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  • This Christmas Movie Teaches Kids To Be Kind, Plus How To Make It To Santa's Nice List!

    Get ready to 'meet' Santa Claus. This animated film spreads Christmas cheer to everyone!
    by Karen Mae de Vera .
This Christmas Movie Teaches Kids To Be Kind, Plus How To Make It To Santa's Nice List!
PHOTO BY Screenshot from Klaus trailer/Youtube and courtesy of Netflix
  • Just when you thought you knew everything about ‘ol Saint Nick, Klaus comes into town to shake things up! The Spanish-American animated film that's now streaming on Netflix provides a whole new perspective on the Santa Claus mythos, so read on as we break down all the ways it’s worth a stream during the holidays. (Warning: Grab some tissues because you’ll be wiping away tears by the end of this film!)

    The Plot: Klaus

    Jasper is the postman-in-training who teams up with Klaus to spread Christmas cheer in the town of Smeerensburg.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Netflix
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    Jesper Johansson (Jason Schwartzman) has always been accustomed to luxury thanks to his father’s cushy job as Postmaster General. Everything changes when Jesper is shipped off to the remote village of Smeerensburg located far north as punishment for his lazy and selfish behavior. Unfortunately, this will be a difficult undertaking for Jesper as Smeerensburg is in complete chaos due to feuding clans. But there may be hope to put a stop to the squabbling when the postman-in-training meets a toymaker named Klaus (J.K. Simmons). They team up and start delivering toys to the children caught in the middle of all the fighting. But will that be enough to finally bring peace back to Smeerensburg?

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    Why you should watch Klaus with the kids

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    1. It’s a whole new Santa Claus origin story.

    And yet, Klaus also gives an amusingly mundane explanation to everything we have ever learned about the Christmas icon. You know how Santa squeezes into chimneys? That was actually Jesper trying to avoid dangerous traps and guard dogs. You'll also get a perfectly logical (but hilarious!) explanation about Santa's flying sleigh!

    2. The 2D hand-drawn animation style looks straight out of a storybook.

    Would you believe that it almost took a decade to complete this project due to the painstakingly meticulous process? It was certainly worth the wait because the final result presented us with fluid movements, vibrant hues, and spectacular shading (with additional assistance from modern technology, of course). What you see on the posters and other promotional materials is exactly what it will look like once you press play.

    3. The film reminds us that kids are smarter than we give them credit for.

    The kids take center stage in this film, reminding us to never underestimate the little ones.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Netflix
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    Instead of relying on slapstick gimmicks, the movie's humor is derived from sarcasm and witty repartee among the main characters. (Almost every character in the film cracks a sarcastic comment at one point.)

    The kid villagers also expressed themselves in an articulate way — sounding far more logical than the actual adults. In fact, most of the Santa Claus mythos comes from numerous discussions among the children. These kids also took it upon themselves, despite the initial absence of support from their parents, to start attending school so they could learn how to write. (As every parent should know: kids are a lot smarter than we think!)

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    If you want to teach your kids kindness and to selflessness, then this movie will inspire them.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Netflix

    4. The pressing issues in the film are highly relatable and applicable to the real-world.

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    We don’t need to look far to see the inspiration behind the conflict in this film. The centuries-long grudge between the Ellingboe and Krum clans are motivated by “tradition” and strongly reminds us of the many wars taking place around the world. Through this film, you can take the opportunity to explain to your kids the real-life conflicts affecting us today. After all, they are the next generation to step up and with proper guidance, they can be the key to breaking this vicious cycle of violence.

    5. Klaus gives us this wonderful lesson: "A true selfless act always sparks another."

    The villagers’ kids have only ever known the animosity and violent tendencies exhibited by the adults in their lives, which influences them to follow suit. But through Jesper, Klaus, and school teacher Alva’s (Rashida Jones) collective efforts, these children learn another way and lead by example, showing their parents how to be selfless and to be kind to others.

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    Klaus doesn’t rely on cheesy, cloying throwaway messages that they could have easily gotten away with due to it being a holiday film. Instead, they wanted to do better and be better, getting into what goes on when well-meaning adults find themselves in toxic situations and encouraging redemption, making up for past mistakes.

    This Christmas, take a step back from the frenzied pace of holiday preparations, forget the commercialization of the season, and cozy up on the couch (don’t forget a mug of hot cocoa) with the family for one magical movie night!

    Watch the trailer for Klaus here:

    Is it healthy for your kids to still believe in Santa Claus? Click here to read what parents think.

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