IDT Ent. has acquired a minority equity interest in POW! Ent. LLC, a company headed by comic book legend Stan Lee. Under the terms of the agreement, IDT gets exclusive distribution rights for all POW! Ent. animated DVD properties, and Lee will create original characters for six new animated productions in a series titled Stan Lee Presents. Initial plans have identified direct-to-video and broadcast as potential distribution channels.
Lee, chief creative officer of POW! Ent., is best known as the co-creator of Spider-Man, The Hulk, The Fantastic Four, X-Men, Daredevil and other famous Marvel comic book superheroes. The new deal grants him access to IDT’s Global Animation Studio and guaranteed distribution through Anchor Bay, the home video company recently acquired by IDT. Lee comments, “I feel like a kid in a candy store. I can’t wait to see how IDT Ent. transforms my new characters and stories into spectacular 3D animated form.”
IDT Ent., a subsidiary of multinational carrier, telephone and technology company IDT Corp., has quickly become a force to be reckoned with in the animation industry. In March 2003, its animation unit, Digital Production Solutions, acquired rights to the Gene Roddenberry creations Starpoint Academy and Char. Two months later, the company acquired a controlling interest in Film Roman Inc., the animation house behind The Simpsons and King of the Hill. In July 2003, IDT acquired a minority equity interest in U.K. 3D producer Vanguard Animation LLC., which is now working on Disney’s WWWII pigeon tale, Valliant, and is under contract to turn out more features for the post-Pixar Mouse House. IDT then acquired a controlling interest in Vancouver-based CG farm Mainframe Ent. in December 2003.