As reported in Screen International weekly this morning, Elton John and David Furnish's production outfit Rocket Pictures and Walt Disney Feature Animation have acquired UK animation script A Gnome's Story.

Disney, which has a first-look pact with Rocket, is funding development on the original spec script about two rival groups of garden gnomes living next door to each other. Written by UK writers Rob Sprackling and John Smith, the big-budget project is being fast-tracked and may use Toy Story-esque digital effects.

While continuing to board indie titles such as the company's debut Women Talking Dirty, Rocket aims to step up involvement in large-scale, concept-driven projects, both animation and live-action. "Disney is backing an original, British-written property," noted Furnish, who co-founded the company with John. "We want to find more things like that."

A Gnome's Story marks the first project brought into Rocket by recently-appointed development head Steve Hamilton-Shaw. Furnish and Disney vice-president of feature animation Mary Jane Buckley will oversee development with Hamilton-Shaw. For full story see Screen International weekly