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Thursday - October 25, 2001
- Disney Begins Dismantling The Secret Lab
- Snow White DVD Playback Problems
- The Iron Giant Special Edition DVD a Year Away
- News Link of the Day - Waking Life: Dream On

Disney Begins Dismantling The Secret Lab
(by Disney's FX unit, The Secret Lab, is slowly being dismantled as Disney continues to outsource its visual effects work to bigger FX facilities like Industrial Light and Magic.

According to Daily Variety, "Disney has become the latest studio to quit the live action visual f/x business, shuttering its two-year-old Secret Lab, and preparing to lay off several hundred employees."

The move comes after Disney laid off hundreds of animators earlier this year and slashed the salaries remaining animators by up to 50%.

Thomas Schumacher, president of Walt Disney Feature Animation is quoted in Daily Variety as saying, "We're not actively soliciting outside work under the banner of the Secret Lab anymore. If the studio comes to me and says here's a movie that we have a special demand for, then fantastic. But I don't need to set up a separate company to do that. We're going to be reassigning our production capabilities."

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Snow White DVD Playback Problems
(by Disney's biggest animated DVD release ever, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, is experiencing problems with thousands of people who try to play the DVD on computers running Windows 2000 or the new Windows XP.

InterActual, which is in charge of DVD support for Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs DVD acknowledged that the DVD won't play at all on some Windows 2000 and Windows XP operating systems. In a technical support document for the problem, InterActual says:

"The Walt Disney Company and the Microsoft Corporation are jointly addressing this matter, and expect to provide a resolution for consumers shortly. Buena Vista Consumer Support and InterActual would like to inform you and provide assistance when a solution is made available...In the interim, we recommend trying the movie through your main DVD decoder software, which should have been provided by your computer manufacturer..."

In investigating the problem, CNET quotes Microsoft spokesman Greg Sullivan as saying that Disney didn't test the disk on Windows 2000 or Windows XP.

The problem seems to be isolated to those two operating systems, but there is a possible workaround that can be found by clicking here.

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The Iron Giant Special Edition DVD a Year Away
(by Warner Bros. continues to delay the release of the special edition DVD of The Iron Giant. In a recent chat with The Digital Bits, official Warner Bros. representatives acknowledge that The Iron Giant Special Edition DVD won't ship until the "Second half of 2002." This also marks the first time that Warner Bros. has officially and widely acknowledged the special edition DVD outside of past media reports relying on "sources within the WB".

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News Link of the Day - Waking Life: Dream On

According to The San Francisco Bay Guardian:

"It could be a dream or a nightmare, depending on your perspective. But Richard Linklater's latest push to the envelope is definitely a nocturnal vision you'll have to shake off. Dazed and confused and reveling in it, his animated Waking Life is both a return to form and an intense break from it – a movie filmed entirely in live-action is transformed into animation..."

Click here for the full story.

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