Dr. Seuss Enterprises, famous for its protectionist attitude
towards its bevy of characters, has set up a new licensing and
marketing division to oversee several new deals. Susan O’Sullivan,
formerly VP of marketing and acquisitions for Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment International, will head up the office and oversee new projects. These include the creation of Seuss Landing, an island devoted to Seuss characters at Universal’s Adventure Theme Park, slated to open this summer in Orlando, Florida, as well as a Universal Pictures live-action holiday feature based on the book How the Grinch Stole Christmas and a Dreamworks live-action Cat in the Hat film.
O’Sullivan says her primary goal is to ‘better protect the characters through trademark usage,’ but she will also be open to new licensing opportunities, which will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. While O’Sullivan says she has yet to develop guidelines for the types of licensing deals appropriate for the Seuss characters, she adds that she intends to continue focusing on the books, and that ‘a literary-based property looks for licensing opportunities with literary links.’
Current partners of Dr. Seuss Enterprises include Random House (publishing), Esprit (apparel), The Learning Company (CD-ROM publishing), Hallmark (greetings cards), The Chase Group (fine art reproductions) and The Jim Henson Company (The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss TV series).