Netflix just did a new Christmas classic with Klaus (2019), the first original animated movie of the streaming platform. It was written and directed by the Spanish animator Sergio Pablos, creator of the Despicable Me franchise, and stands out from the latest movies for its beautiful art direction and its revolutionary animation techniques.
The film tells the story of Jesper Johansson, a postman who is sent to an icy town in the north as a last chance to prove his worth, and Klaus, a lonely woodsman who spends his days making toys. Together, they will embark on an adventure full of risks, action and comedy that will start one of the most important traditions in history. Klaus‘ cast of voices is made up by Jason Schwartzman in the role of Jesper and J. K. Simmons as Klaus, as well as Rashida Jones as Alva, a teacher who became a fish seller, and Joan Cusack as Mrs. Krum, the matriarch of one of the two families whose eternal quarrel has plunged the town into misery.
Klaus was produced with a mixture of traditional animation and CGI animation, fusing the fluidity of movements found only in classical animation with the impact and power of 3D modeling in textures and lighting. The bold art direction of the film results in stylized and charismatic characters, as well as in beautiful and lively landscapes.
Although Klaus‘ production was considered a risk by several studios, recent movies such as Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) have shown that traditional animation hides a still unexplored potential. In addition to being one of the most ambitious animated films of the year, Klaus is quickly emerging as a Christmas classic.