Starring: Jason Schwartzman, J.K. Simmons, Rashida Jones
Director: Sergio Pablos
Running Time: 96 mins
Klaus is a Spanish film about the story of a young man who, after being sent to a dangerous, isolated town as a punishment for his slacking, encounters an old toymaker, with whom he begins a number of Christmas traditions.
An immensely imaginative and funny film right the way through, Klaus is an utterly delightful watch, complete with an endearing and genuine love for a traditional Christmas, entertaining animation, excellent voice performances and an impressively captivating story throughout.
There’s so much to love about Klaus, and that’s not just because it’s a good Christmas movie. For starters, it’s a light-hearted and sweet watch that’s a delight for viewers of all ages. It often comes across as a film directed squarely at young kids, but impresses with clever, witty humour and often even engrossing characterisation that any older viewers will absolutely appreciate.
In that, this achieves so much that so many other Christmas movies miss the mark on. At times, Klaus is a light-hearted, easy-going throwback to your festive favourites as a kid (the 2D animation plays a big part in that too), and at others, it has the ingenuity and imagination to offer something engaging and different.
That shines through in the film’s humour too. It’s more than happy to entertain with silly slapstick from time to time, and establishes a brand of humour reminiscent of the many modern retellings of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, but at the same time impresses with a very witty screenplay that’s full of life from start to finish.
Couple that with a host of brilliantly energetic voice performances, and Klaus proves more than capable of making you laugh on a regular basis – proving one of the most genuinely hilarious Christmas movies in a rather long time.
But above all, the one thing that really makes Klaus stand out is its story. Christmas movies are more than easy to make, and particularly when Santa’s involved, the formula has been repeated a thousand times over.
So, Klaus takes a slightly different approach to a well-trodden plot, as an average Joe teams up with Santa Claus, but this time in the story that provides the very origin to the Christmas we know and love today.
It’s such an imaginative yet brilliantly simple take on the genre, with the pair’s antics all leading to festive traditions steeped in history, from how letters were first sent to Santa, to why naughty children get a lump of coal as their stocking fillers.
All played out with an entertainingly tongue-in-cheek sense of humour at the same time, Klaus proves a delightful watch right the way through, and that vibrant, hilarious and faux eye-opening imagination is absolutely wonderful, and a perfect approach to a classic Christmas tale.
Overall, I loved Klaus. A hilarious, enjoyable watch through and through, it’s a delightful bit of festive entertainment, impressing with likeable, interesting characters, energetic voice performances, excellent 2D animation, and a great sense of humour. Couple all that with a brilliantly imaginative story that cooks up more than a few surprises, and you’ll struggle to find a bugbear with Klaus, which is why I’m giving it a 7.9.