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“Klaus” on Netflix will be your new favorite Christmas movie

Klaus Courtesy Netflix
Courtesy Netflix

When Klaus opened in theaters last week, we knew it was going to be available to stream on Friday, Nov 15. After all, this oddball origin story of Santa Claus is the first animated feature from Netflix, and when Netflix makes something it's because it's going to be streamed on Netflix.

Why the delay? According to the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, those are the rules: If a movie is to be eligible to win an Academy Award, it must have at least a seven-day run in a theater in Los Angeles that charges for tickets and that has at least three shows per day. After then, the movie can be released via "nontheatrical media," and streamed in an apartment filled with squirmy kids making a mess while eating some of the best pizza in New York.

Klaus is an off-beat Christmas story, and a little more moody than your average ho-ho-ho flick. It takes place in Smeerensburg, the unhappiest place on Earth, and features the voices of Jason Schwartzman (as the worst postal carrier ever), Rashida Jones (as a cynical teacher) and Oscar-winner J. K. Simmons (as Klaus, a large, bearded man with a knack for toymaking but who doesn't have much interest in children). If it sounds like a grump-fest, well yes, that's the setup. (Spoiler alert: Icy hearts melt, and even Smeerensburg can find joy.)

It's not too soon to name Klaus as one the best animated Christmas movies for kids and families, or even one of the best Christmas movies for kids full-stop. This has all the makings of a classic. You should judge for yourself: It's cold outside, but your internet connection is nice and toasty.

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