Nelvana Limited announced it has acquired the development, production, distribution and associated merchandise licensing rights for animated television programming, based on the 13-book series, DOCTOR DOLITTLE, written and illustrated by Hugh Lofting. Nelvana has also acquired the production publishing tie-in rights to animated television programming, which the company will develop and produce from its adaptation of the book titles. Nelvana will also develop and produce original stories based on the classic character, who made his book debut in 1920. Written by world-renowned and Newbery Medal Award-winning author and illustrator Lofting, Doctor Dolittle chronicles the adventures of a 19th century medical doctor who can talk with the animals. Toper Taylor, President of Nelvana Communications, said, "For two generations, Doctor Dolittle's larger-than-life persona has captured the imagination of millions of children. Today, a new generation of youngsters around the world will be introduced to the wonderful stories of this mythical character that talks with the animals. We believe this property is a promising addition to our classic and contemporary book-based portfolio, with great potential as an animated children's TV series and a merchandising brand." Nelvana's animated television programming will be developed in conjunction with Christopher Lofting and Franklin Waterman Productions.