Klaus ★★

Christmas Hunt 2019 | Film 1/31 | Task #7: Watch a Christmas movie released in the 2010's.

Watched with Tom!! 🚀 (sort of).

There’s too much that’s cringe-worthy in this world, and it’s ageing me. I laughed once at this. That’s all the medicine I got. Look past the animation and there isn’t an ounce of originality, which is really quite depressing, and more than a little disappointing.

While refreshing to see a 2D(ish) animation amongst today’s trend-wave of CG, it feels like little thought was put into this beyond a desire to hearken back to the good ole days (with a twist of current technology). The humour is awkward, the score generic and the beats copy and paste; making all the “magic” too familiar, manipulating your emotions scene to scene, trying to steal a laugh or a tear without earning it for itself one iota. It’s painfully contrived. Really. Read my synopsis and see if any of it isn't familiar (Warning: Spoilers… I guess?):

Entitled jerk who only cares about himself is forced into situation where he has to do good, but only does it until he can gain enough momentum to wriggle his way out, but when he finally gets what he wants, realises that maybe he’s not such a jerk after all – then everyone finds out his original jerk motives and decides to irrationally hate him without waiting for a reasonable explanation, and now-non-jerk decides that rather than try and communicate with those who unreasonably reject him (God forbid) he may as well leave everything behind because jerk he was born and jerk he shall remain – alas someone pep talks him at the last moment and he comes back to save the day or whatever.

I’m too young to get this many wrinkles, and no one wants or needs an Emperor’s New Groove Christmas special (for clarity, I like The Emperor’s New Groove).

The plot on its own isn't what frustrates me though - sometimes a lack of originality can be forgiven - it’s that combined with the execution. The characters here don’t feel believable, and neither do the dynamics. If I’m being honest, this was borderline watchable for the first chunk, or “not bad”, if you like, but the final act tries so hard to replicate every cliché in the book that it becomes unbearable. I’ll go a step further and say something I may well get shot down for: I think this film lacks soul. It feels like it’s trying to achieve warmth and conjure emotion by following a formula, and it doesn’t work.

As Elton John once sang:

I’ve seen that movie too.

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