Extremely entertaining film both for little kids and adults, KLAUS is a rare achievement in animation that relies on character development, heart and morality rather than usual Disney/Pixar gimmicks.
“KLAUS” surprised me. In a good way that very rarely a film can surprise me nowadays. In the era when big studios like Disney and Pixar and Dreamworks and what-not spend billions to cash on minds of little children and their parents who are forced to watch the same crap, we have a small independent Spanish studio and first-time director to deliver SUCH a product is just inconceivable. And to think it came out of Netflix.
Film tells the fictional origin story of one Santa Claus, but in reality it’s a story of “good deeds incite good deeds”. And, man, how it does it! There are no Disney dead-parent story, no tree hugging dances and annoying songs, no propaganda and no message being shoved down throats. And consequently no toy sales, sequels, musicals or live-action remakes.
What we have is a HAND-DRAWN spectacle of a film that relies purely on the story, character development, retribution, redemption and morality. It is funny yet exciting with certain drama, entertaining both for little kids (I watched, of course, with my little ones) and adults, with equal share of emotional context and catharsis. Ending was a pure joy to watch and I will admit it very much affected me.
From a technical standpoint, director Sergio Pablos uses all his experience working on Disney’s TARZAN and HERCULES and developing DESPICABLE ME to create amazing visual look. Combining hand-drawn animation with CGI volumetric lighting, he blends the distinction between two completely different techniques, taking the best of each. He complements all these with great pacing and editing. Voice cast also shines with likes of Jason Schwartzman, J.K. Simmons and Rashida Jones.
For what it’s worth, I really hope KLAUS gets an Oscar nomination and (fingers crossed) beats FROZEN 2 while at it.