The Return of CAPTAIN EO
As engaging now as it always has been...
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Before Avatar broke world box-office records and before 3D became mainstream, there was a little sci-fi film back in 1986 called Captain EO. It was the brainchild of the creative forces at Disney and of George Lucas, who served as Executive Producer. The "King of Pop" - Michael Jackson - took the starring role and Francis Ford Coppola directed, as minute by minute, it became one of the most expensive films of its time. EO had a running length of only 17 minutes long and played in only two theaters worldwide to start; one at Epcot Center in Orlando, Florida and the other at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California. Admission to see Captain EO was a whopping $18, but that price included an entire day admission to Disneyland and an opportunity to see the film as much as you wanted throughout the day.
EO eventually expanded to Tokyo Disneyland and Disneyland Paris before it ended its theatrical run in 1997. Its replacement was the comedy Honey, I Shrunk the Audience starring Rick Moranis and ran at Disneyland until it was clear that audiences, were in fact, shrinking. Paired with Michael Jackson's untimely death, Disneyland decided that after 13 years of "Honey," it was time to bring Captain EO back, where it is now the ONLY place to see it (Honey, I Shrunk the Audience still performs daily in Florida, Tokyo, and Paris).
The film itself is as engaging now as it always has been. A mix of Star Wars with a Michael Jackson music video, the story of Captain EO and his merry crew is to change the world with song. Academy Award-winning actress Anjelica Huston plays the Supreme Leader, a ruler of a colorless and dark world.
Being that the film is now 24 years old, it's easy to spot the differences in 3D technology, but this film was what set the bar and the new 70 mm print still entertains. The audio has also been remixed to modern specifications and sounds better than ever. The motion-base platform added in for "Honey" accents the many scenes involving the ship's battle in space.
Captain EO is now presented multiple times daily, exclusively at Disneyland Park in Anaheim. No end-date has been announced.
- David Yeh