Vanguard, Nash team on X-mas pic

Vanguard Animation and Nash Entertainment are taking a ruff look at Christmas.

U.K.-based animation studio has preemptively bought producer Bruce Nash’s pitch “Santa Paws,” about a stray dog that accidentally hitches a ride to the North Pole on Santa’s sleigh.

Project was bought by Margaret French Isaac, Vanguard’s executive VP of production and development, who set scribe Damian Dibben to pen the script.

Development is being funded with coin from Vanguard’s minority owner IDT Entertainment, which will have rights to distribute if the pic goes into production.

IDT is building its own distribution operation headed by former MGM vice chairman Chris McGurk (Daily Variety, April 5).

Isaac, Nash and Nash Entertainment partner Robert Kosberg will produce.

Project is one of about a dozen in development at Vanguard. Toon house is in production on “Space Chimps,” which Fox will distribute in 2008 via its deal with IDT.

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