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Disney’s Secret Lab Closes Its Doors

Disney has announced plans to close The Secret Lab, the visual effects unit of its Feature Animation group. The Secret Lab was formed two years ago, emerging from Oscar-winning effects house Dream Quest Images, which was founded in 1979 and became a division of Disney in 1996. In a VARIETY report, Walt Disney Feature Animation president Thomas Schumacher stated that The Secret Lab is no longer actively seeking outside contracts. However, he also said, If the studio comes to me and says heres a movie that we have a special demand for, then fantastic. But I dont need to set up a separate company to do that. Were going to be reassigning our production capabilities. Ill tailor the people I need for the work I need to get done. VARIETY also reported that approximately 350 of the over 1700 Disney Feature Animation staff members will be laid off but it is unclear whether this will happen immediately. The Secret Lab is expected to complete CGI effects on REIGN OF FIRE, a Disney distributed film due out in June 2002. The move appears to be consolidating talent under one roof and