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Jesper’s rich dad sends him to a remote island north of the Arctic Circle with a postal mission; he finds a town divided by its angry residents… The Despicable Me creator’s directing debut is an origin story for Santa Claus, set in a town whose name, Smeerensburg, is similar to that of a legendary 17th century whaling station in Svalbard. No surprises in the script, but the film is full of atmosphere and vividly realized with a primarily hand-drawn look. Schwartzman is fun as Jesper, and it’s nice to see a movie where the Sámi people play a key role.
2019-Spain. Animated. 96 min. Color. Directed by Sergio Pablos. Voices of Jason Schwartzman (Jesper), J.K. Simmons (Klaus), Rashida Jones (Alva), Joan Cusack, Will Sasso, Norm Macdonald.
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