Klaus Trailer: Netflix’s Animated Santa Claus Origin Movie

Netflix’s first original animated film, Klaus, showcases retro style animation, telling the story of Santa Claus’s first Christmas ride.

Klaus is one of Netflix’s Christmas season offerings this year, manifesting as – hard as it may be to believe – the streaming giant’s first original animated feature. However, don’t expect some conventional CGI assault on the senses, with Klaus showcases an animated style of yesteryear – two-dimensional and hand-drawn, albeit enhanced via modern means.

The origin story of Santa Claus is showcased in Klaus, with the animated comedy depicting an arctic-stationed postman (Jason Schwartzman) whose meeting with a stoic shut-in carpenter and toy-maker named Klaus (J.K. Simmons) leads to a fateful arrangement regarding the delivering of his hand-made toys to children. The voice cast also consists of names like Rashida Jones, Joan Cusack, Norm Macdonald and Will Sasso.

Klaus Trailer

The trailer for Klaus has arrived!

Klaus Release Date

Klaus will be delivered through the proverbial Netflix chimney on November 15.

Further Reading: Christmas Movies: A Complete Holiday Streaming Guide

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Klaus Details

As the official synopsis for Klaus reads:

“When Jesper (Jason Schwartzman) distinguishes himself as the postal academy’s worst student, he is stationed on a frozen island above the Arctic Circle, where the feuding locals hardly exchange words let alone letters. Jesper is about to give up when he finds an ally in local teacher Alva (Rashida Jones), and discovers Klaus (Oscar® winner J.K. Simmons), a mysterious carpenter who lives alone in a cabin full of handmade toys. These unlikely friendships return laughter to Smeerensburg, forging a new legacy of generous neighbors, magical lore and stockings hung by the chimney with care.”

Sergio Pablos makes his directorial debut with Klaus, bringing experience from his time as executive producer of Illumination franchise-launcher Despicable Me, and from the animation departments of Disney classics like The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Tarzan, along with Fox’s Rio. With Klaus, Pablos developed the story, which was the basis of a script written by Zack Lewis and Jim Mahoney.

Pablos certainly set out to break the modern mold, in which CGI has long been the standard bearer medium. Yet, while Klaus is a throwback to the days of two-dimensionality crafted by hand-drawn cells, it’s not quite an old-school production, since it clearly brandishes an aesthetic that gives the feature a quasi-3D feel as each frame transitions with the help of tracking software, supplemented by special lighting that imbues the visuals with a unique effervescence.

Joseph Baxter is a contributor for Den of Geek and Syfy Wire. You can find his work here. Follow him on Twitter @josbaxter.