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Universal purchases rights for 2 Dr. Seuss characters

The Whos down in Whoville probably aren't singing Boo Hoo Hoo anymore.

Universal Pictures has agreed to pay an estimated $9 million to the widow of Theodor Geisel for the rights to use two Dr. Seuss favorites, "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" and "Oh, the Places You'll Go."The company negotiated on behalf of Imagine Films, which will adapt "Grinch" into a film directed by Ron Howard and starring Jim Carrey. Universal is aiming for a Christmas 2000 release.

During his lifetime, Geisel resisted most offers to license the characters he created for his 47 children's stories, although an animated "Grinch" has been a holiday staple on television since 1966.

After Geisel's death in 1991, his widow, Audrey Geisel, agreed to several merchandising deals, including clothing lines, accessories and CD-ROMs.