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Animation Goes Live-Action!

Recycling is alive and well in Hollywood. An astounding number of animation properties are being optioned for adaptation as live-action films, such as "Inspector Gadget" and "Sailor Moon." This week, two more such deals have been announced. "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," a book by Dr. Seuss and then an animated feature directed by Chuck Jones at MGM, will have its next reincarnation as a live-action feature starring Jim Carrey. Universal, which already owns the theme park rights to Dr. Seuss properties, and Ron Howard's Imagine Films paid Dr. Seuss' widow Audrey Geisel nearly U.S. $5 million for the film rights. Holiday 1999 is the target release date. The second toon movie deal announced this week is based on Cote Zeller's "Prometheus & Bob," a stop-motion animated short series about a caveman and an alien that airs on Nickelodeon's weekly animation variety show, "Kablam!" Amy Heckerling and Albie Hecht will produce the live-action adaptation for Nickelodeon Movies. "My daughter first brought 'Prometheus & Bob' to my attention and I was hooked instantly," said Heckerling. "[It] is intelligent and hilarious."