Netflix is expanding its Christmas movie line-up this year with new festive animation Klaus – and a first image has landed to get you in the festive mood.
The hand-drawn film, from Despicable Me co-creator Sergio Pablos, tells the unofficial story of Santa’s origins, as a desperate postmen inadvertently leads to the creation of the mythical man in the red hat. The script is based on an original story by Pablos, with Zach Lewis and Jim Mahoney co-writing the film. The voice cast, meanwhile, is impressive, with Jason Schwartzman, Rashida Jones, J.K. Simmons and Joan Cusack all on board to lend their vocals.
Schwartz man plays Jesper, the young, Scandinavian postman named Jesper who gets the chance to make his mark when he’s tasked with bringing the postal service to a contentious village in the cold north, where he meets a mysterious, white-bearded toymaker named Klaus.
Netflix’s first original animated film, the movie is a passion project for Pablos, who first came up with the idea for it in 2010, and was produced entirely in Madrid, Spain with an international crew comprised of some of the most talented artists from around the world.
The film introduces a unique animation style which blends traditional hand drawn animation techniques with cutting edge technology. You can get your first taste of that above with the first official image of the movie. Expect the rest of the film to land by December.
Netflix nabs hand-drawn animated film Klaus
19th November 2017
Netflix has nabbed the global rights to a new hand-drawn animated film, Klaus.
The film, from Despicable Me co-creator Sergio Pablos, tells the unofficial story of Santa’s origins, as a desperate postmen inadvertently leads to the creation of the mythical man in the red hat.
The script is based on an original story by Pablos, with Zach Lewis and Jim Mahoney co-writing the film.
“How is it possible there’s no story about the origin of Santa Claus?,” Pablos said in a statement. “He’s one of the most well-known and loved characters in the world! We felt this was a story that needed to be told and that there was no better way than with animation.”
The film has been in development for some time, with Pablos and his team taking a novel approach to combine hand-drawn and computer animation. Using digital tools to ensure lighting and texturing now expected from CG animated movies, the 2D visuals also boast the organic feel of drawing by hand, resulting in the following test, which Cartoon Brew published in 2015:
Now, Christmas has finally come for Pablos, who will make his directorial debut with the project. Netflix’s backing of the film makes it the first major US company in several years to fund a hand-drawn animated feature with a sizeable budget, notes Cartoon Brew.
The voice cast, meanwhile, is more than worth the price tag, with Jason Schwartzman, Rashida Jones, J.K. Simmons and Joan Cusack all on board to lend their vocals.
The film is produced by Tanguy Olivier, Gustavo Ferrada and Marisa Roman, with SPA Studios, Pablos’ animation studio, and Atresmedia Cine on co-producing duties. Jinko Gotoh (Netflix’s The Little Prince) is the executive producer, with Toon Boom Harmony providing strategic technological support.
Klaus is currently in production in Madrid, with Netflix eyeing a release ready for Christmas 2019.