‘Klaus’ Film Review: Animated Santa Claus Origin Story Nails the Magic Better than the Comedy

  • The Wrap
If I’ve learned anything as a Christmas-movie historian, it’s that it’s very easy to get Santa Claus origin stories wrong. Lean too hard into the explanations, and you strip away the wonder. Focus too much on whether or not people should believe in Santa, and you paint yourself into a quasi-theological corner.

The animated “Klaus” — opening in theaters before its upcoming Netflix debut — skillfully avoids both of these traps, crafting a how-it-all-began saga with storybook visuals and genuine bursts of real feeling. It’s far more successful with holiday magic than it is with character-based comedy, but that’s not enough of a flaw to keep young audiences (and their parents) from potentially turning this feature into a cherished annual tradition.

Despite the title, “Klaus” isn’t based on the popular graphic novel by Grant Morrison and Dan Mora — although with a postman and a schoolteacher among its principal characters,
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