When Jesper distinguishes himself as the Postal Academy's worst student, he is sent to Smeerensburg, a small village located on an icy island above the Arctic Circle, where grumpy inhabitants barely exchange words, let alone letters. Jesper is about to give up and abandon his duty as a postman when he meets local teacher Alva and Klaus, a mysterious carpenter who lives alone in a cabin full of handmade toys.
A beauty. What a lovely, charming and clever film. 'Klaus' took my interest and then some, I was locked in from the start. It's terrific, with some excellent hand-drawn animation. The cast, led by Jason Schwartzman, do very good jobs, also. I loved seeing it connect all the dots of Santa, Christmas et al. If you think about it, it's actually rather simple but it's done in a smart and pleasant way. The ending is particularly sweet. Away from the heart, it also has humour and the pacing is absolutely spot on. Schwartzman is entertaining as Jesper, with J. K. Simmons doing a very solid job as Klaus. I also enjoyed Joan Cusack as Tammy. The cast are probably down the pecking order of this film's pluses, but that's only due to its other, more noticeable positives. Always pleasing to see a great animated film away from Disney, if only to create important competition for the latter.