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Disney Forms The Secret Lab

Dream Quest Images, the visual effects division of The Walt Disney Companysince 1996, will join creative forces with Disney's in-house FeatureAnimation computer graphics unit to form a new entity called The Secret Lab(TSL). The Secret Lab, which will be based at Feature Animation's Northsidefacility in Burbank, California, will provide state-of-the-art CGIcharacter animation and visual effects for a variety of the Studio'slive-action projects in addition to producing computer-animated features.Thomas Schumacher, president of Walt Disney Feature Animation, will beresponsible for TSL with Andrew Millstein, vice president and generalmanager of Dream Quest Images, overseeing the operation. Commenting on theannouncement, Schumacher said, ``Merging Dream Quest and Disney's computeranimation operation represents a tremendous pooling of talent andresources. Both groups are involved in creating spectacular digital imageryand the formation of The Secret Lab brings together a group of visualeffects experts that are tops in their field. Disney has built afirst-class digital animation studio and together with Dream Quest Imageswill continue to push the boundaries of digital filmmaking.'' Disney'sFeature Animation computer graphics unit is currently in the final stagesof completing its first in-house feature, DINOSAUR, which combines computercharacter animation with digitally enhanced live-action backgrounds.DINOSAUR is due for release in May 2000. Dream Quest's artistic andmanagement team will move from their current Simi Valley, Californiaheadquarters to the Burbank location. Physical production (model shops,engineering and stages) will continue to be based at the Simi Valleyfacility. Dream Quest received Academy Awards for its contributions toTOTAL RECALL and THE ABYSS. Among the other films it has worked on are THESIXTH SENSE, ARMAGEDDON, MIGHTY JOE YOUNG and CON AIR. Their list ofupcoming feature film credits includes BICENTENNIAL MAN, MISSION TO MARS,GONE IN 60 SECONDS, SHANGHAI NOON, TENNESSEE and 102 DALMATIANS.