.

Each clan has some characteristics related to them. The Krums have black hair, and the Ellingboes are redheads.

In this country where everyone hates each other, Jesper has to find a way to deliver 6,000 mails. But there is one huge problem. No one seems to send letters in this town.

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Jesper, the new mailman!

Due to Jesper’s father’s punishment, he is stuck as the new mailman in Smeerensberg. He resides in a wooden damaged cabin without any luxury.

He has to find a way to persuade the habitants to send letters. This is not an easy quest for him because of the hatred of the residents.

Jesper starts as a selfish, spoiled boy. All his doing is for him to get back home. It is hard to know if the audience will like that approach. The humor they used was working for me. It made the character more likable. If this were not the case, I would have hated the character.

Alva, the schoolteacher

Some outsiders with good intentions also live in Smeerensberg. Alva is one of them. She planned to become a schoolteacher. The biggest problem was that there were no students. No interest was shown by the habitants of Smeerenberg. That made her turn her classroom into a fishmonger’s shop. Getting off the island was her new goal once she earned enough money.

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Klaus and Jesper

Later on, Jesper discovers a house on the map that is further away from the town. He decides to go over there to take a look.

There he meets a man named Klaus, who is cutting wood to make small tree houses. In his home, there are a lot of unused toys.

Those toys are going to be distributed to the kids of Smeerensberg. Jesper uses this to his advantage by tricking the kids. Everyone who wants a present needs to write a letter.

What he did not expect was the side effect it had on the kids. This brought joy and laughter to them. The impact started to spread more and more towards adults.

Eventually, this would make of Smeerensberg a happy place. The gifts were given away during the night. Jesper had to climb through different chimneys to deposit the presents. Much of the hard work was done by Jesper, but Klaus got the credit for it. This does not mean that Klaus was using the advantage of this. His intention is pure and honest.

Loving the animation

The animation is breathtaking.

It puts the 2D animation back on the screen. I still prefer to this day 2D animation compared to 3D.  The art is to be admired, and I have a sentiment of satisfaction.

It’s a pleasure to the eyes.

Packed with beautiful colors, animation style, character designs, etc. What is there not to love?

Conclusion

Klaus is a new twist on the Santa Origin story that is enjoyable as a family movie. It has its charm and warmth. Some great lessons are thoughts through the screens.

Every act should be an act of kindness!

 

3.5 stars