Disney takes 'Cat in the Hat' for 40 markets

Playhouse Disney channels in deal with Portfolio Int'l

TORONTO -- A Canadian-British co-produced cartoon series inspired by Dr. Seuss is the cat's whiskers with Disney.

The mouse house has acquired "The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!" for Playhouse Disney channels in 40 territories as part of a deal with distributor Portfolio International.

The first season of 40 half-hours of the animated series will air on Playhouse Disney in Australia and New Zealand, India, throughout South East Asia, including Hong Kong and Indonesia, and Italian-speaking Switzerland.

The preschool series, narrated by Martin Short, features six year-old friends and next-door neighbors Sally and Nick on magical adventures with the Fish, Thing 1 and Thing 2.

U.S. channel PBS, Canada's Treehouse TV and ITV's kids channel CITV earlier picked up the preschool series from British producer Collingwood O'Hare Productions and Canadian production partner Portfolio Entertainment.

Toronto-based Portfolio International also sold the DVD and home entertainment rights for the cartoon series based on Theodor "Dr. Seuss" Geisel's "The Cat in the Hat's Learning Library" book series to Roadshow Entertainment for Australia and New Zealand.

The series is produced in association with Dr. Seuss Enterprises and Random House Children's Entertainment.