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Netflix Sets Oscar-Qualifying Theatrical Run for ‘Klaus’

Directed by ‘Despicable Me’ creator Sergio Pablos, the streaming service’s first original animated feature debuts this holiday season.

Netflix is planning an Oscar-qualifying theatrical run for its fist original animated feature, Klaus, according to a report by The Hollywood Reporter. The news was announced at the two-day Netflix Labs event held last week at the streaming giant’s Hollywood headquarters, which included a press preview of select footage from the film.

Directed by Despicable Me creator Sergio Pablos, the voice cast for Klaus includes Jason Schwartzman, Rashida Jones, J.K. Simmons and Joan Cusack. The comedic Santa Claus origin story is set in a snowy village and follows the friendship between a young postman and a toymaker named Klaus. While specific dates and locations are still to be announced, Netflix will release the film in theaters this coming holiday season.

Employing a unique pipeline that melds traditional animation techniques with CG to create a hand-drawn 2D visual style, Klaus is being produced at The Spa Studios, in Madrid, alongside co-production partner Atresmedia Cine. James Baxter, who supervised the animation on Belle in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, and whose credits also include The Little Mermaid and The Lion King, is serving as director of character animation.

Netflix’s rapidly growing slate of original animated features also includes Guillermo del Toro’s stop-motion animated Pinocchio; Escape From Hat, from two-time Academy Award-nominated director Mark Osborne (Kung Fu Panda, The Little Prince); Jacob and the Sea Beast, from Chris Williams, the Oscar-winning director of Disney’s Big Hero 6; My Father’s Dragon from Nora Twomey, the Oscar-nominated director of Cartoon Saloon’s The Breadwinner; and Over the Moon from China’s Pearl Studio and Disney legend Glen Keane.

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.