EXCLUSIVE: Double Dutch International (DDI) president Jason Moring has announced an output deal to sell worldwide rights to Awesometown Entertainment’s animations kicking off at AFM with $16m Elliot: The Littlest Reindeer.

Production is set to begin in January on the underdog story about a miniature horse vying to land a spot on to Santa’s sleigh team. Paul Griffin, who served as lead animator on Happy Feet 2, will direct.

The slate includes Animal Crackerz, which Vanguard Films led by Shrek producer John Williams is co-producing with Awesometown.

Double Dutch and Awesometown plan to produce two to three animated features annually in the $10-15m range.

“Double Dutch is extremely excited about this massive partnership deal with Awesometown,“ said Moring. “We could not imagine a better filmmaker to kick of the slate of films in Paul Griffin.”