Christmas Classics: ‘Klaus’


The 2019 film, Klaus, is a heartwarming story that shows how compassion and love can go a long way. Graphic by Shawkin Kabir.

By Shawkin Kabir, Reporter

One of the traditions that make the holiday season special is the classic movies everyone enjoys year after year. However, the best movies at times are the ones that combine new stories with views of old holiday classics. Netflix’s 2019 movie, Klaus, does just that by putting a new spin on a staple of the holiday season: Santa Claus.

The movie revolves around a selfish and privileged man named Jesper who grew up in a high-status family because of his father’s position, a Postmaster General. After showing arrogance and laziness in the postal academy countless times, his father is finally fed up and decides to send him to an island called Smeerenburg, where he must send 6,000 letters throughout the year, or else he will be cut off. Jesper arrives in the town and is immediately disappointed as he realizes what the character of the town is. The town is divided by two clans that have been fighting for as long as they can remember, and take any opportunity they can to battle each other. He meets a former teacher named Alva whos dreams to change the lives of children was crushed as the town didn’t want kids of the two different families, mingling with each other. Jesper desperately tries to find postal business to fulfill his demands and get back to his comfortable life, but no one is interested. He then meets a distant and lonely woodworker named Klaus, where after their rough initial interaction, he sees him create a toy for a little boy who looks at it with joy and love. After this incident, other kids want toys and Jesper takes this opportunity to get them to send letters to fulfill his quota and have Klaus help him with the making of toys to fulfill the demands. As time goes on, kids get more and more excited and invent the classic details we’ve all heard such as “the naughty list”, “leaving out cookies”, and “toys being left in socks”. As the kids get filled with more joy, it leads them to interact with each other more and causes a rift between the adults in the community who want to keep their town divided. As Jesper gets closer to his initial goal, he finds himself connecting closer with the generosity found in his job.

The movie is excellently crafted through its illustration. Every scene is filled to the edge of your screen with wonderful detail. Every color pallet matches the mood and tone of the specific story. At the beginning of the movie the illustration creatively and precisely conveys its plot like when Jesper arrives in Smeerenburg the colors are dark and dull in a way that allows the viewer to feel the sadness and hurt in their heart. As the movie goes on, the viewer can feel as if their life is being uplifted along with the characters as the tones get warmer and brighter, and makes anyone watching feel like they are at peace. The details within the illustration make sure to create an impact upon the audience. Every line and every corner makes itself to be seen as drawn with a purpose. The viewer feels like they are the ones in the room and the setting with the characters. In the beginning, the audience can clearly feel the fear of the initial arrival to this unusual place and then can feel the deep divide within the town as if they have lived there their whole life. The happiness felt by the individuals in the town by the end, feels like the viewers’ own joy. The feature in which the audience feels so connected to the movie because of the amazing illustration is something exceptionally unique to be found in an animated film. The details in the faces of the characters are so well crafted the viewer feels as if those in the film are real people in their world. The joy expressed in the children’s facial features is one of the most memorable things about the film. As the children see their gifts and see a new possibility of an undivided world, the viewer can see the light in their eyes and the wonder they have. The audience can feel the innocence of the children as well as their uplifting emotions, which brings viewers to connect to the emotions of the movie. At the same time, the audience can feel how the older characters get uplifted as well. They can see the goal of kindness is Klaus’ eyes as he works to help the children, but also in Jesper, the viewer can see a clear difference in the arrogance found in his face at the beginning, to one of the most heartwarming parts of the movie, where he sees a child filled with love after they receive a special toy. The animations that are so wonderfully crafted, bring the viewer to connect to the kindness at the heart of the movie.

The plot combined with the detailed aspects in the creation of the film all work together to weave a heartwarming story. A story helps the viewer realize that the holiday season isn’t about what you receive, but what you give. This holiday movie shows that generosity can change people’s negative attitudes as well as bring them together. In the end, bringing kindness and joy to others is the greatest gift one can experience.