Netflix is releasing the streaming service’s first foray into animated features, Klaus, this month and it’s a stunning return to 2D animation. A clever spin on an old tale, telling of how Santa Claus came to be the beloved father Christmas children know and love, Klaus took nearly a decade to get off the ground.
Scripted by Sergio Pablos, along with Zach Lewis and Jim Mahoney, Klaus tells the story of Jesper (Jason Schwartzman), the postal academy’s worst student. After leaving Disney, Pablos launched his own animation studio, The Sergio Pablos Animation (SPA) Studios, in 2004 with his wife in Spain. Since then, he’s lent his talents to 20th Century Fox’s Rio and co-created Despicable Me.
According to Deadline, other studios perceived some of the film’s attributes as too risky. Netflix, eager to build its original animated content, was more open-minded and acquired the global rights to the film in 2017. James Baxter, who worked with Pablos on The Hunchback of Notre Dame, joined as Netflix’s director of character animation and animated on the film for several months. Former Disney animators like Yoshimichi Tamura (Hercules, Tarzan), Matt Williames (The Princess and the Frog), Borja Montoro (Tarzan, Moana), and Andrew Chesworth (Big Hero 6 and Moana) worked on the film.
Klaus will receive a limited theatrical release on 8 November before it’s available to stream on Netflix on 15 November.