Is Netflix Trying to Corner the Family Friendly Animation Market?

Netflix 'Despeicable Me' Animation Feature
‘Despicable Me 3’ Illumination and Universal Pictures

Say what you want about Netflix, but you can’t question the company’s commitment to its library of content. The streaming platform is willing to spend $8 billion to bring its subscribers original programming. There’s a reason why the company is outpacing all other streaming services with more than 100 million worldwide subscribers. Simply put, they have the most offerings. By far. And while Netflix has branched out into original prestige dramas and comedies, they have yet to really make their mark in the family friendly lane. Until now.

Variety reports that Netflix has acquired exclusive global rights to the animated feature Klaus, which marks the directorial debut of Despicable Me co-creator Sergio Pablos. The film features a star studded cast that includes Jason Schwartzman, Rashida Jones, J.K. Simmons and Joan Cusack. Color us interested.

The timing of the move is just right as the film is described as a Christmas family comedy (with a name like Klaus, what else were you expecting?) that follows a down on his luck postman who unintentionally brings about the “genesis of Santa Claus.” But unlike other recent Hollywood beginnings, this one won’t be dark and gritty (looking at you, Man of Steel).

“How is it possible there’s no story about the origin of Santa Claus?,” Pablos said. “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.”

Such an endeavor could prove fruitful for Netflix. While the streaming service doesn’t have to worry about box office numbers, it’s worth noting that three of this year’s 10 highest-grossing films (Beauty and the BeastDespicable Me 3Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales) are aimed at younger audiences. That number rises to seven if you include the superhero blockbusters Spider-Man: Homecoming, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Wonder Woman and Thor: Ragnarok.

Since launching its own original content branch in 2013, Netflix has become best known for its splashy dramas such as House of Cards (pre-Kevin Spacey scandal, of course) and Stranger Things. Carving out some territory in the family friendly animation genre is just good business.

Per the outlet, Klaus will combine standard animation and inventive new techniques that include intricate and interactive lighting and advanced texturing strategies. The movie will become available for streaming sometime in 2019. Is Netflix Trying to Corner the Family Friendly Animation Market?