Movie Plot – Klaus: 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. Because of that, 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 ends his luxurious life and banishes 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.

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

Klaus, a new Santa Origin story

The approach of this Santa origin story is very different from the stories we all know and love. The twist of having “Jesper, the new mailman” in it as a companion is new and refreshing. Some people will hate the character, but I somewhat enjoyed it.

In the movie Klaus, they reference a lot of Christmas features, such as the origin of the reindeer, the letters, the cookies, the chimneys, … That was an excellent idea of the moviemakers, it gives us a story behind every Christmas related thing.

We get to see Klaus in his previous life before becoming Santa. His story was heartwarming to discover, and it left me some tears. The movie “Klaus” portrays 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.

It is an unhappy place where two clans hate each other. Not only do they despise one another, but 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 of them are even neighbors. The only social interaction between them is violent feuds.

Smeerensburg has become a wasteland due to their war and hatred. All because 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. That kind of reminds me of Japanese animated shows, where they all have this precise characteristic.

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 because there is so much hatred.

Klaus Jesper

Jesper, the new mailman!

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

He has to find a way to persuade the inhabitants to send letters. That is not an easy quest for him because of the weird situation this town has.

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. That is something you have to figure out for yourself. The humor they used was funny. It made Jesper more likable. If that was 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. The inhabitants show no interest in education. That made her turn her classroom into a fishmonger’s shop. And therefore she created a new goal: to get off this island once she had 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. When Klaus introduced Jesper to his home, Jesper finds a lot of unused toys. And that gives him an idea.

They distribute the toys 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 to Klaus.

What he did not expect was the side effect it had on the kids. The presents 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. Klaus and Jesper gave away the gifts during the night. Jesper had to climb through different chimneys to deposit the presents. Jesper did most of the work, but Klaus got the credit for it. But that 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 wonderful, and it gives me a satisfying feeling. It’s a pleasure to the eyes.

They are 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!

Be sure to check out my list of favorite Christmas movies.

3.5 stars