IDT Plucks Pixar, DreamWorks Alumni

Emerging animation powerhouse IDT Ent. is beefing up its toon unit with two new high-profile hires previously employed at competing studios. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the company has appointed former Pixar exec Bob Taylor as exec VP of animation finance and Academy Award-winning former DreamWorks Animation exec Nick Foster as chief technology officer. The news comes shortly after IDT snatched DreamWorks’ head of artistic recruitment and development, Frank Gladstone, to serve as VP of artistic development.

IDT Ent., a New Jersey-based division of IDT Corp., has a deal with 20th Century Fox to crank out two CG features each year starting in 2007. One animated movie IDT has in the works is Yankee Irving, the film Christopher Reeve was directing at the time of his death. Set in a 1930s America populated with a mix of human and non-human characters, Yankee Irving is described as a father-and-son love story in which a little boy must overcome life’s difficulties. At last reporting, IDT was hoping to have the film distributed sometime in 2006.

IDT Ent.’s subsidiaries include animation studios Film Roman, Mainframe Ent., and DKP Studios, as well as distributors Anchor Bay Ent., Manga Ent. and IDT Ent. Sales (IDTeS). The company is also a principal investor in Canadian CG producer Mainframe Ent. and owns a minority stake in Stan Lee’s POW! Ent.