Title: Klaus
Released: 2019

Fix: Christmas Cheer, Santa Origin Story, Animated Delight
Platform: Netflix

Netflix Summary:

A selfish postman and a reclusive toymaker form an unlikely friendship, delivering joy to a cold, dark town that desperately needs it.

FYA Summary:

A spoiled young man who’s used to the finer things in life—thanks to his father’s position as the head of the postal service—is forced to learn how to live with nothing when he’s shipped off to a tiny town. There, he must prove to his father that he’s not a total screw up by revitalizing the mail. The only problem is: The people of the town want nothing to do with the mail; they’re too busy keeping up with a generations-spanning feud.

When the young man—Jesper—runs out of options, he discovers a reclusive toymaker living far away from town. And he discovers that the children of the town will utilize his services if they get toys in return …

Familiar Faces Voices:

Jason Schwartzman as Jesper

Schwartzman plays a very good spoiled brat. And a very good spoiled brat who eventually redeems himself and turns out to be not-so-bratty after all.

J.K. Simmons as Klaus

I have a deep love for J. Jonah Jameson in all his roles—even ones in which he hunts Andy Samberg like a wild animal—or, you know, he’s hawking Farmer’s Insurance. His gruff, deep tones are perfect for San—a person who’s lost touch with himself and the world around him, but still has some happiness buried deep down inside.

Rashida Jones as Alva

I wish Alva wasn’t white. Everyone in this movie is white, and they really don’t need to be. Especially when they’re voiced by people who aren’t white. (This has nothing to do with Jones’ playing of the character, which is great, but my consternation with the character after I realized who’s voice she had.)

Norm MacDonald as Mogens

You won’t be surprised to learn that Mogens, the local ferry boat captain, is kind of a snarky jerk.

Joan Cusack as Mrs. Krum

Mrs. Krum is an old woman. Cusack is not. Another instance of a weird casting choice that kind of took me out of the film at times.

Will Sasso as Mr. Ellingboe

Until looking up the cast on IMDB for this post, I had no idea Sasso voiced Mr. Ellingboe. So I guess it’s a role that differs greatly from the other, always comedic, roles I’ve seen him in. Mr. Ellingboe is not funny, even when you’re supposed to be laughing at him.

Couch-Sharing Capability: Family Time

Klaus is an animated movie that will appeal to folks of all ages—and of all holiday persuasions. Although this is, basically, a Santa Claus origin story, it’s more a story about finding and creating family, moving on through grief, finding oneself in the strangest of places, and the Golden Rule. It’s not overtly preachy (i.e., it’s very secular and magical, but not in a pagan/Wiccan way), but it will make your heart grow at least three sizes while you watch. But if your kiddos still believe in the traditional Santa story, you might want to have an explanation ready for this alternate tale.

Recommended Level of Inebriation: Holiday Bevvies

Klaus viewing is a perfect opportunity to bring out the finest of holiday beverages, whether that’s hot chocolate, egg nog, mulled cider, gluhwein, or something else. I’ll leave the alcohol level up to you.

Use of Your Streaming Subscription: Festive

I don’t know that watching Klaus at any other time of year would make as much sense, given the story, but the themes are pretty universal. That said, there’s no better time than now to give it a watch, and as it’s a Netflix Original, I’d say it will not only make you feel good about the season, but it’ll make you feel good that your subscription dollars are going to such quality programming.

Mandy (she/her) is a manager at a tech company who lives in Austin, TX, with her husband, son, and dogs. She loves superheroes and pretty much any show or movie with “Star” in the name.