Warner Animation Group is ready to have lots of good fun that is funny.
The animation division of Warner Bros. Pictures has struck a deal with Dr. Seuss Enterprises to produce a series of films based on the characters and stories created by childhood mainstay Dr. Seuss, the companies jointly announced Wednesday.
The first project out of the gate will be a fully animated version of Seuss’ classic The Cat in the Hat. The project is in the development stage and a search for a writer will begin shortly.
“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,” Warners chairman Toby Emmerich said in a statement. “With Warner Animation Group, 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.”
“For generations, Dr. Seuss has entertained and delighted children and adults alike with his whimsical tales,” said Dr. Seuss Enterprises president Susan Brandt. “Our partnership with Warner Animation Group continues those efforts by reimagining the beloved characters and stories for theater-going audiences, while keeping the integrity of Dr. Seuss’s vision intact.”
Allison Abbate, executive vp, Warner Animation Group, will manage the Seuss partnership on behalf of the studio. Warner Animation Group's biggest releases so far have been the Lego movies, The Lego Movie and The Lego Batman Movie among them. The division is currently in production on Smallfoot, due out Sept. 28, and The Lego Movie Sequel, set for a Feb. 8, 2019, release.
Warners is already working with the Seuss estate via its television arm as it is producing a Green Eggs and Ham series for Netflix. A Very Good Production, A Stern Talking To and Gulfstream Television are producing.
The Cat in the Hat was previously adapted by Universal into a 2003 live-action movie starring Mike Myers. The studio was on a Seuss streak at the time, having enjoyed massive success with 2000’s Jim Carrey-starring How the Grinch Stole Christmas, although Hat was considered a disappointment. Universal and its animation division Illumination adapted The Lorax in 2012, and is tackling the Grinch again later this year, with the Benedict Cumberbatch-fronted The Grinch.
The Dr. Seuss estate is repped by ICM Partners.