In the beginning of Netflix’s ‘Klaus’, we see the main character, Jesper, as a lazy, rude, spoiled disaster — which reminds me a lot with Disney’s ‘The Emperor’s New Groove’ Emperor Kuzco.
What happened next was a beautiful story of a solitary island in the northern area, filled with snow, and how the legend of Santa Claus was born.
‘Klaus’, for me, is like a soothing and cooling ointment after a bitter concoction called Disney’s ‘Frozen’ (the first one; I haven’t watched the second one — my friends said it was good and I trust them, but I don’t want to watch it for now. It’s school break in Malaysia right now, so movie theaters might be as well as a fresh Greek hell.) My favorite part in the movie is when a Sámi girl, named Margu, appears. She talks in Sámi language — and this, for me, respects the culture of Nordic countries and tribes. Not so sure what ‘Frozen’ brought, after a really beautiful opening song of ‘Vuelie’ (it’s a Sámi word!) and ‘Beware of Frozen Heart’ with Nordic rhythm and melodies and suddenly those two songs got eclipsed, butchered, and thrown away ”thanks” to ‘Let It Go’.
‘Klaus’ tells a story of a lazy spoiled postman, named Jesper, who got sent to a place called Smeerensburg way up in the north where two clans fighting with each other for ages; even the elders forgot the reason and didn’t know why they fight on the first place. Jesper needed to deliver 6000 letters in one year and should he able to fulfill it, he will be able to go back home and enjoy his previous luxurious life. He met Klaus, a reclusive woodsman and carpenter, and together they started a mission: Sending toys to the children of Smeerensburg.
Honestly, no characters I dislike from this movie; even the main antagonist, the sly sinister Mrs. Krum, she reminds me of ‘The Emperor’s New Groove’ Yzma. I love the character designs on this movie; you can see the hilarious zombie-look from some of the kids characters which reminds you of Tim Burton’s ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’. I found myself laughing loudly while snorted, “delightful!” when there was a scene of a kid stabbing a carrot on a snowman and the kid looks like Tim Burton’s.
Jesper has this laid-back attitude which I love; he spews words a lot! (Kudos, Jason Schwartzman!) And such a talkative, animated person. Alva, a teacher cum fish seller, the female protagonist of the movie is full of spirit, brilliant, and I really hope she could have more scene moments. Klaus is like this massive massive massive (grumpy) teddy bear that you can’t help not to love.
And the chickens! At some point its beady eyes remind me of ‘Moana’ Heihei. I really love the chickens! So round and goofy-looking.
The art of this movie is outstanding. I love how the team combined 2D and 3D. It has its own charm and I love how you can see the deliberate brush strokes on the art, instead of trying everything go uber detailed. It can combine the freezing cold of nordic countries and the warm comfy hearth of fireplace.
There is this one line from the movie that I keep thinking about.
“It’s only a matter of time until the children started to go against each other like it used to be. Do you think for how long the grown-ups will follow, hm?”
That line defines everything, and somehow, it rings so true with our reality. It acknowledges the power the younger generations have: To create a change. Hopefully, for the better.
‘Klaus’ is not the first animation movie trying to challenge the Goliath called ‘Disney’. There are many out there, beautiful wondrous animation works, worthy to be put alongside — or even better — than Disney. And for that, I urge you to watch ‘Klaus’.
This is a beautiful movie about friendship and kindness; a warm cocoa for your days.
All images on this blog post are from The Art of Animation FB Page: The Art of Klaus.