Back in 2003, Universal did Dr. Suess dirty with a live-action adaptation of The Cat in the Hat that was genuinely hard, sometimes horrifying to look at, in addition to just being a brash, off-putting movie. The beloved children’s figure has been ripe for proper cinematic adaptation ever since, and now, Warner Animation Group is primed to go all in on Theodor Suess Geisel‘s iconic library with a new animated film series, and guess who’s first.
Per THR, The Warner Bros. animation division is teaming with with Dr. Seuss Enterprises to produce a series of feature films based on the beloved characters and stories from the Dr. Seuss catalogue, starting with The Cat in the Hat. The film is now in development and will begin searching for a writer soon. No word yet on which other Seuss properties are poised for animated feature adaptations. An animated version of The Grinch is set to bow later this year from Universal’s Illumination Entertainment, featuring the voice of Benedict Cumberbatch.
“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 Bros Pictures Group chairman Toby Emmerich said in the announcement, made jointly with Dr. Seuss Enterprises president Susan Brandt. “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 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.”
There’s no shortage of iconic characters that they can pull from, and Seuss’ writings have always served as fantastic material for animated films, and there’s always room to retell a story with new, evolving forms of animation technology. Here’s hoping the new wave of Seuss films can bring the joy of his literature to a new generation, instead of the the panic-inducing nightmares conjured by Mike Meyers and his unholy prosthetics.