03/03/14: Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss


Good morning. It’s Monday, March 3, 2014, and this is your first early morning briefing.


The good doctor would be 110 years old today, so CynKids asked our industry’s creative and business execs to share a favorite Dr. Seuss story, memory or quote. Enjoy their tributes below, we sure did!

Linda Simensky–VP, Children’s Programming, PBS
Most people who read The Cat in the Hat connect with the two kids in the book, and I think most people admire the Cat for his spontaneity. However, even as a 3-year-old, I found that my connection was completely with the Fish. He was smart and nothing was going to get past him. Now that I think about it, I was probably a very careful child. Fish was the only character I’d seen who completely captured how I felt as a kid, which I guess was that some people seemed kind of crazy.
My favorite book by Dr. Seuss was One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. My favorite lines:
Look what we found in the park in the dark.
We will take him home. We will call him Clark.
He will live at our house. He will grow and grow.
Will our mother like this? We don’t know.
I still keep a picture of Clark up in my office. He’s pretty funny-looking. It’s a reminder to me that when you’re a kid, the things you like and the things your parents like are often pretty far apart.

Rebecca Sugar–Creator, "Steven Universe"
Dr. Seuss was an incredible draftsman! His drawings are just the right amount of solid, loose, and so inventive and so beautifully inked and colored and composed. His drawings are so good they’re unforgettable.

Traci Paige Johnson–Co-Founder, yummico
Even today I always go back to and find strength in the Dr. Seuss from my 8th grade graduation. "You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go… "
"Kid, you’ll move mountains."
– Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

Conrad Montgomery–Director of Comedy Animation, Cartoon Network Studios
Dr. Seuss opened doors to a whole new world of ideas, imagination and colorful stories for me. All by making the act of reading a fun experience for a little boy with big dreams.

Sandy Wax–president, Sprout:
Each night, with my kids Liz and Ben
We’d crawl into bed around half past ten
They’d look at me, both happy as a clam
And ask me to read them Green Eggs and Ham
But the book that really made us all say wow
Marvin K Mooney Will You Please Go Now
And even though they both have grown older
Our love for Seuss gets even bolder

Amory Millard EVP, Brand and Business Development, Cupcake Digital
Dr. Seuss taught the children in my life to read, and for that I will always be grateful! You never forget that amazing moment when you peek over the top of the couch to watch chubby fingers pointing at words on a page and hear those little voices saying "one fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish," all on their own. The triumph in their eyes is glorious! Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss, and thank you!

Halle Stanford–EVP, Children’s Entertainment, The Jim Henson Company
"Sometimes I feel quite CERTAIN there’s a JERTAIN in the CURTAIN."
– From the book There’s a Wocket in my Pocket. 

Sara DeWitt–VP, PBS KIDS Digital
"One Fish, Two Fish was one of the first books I memorized as a child. I would walk around with it and announce to the family that I was going to "read it" to them, despite the fact that I couldn’t actually read at the time. I think this story encapsulates my favorite thing about Seuss: the rhymes are so accessible to kids that his books give kids a sense of empowerment around reading. Kids get the reading mastery feeling that helps motivate them to then tackle the actual reading skill building blocks that are necessary down the road."

Alice Cahn–Cartoon Network VP, Social Responsibility
I volunteered to read to young children, reluctant readers they were called; we were trying to instill a love of books and stories. The little girl picked Dr. Seuss’ Bartholomew and the Oobleck (a personal fave!) and we settled down in a beanbag chair in the school’s library to read. A few pages in, she leaned against me and pulled my arm around her, holding on to my wrist. "This is really working," I thought to myself proudly, "I am having such a positive effect on her, she’s going to love books!" She gazed up at me and smiled happily. I was wowed with my impact; until she opened her mouth and said "I like your watch, does it light up in the dark?"

Anthony Weintraub–Co-Founder yummico
Well, some of my earliest memories of caring about social issues came from The Lorax.  Every year on Arbor Day my Elementary school did a show, acting out the Lorax.  I always thought the Lorax was pretty wise – "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not."

Cathy Applefeld OlsonEditor, Cynopsis Kids
The Cat in the Hat was my daughter Olivia’s favorite bedtime book when she was about 18 months old. Once in a while, when I was sure she’d fallen sound asleep in my arms midway through reading, I’d cheat a little and skip a few pages. Without fail, those green eyes would open wide and she’d start reciting the correct next lines, as if in a trance, directing me to go back and "say it right." Busted every time!

Don’t miss out… Enter your programming, your marketing campaign and/or your execs in the the third annual Cynopsis Kids !magination + People Awards. Our ceremony will be held June 11 in NYC, hosted by Inside Edition’s Megan Alexander. Register here: http://www.cynopsis.com/events/kids-awards.


Warner Bros. is quickly carving a niche for itself as king of the games-into-movies realm. On the heels of its megahit The Lego Movie (and sequel, planned for 2017), the studio has acquired film rights from Swedish game developer Mojang AB to Minecraft, the massively popular videogame franchise. Lego Movie’s Roy Lee is tapped to produce through his Vertigo Entertainment banner, along with Jill Messick (Mean Girls). First introduced in 2009, Minecraft has built a following of more than 100 million players across digital platforms. WB also has a film based on the Temple Run game franchise in development.


