Netflix announces TV series of Green Eggs and Ham
Ellen DeGeneres to executive produce adaptation of Dr Seuss's children's classic
Netflix, in collaboration with Warner Bros TV Group and the estate of children's author Dr Seuss, has announced an animated TV series based on Seuss's classic tale about the value of trying unfamiliar food, Green Eggs and Ham.
The executive producer is universally-beloved talkshow host, comedian and producer, Ellen DeGeneres. Ellen has a good record with animation, having won a Saturn Award for her voice performance as Dory in Finding Nemo. Netflix's Vice President of original content Cindy Holland made the bold step of announcing the news Dr Seuss-style in sort-of-but-not-really anapaestic tetrameter: 'We think this will be a hit / Green Eggs and Ham is a perfect fit / for our growing slate of amazing stories / available exclusively in all Netflix territories.'
Dr Seuss fans have reason to be wary. To say that he's been badly served by screen adaptations would be an understatement. 2000's How the Grinch Stole Christmas, starring Jim Carrey, suffered badly from story bloat and chewed scenery, but it was a masterpiece of delicate understatement compared to 2003's migraine-inducing The Cat in the Hat, a film so creepily, self-admiringly awful that it has the power to make peace-loving folk want to punch people they've never met (specifically, the filmmakers.) The Cat in the Hat was so dire that Seuss's widow, Audrey Geisel, decreed that she would never again authorise a live-action adaptation of her husband's work. 2008's Horton Hears a Who! was mildly amusing, but 2012's The Lorax took the original book's environmental themes and over-developed them into a dreary fable, stamping out fine comic voice work from Ed Helms and Nasim Pedrad.
TV seems like a better home for Dr Seuss. His books are short, his drawing style begs to be animated, and his simple yet rigorous style is perfect for kids' TV: as a result of a bet between Seuss and his publisher, Green Eggs and Ham itself was written using a vocabulary of only 50 different words. Part of Netflix's deal with Warner is that the show's international rights will be available immediately, meaning that once it's up, we should all be able to see it. Perhaps a whole new raft of viewers will find that they do so like green eggs and ham.
Green Eggs and Ham will be streaming on Netlix in 2018.