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Netflix Acquires Animated Feature 'Klaus'

Netflix's efforts to ramp up its original content offerings has seen them picking up rights to an increasing number of films. However, while they have invested heavily in animation in their TV output they haven't ventured much into the world of feature animation- the only major exception so far is The Little Prince.

There has been rumours that this was going to change, supported by the fact that they recently hired former DreamWorks Animation executive Melissa Cobb as Vice President of their Kids and Family department. Now, just months after she came on board the streaming behemoth has announced its first major animated feature acquisition since The Little Prince.

Netflix has obtained the global rights to Klaus, a 2D animated Christmas movie from Sergio Pablos. This isn't a movie that has come out of nowhere- we originally reported on it last year, when we got our first look at the captivating concept trailer. It's been in development since at least 2015.

Pablos in an animation industry veteran who worked as an animator on various Disney films in the 90s. He's also credited as the creator of the Despicable Me Franchise, although the finished product was developed quite a lot from his original pitch (which was called Evil Me). The film will be his directorial debut, produced at his company SPA Studios in Madrid, Spain.

According to Netflix "tells the story of a desperate postman who inadvertently brings about the genesis of Santa Claus." It is being co-produced by SPA Studios, Atresmedia Cine and Cinesite Animation.

The voice cast will include Jason Schwartzman, Rashida Jones, J.K. Simmons and Joan Cusack. Pablos says "How is it possible there’s no story about the origin of Santa Claus? 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." (Somebody clearly never saw Santa Claus The Movie, which is just that, but we'll let it go!).

Klaus will be available globally in time for Christmas 2019.

"KLAUS" Teaser by SERGIO PABLOS from BLUR Films on Vimeo.