The Exploding World of Kids’ Tablets: The New Way to Build Your Brand
Thursday, March 20, 2014 ||| 1:30 – 3:00pm ET ||| Sign-Up Now

Speakers Include:
Moderator: Cathy Applefeld Olson  Editor {Cynopsis Kids!}
Abby Jenkins
– Director of Content {PBS KIDS Digital}
Mindy Brooks
– Director of Education & Research {SesameWorkshop}
Graham Farrar
– Co-Founder {IStoryTime}
Caroline Fraser
– VP, Digital Products & Production
{Scholastic Media}


Mattel purchased Montreal-based toy manufacturer Mega Brands, a move that adds the Mega Bloks construction brand plus licensed kids brands Power Rangers, Hello Kitty, Skylanders, SpongeBob and more to Mattel’s coffers. The deal, valued at $460 million, also brings Mattel a significant arsenal in the arts and crafts arena, with Mega’s Rose Art and Board Dudes brands.

The Walt Disney Company told Boy Scouts of America it will pull all funding to the organization beginning in 2015 because a Boy Scouts membership policy bans gay leaders. Although Disney does not give money directly to BSA, through its VoluntEARS program its employees have been able to do volunteer work in exchange for cash donations to Boy Scouts.


Splash Entertainment signed a home entertainment deal with Lionsgate in the US, UK and Canada for its animated series Sabrina Secrets of a Teenage Witch. Lionsgate will distribute 26 half-hours, beginning with the first volume in September, in time for Halloween. The series currently airs in the U.S. on the Hub Network, as well as 17 Disney Channels worldwide.


Bulls Licensing is now repping Temple Run in the Nordics. The timing dovetails with Warner Bros.’ development of a movie based on the brand.


Scholastic hired industry veteran Heather McIntosh Cassano to the newly created position of Chief Experience Officer. Among her new duties Cassano will guide the company’s divisions to provide a consistent user experience across channels. She most recently was Chief Experience Officer at Pearson, and held exec positions at Yahoo, Google, Symantec and Sun Microsystems.


Reaching Today’s U.S. Hispanic Connected Audience Through
Digital, Social Media and Web Video Webinar

Daniel Eilemberg, Chief Digital Officer (Fusion)
Virginia Lennon
, SVP, Client Partnerships (Ipsos MediaCT)
Carlos Restrepo
, VP, Business Development & Sales (Outrigger Media)

Sign-Up Today: March 27th, 2014 | 1:30-3:00 pm EST


Answer to yesterday’s Trivia Question: Which of the five senses is Marvel’s Daredevil not able to use? SIGHT Kudos to: Hank Bordowitz, the Werx, Ridgewood, NJ; Emily Brenner, HarperCollins Children’s Books, NY; Lauren Flores, NY; Scott Jenkins, TMS, Queensbury, NY; Joel Maxwell, NY; Tom Boyd, WGN, Chicago; Pat Brady, CESD, LA; Adam Foshko, Activision; Cecilia Nguyen, Disney Channels, Burbank; Michael Polis, Atomic Toybox Entertainment, LA; Richard Quan, BSSP, San Francisco; Anand Roy, The Walt Disney Company, Singapore.

Today’s Trivia Question: What’s the first book Theodor Geisel wrote and illustrated? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone.)


Saturday Morning Ratings by Block Average  February 22, 2014



Source: Disney from Nielsen Media Research. Based on Saturday morning viewing blocks from 7a-1p

Weekend box office estimates for the 10 top-grossing kids/tween/teen movies rated G, PG or PG-13, provided by Rentrak for Feb. 28-March 2, 2014:

Son of God (20th Century Fox) PG-13 $26.50 (weekend) $26.50 (1-week cume)
LEGO Movie (Warner Bros.) PG-13 $21.02 million (weekend) $209.93 million (4-week cume)
Pompeii (Sony Pictures) PG-13 $4.30 million (weekend) $17.74 million (2-week cume)
Frozen (Disney) PG $3.61 million (weekend)  $388.74 million (15-week cume)
Ride Along (Universal) $3.07 million PG-13 (weekend) $127.19 million (7-week cume)
The Wind Rises (Walt Disney Co.) $1.60 million (weekend) $2.04 million (2-week cume)
Philomena (The Weinstein Co.) PG-13 $1.22 million (weekend) $34.63 million (15-week cume)
Gravity (Warner Bros.) PG-13 $875,000 (weekend) $270.46 million (22-week cume)
The Nut Job (Open Road) PG $642,000 (weekend) $60.77 million (7-week cume)
Repentance (Lionsgate) PG $530,000 (weekend) $530,000 (1-week cume)


The competition for best kids’ programming and marketing initiatives
Entry Deadline: March 14, 2014
Late Submissions: March 21, 2014
Awards Event: June 11, 2014 (NYC)

Visit our website for additional information on:

Who Should Enter, How to Enter, Eligibility Period, Categories, Deadlines, Sponsorship Opportunities, Contact Information and FAQs.

Cheers — Cathy
[email protected] for
Cynopsis Kids!

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