I know it's not even Halloween yet, but since the holiday countdown seems to start sooner every year, it doesn't feel too weird to be talking Christmas stuff already, including what fun new traditions you can add to the mix. So although it might be hard to plan this early, you might want to give Netflix's new kids' Christmas movie Klaus a try come November. That's because this animated film offers a whole new take on Santa Claus' origin story, giving families something fresh to enjoy this holiday season.
Netflix's first animated movie, which will hit the streaming service on Nov. 15, centers on the story of Jesper, a go-getting postal worker (voiced by Jason Schwartzman). But Jesper's positive attitude is tested when he's dispatched to the "unhappiest place on earth," aka a town called Smeerensburg somewhere beyond the Arctic Circle.
The not-so-friendly isle and its inhabitants aren't very welcoming for the mail carrier until he meets a teacher, Alva (voiced by Rashida Jones) and a carpenter, Klaus (voiced by J.K. Simmons), who happens to be amazing at making wooden toys, according to Good Housekeeping.
Of course, the group teams together to improve attitudes in Smeerensburg and bring a little holiday cheer to the local townsfolk and their children. And joy is definitely needed as the locals are too busy feuding with each other to allow such holiday traditions as hanging stockings by the chimney and other fun festivities.
But will a small band of outcasts be able to turn the tide in such an angry place? I can't say for certain, but I know I'm eager to learn more about this new kids' movie, which as directed by Despicable Me co-creator Sergio Pablos and features impressive actors like Joan Cusack, Will Sasso, and Norm Macdonald, according to Entertainment Weekly.
With fans on YouTube sounding excited about this flick, which features a clever conflict and a fantastic cast, it could be destined for instant-classic status, with families watching it again and again.
As for another popular Christmas movie from Netflix? Last year's The Christmas Chronicles, in which Kurt Russell starred as a cranky, realistic Santa who must team up with a brother and sister on Christmas Eve, did super-well for Netflix, with website Indie Wire reporting that the movie garnered an impressive 20 million streams in one week, something that Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos noted at the time would equal a $200 million opening week at the box office if it has been a theatrical release.
“Even in his successful career, [Kurt Russell] has never had that many people see one of his movies in the first week ever,” the Netflix exec told Indie Wire. “That’s a testimony to what we can bring to the market for storytellers today that we couldn’t have ten years ago.”
Impressive, right? It's possible Klaus might perform as well as The Christmas Chronicles, which would be a good thing considering I'm always up for more holiday content to watch with my kids.
Speaking of my kids, they loved The Christmas Chronicles last year. And I'm excited there's another take on the holidays this time around, complete with a new version of Santa. Save me a corner of the couch and some popcorn come November, please.