In a surprise move, Dr. Seuss Enterprises Lp is now partnering up with Warner Animation Group to produce a series of movies based on the author’s literary works. To start with, the duo are currently developing a new animated The Cat in the Hat feature film.
The deal with Warner is a change of pace for the Seuss estate. Previously, the rights to the library were typically held by Universal who made live-action adaptations of The Cat in the Hat and How The Grinch Stole Christmas, as well as an animated version of The Lorax in 2012. The company’s Illumination Entertainment studio is currently hard at work on delivering a new CG-animated interpretation of The Grinch set to launch later this year. This new deal is not expected to impact that film’s release. In 2012, it was reported that Illumination were developing a Cat in the Hat film. The agreement with Warner was brokered through ICM Partners.
“Our Pictures Group is home to some of the world’s most popular film franchises, and we’re honored to add Dr. Seuss titles to that roster,” Warner Animation chairman Toby Emmerich stated. “We’ve really revitalized our feature animation activities, and this partnership with Dr. Seuss Enterprises will continue our move into world-class, wide-appeal animated fare.”
Warner Bros. Animation is also working with the Seuss estate on a new Green Eggs and Ham series for Netflix. The show is being produced in conjunction with A Very Good Production, A Stern Talking To and Gulfstream Television. Portfolio Entertainment is currently developing a third season of their PBS Kids preschool series The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About That!
Branching out of LEGO films, the Seuss projects are just the tip of the iceberg for Warner Animation Group. The studio has Smallfoot featuring the voices of Zendaya and Channing Tatum (slated for September 28, 2018) as well as The LEGO Movie sequel (dated February 8, 2019) and S.C.O.O.B. (May 15, 2020) among other titles in development.