Klaus – Change begins with an act of goodness

[Article originally published in Italian, then also in French, in Romanian and in Spanish. English translation made by Evgenij.]

Jesper is the young, lazy and spoiled scion of the Postmaster General of the royal post office of a fictional Scandinavian country. His father, tired of his son’s ostentatious indifference towards his working career, sends him for a year to the remote town of Smeerensburg, beyond the Arctic Circle, with the task of posting at least six thousand letters within the year of his stay: if Jesper fails again, he will lose all the privileges he has always enjoyed. Unfortunately for the young man, the community of Smeerensburg is divided into two clans between which there is a continuous feud, and no one writes letters. However, things will change when Jesper meets Klaus, a lonely old toymaker, and, somewhat by chance, helps him deliver a toy as a gift to a child.

Given the Christmas season, Evgenij and I thought we would talk about an animated film produced by Netflix that your fanwriter saw two years ago, namely, “Klaus”.

It is a film with a simple basic formula and some predictable elements, but it conveys a sense of adorable sweetness and gives heartfelt laughter. Even in small things it manages to be big and make you think.

A trivial example? At one point, the two rival factions talk about the same brawl, and both claim victory. Historically, such things have happened (even on a much larger scale).

And do we want to talk about the protagonist’s father? A figure who antagonizes not so much his son, but his irresponsibility.

The great moral (or at least the one that struck me the most) is that sometimes, to change our world for the better, it is enough for someone to take the first step. Instead of complaining just because things don’t go our way, we must at least try to act to bring about the change we would like to see: our example could then push others to action.

In this film, the gifts that children receive if they behave well are not a form of corruption (as the clan leaders claim at one point), but only a starting point, a first demonstration of generosity and altruism that will then push the children and adults to live in harmony. To put it in the words of Klaus: “A true selfless act always sparks another.”

A movie to be seen, especially if you have small children close to you!




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