(Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a new series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.)

The Series: Klaus

Where You Can Stream It: Netflix

The Pitch: 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 (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.

Why It’s Essential Viewing: Truly great Christmas movies are hard to come by. Even some of the beloved holiday favorites that get played on TV over and over again around the holidays aren’t exactly of the highest order. We’re just a little more accepting of mediocrity with holiday movies because they bring warm feelings to our heart when it’s cold outside. But what if you could get those same warm feelings and have an enchanting story with beautiful animation and a fantastic voice cast? That’s where Netflix’s lovely Klaus comes into play, and it should be added to your annual holiday movie rotation. Read More »

2020 annie awards winners

Christmas can never come too late for Klaus, which emerged as the big winner at the 2020 Annie Awards. But the even bigger winner at the ceremony celebrating the year’s best in animation was Netflix, which dominated the Annie Awards with a whopping 19 wins across all categories.

Read More »

klaus featurette

Most Christmas movies that include Santa Claus focus on the magic of the character and the holiday spirit. But much like the zombie movie, there’s only so much still left to do with the character that hasn’t been done to death before. However, the past couple of years have given us a badass, tattooed warrior Santa in the criminally underseen Rise of the Guardians, as well as a reinterpretation of Santa as an immortal medieval warrior in Grant Morrison’s Game of Thrones-but-with-superheroes comic book series, Klaus

Now we get Klaus (no relation to the comic), an animated film from Despicable Me-creator Sergio Pablos, which takes a grounded and realistic approach to the Santa Claus mythos in a film that’s both entertaining, sweet, and funny.

Klaus also pushes the animation medium forward in a way that brings to mind last year’s Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse. At a time when 3D CGI dominates the animated film market in the US, mostly due to Disney and Pixar, Klaus challenges what we think 2D animation can do.

Read More »

Best Movies Streaming Right Now Booksmart

(Welcome to Now Stream This, a column dedicated to the best movies streaming on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and every other streaming service out there.)

A long holiday weekend is just around the corner, folks. You know what that means: stuffing your face with carbs. Also: watching movies. But where to start? There are so many options now, thanks to the wild world of streaming. And to complicate matters even more, there are new streaming services popping-up every week! For instance: for the first time ever, Disney+ is featured in this column. But don’t fret: I’m here to help guide you. These are the best movies streaming right now. Let’s get streaming!

Read More »

klaus clip

Netflix is giving us the Santa Claus origin story we never knew we needed with Klaus, the streaming giant’s animated feature that boasts a unique blend of traditional 2D and 3D animation. In the newest clip released by Netflix, Despicable Me co-creator Sergio Pablos flexes that distinctive animation style in a scene that adds a new wrinkle onto old Saint Nick’s origin. Watch the Klaus clip below.

Read More »

klaus featurette

Christmas has come early for old-school fans of traditional 2D animation. Sergio Pablos‘ Klaus holds the distinction of being Netflix’s first animated feature but it will be doing more than simply offering a twist on the origin story of the old Saint Nicholas. Pablos wants to bring back the age of traditional animation, when CG-animation wasn’t the norm. In a new Klaus featurette released by Netflix, Pablos explains how he married the traditional animation process with CG innovations to create a truly unique-looking film.

Read More »

klaus trailer

We haven’t even reached Halloween yet, but how about some Christmas-related entertainment to kick-off your Monday? Next month, Netflix will release their first animated feature: Klaus, a Santa Claus origin story that reveals Old Saint Nick had to be talked into doing his damn job by some random postman. J.K. Simmons and Jason Schwartzman lend their vocal talents to the film, which uses 2D animation in an attempt to recreate the glory days of hand-drawn cartoon movies. Watch the Klaus trailer below.

Read More »