Does Anyone Remember Captain EO?

Our guide to 'Captain EO' – Orlando Sentinel

credit: Captain EO

When asking people if they remember Captain EO, there are bound to be a lot of blank looks from those who are either too young or didn’t get to make their way to Disneyland in Anaheim, California, when they were younger. Opened back in 1986, the short musical was an adventure featuring the late Michael Jackson as the titular character and space adventurer, who along with his ragtag crew of aliens and a musical droid visited a planet filled with twisted, rotting machinery that was ruled over by a Supreme Leader who was portrayed by Anjelica Huston. The main gist of the story is that Captain EO and his crew are there to deliver a gift but are nearly imprisoned by the servants of the leader. As EO and his crew begin a musical number, the elephant-like crew member named Hooter, who looks like he belongs to the Max Rebo band in Star Wars, does his normal thing as he nearly breaks the instruments that are needed to deliver the gift. After a well-choreographed and very musical fight, though, the gift is delivered, the planet is transformed into a place of light and peace, and the crew is on to their next adventure.

Behind The Scenes: Captain EO - Michael Jackson Official Site

credit: Captain EO

The film would be brought back a couple of times over the years until it was largely forgotten by a lot of people. 

Captain EO did get to stick around for a while and was brought back so that people could continue to enjoy it. But seeing as how a lot of folks don’t appear to remember it when the film is mentioned, it’s easy to see that it slipped back into the shadows a bit in order to let other attractions be noticed. As a historical attraction to the park, however, it’s still a great memory for many people who took the time to stand in line to watch the 3D musical. At the time it came out, Captain EO was one of the more popular attractions in the park, especially since 3D was still a big deal back in the 80s. But the immersive experience was pretty cool since it didn’t offer just the 3D experience. There were actual jets of smoke that cascaded through vents into the theater in order to simulate the idea of a crash landing and the smoke that rolled out from the ship. In short, the effects were pretty cool for the time. 

A remake feels like it would be a touchy subject for a lot of people. 

It does feel as though a few people might have given thought to reboot this feature over the years, but whether or not it could ever happen brings up a lot of thoughts as to the legalities of it and, of course, the interest. Michael Jackson was a legend that many people adored, and just about everything he did was considered to be insanely popular. Captain EO might not have been considered to be his best performance, especially since, between his concerts and music videos, there were a lot of reasons to glorify what he did. Still, this was one of the most fun appearances by Jackson back in the day, especially since it took a fair number of elements and tweaked them just enough to make an original story that was a lot of fun. 

Michael Jackson's Revived Captain EO Is Still Wired, Slightly Tired | WIRED

credit: Captain EO

This movie looked like a cross between Aliens and Star Trek.

It’s easy to think that there weren’t a lot of kids that were major horror buffs when they first watched this film, but the truth is that it does have the look of something that came from the mind of H.R. Giger and the Borg from Star Trek. That’s amusing, to be fair, since the Borg didn’t show up in Star Trek until 1989, apparently, but it does sound as though the Supreme Leader was the inspiration for the Borg queen since both were suspended from cables. That’s kind of cool when one thinks about it since the fact is that inspiration can come from anywhere. It does feel that if this idea were ever to be given a reboot that there are plenty of ways to stick to the original while finding the means to update and improve upon it. 

It’s a good memory for a lot of people. There’s no doubt about that. 

It’s impressive to realize that Captain EO last so long and has remained a pleasant memory for a lot of people. The idea of bringing it back into the public eye might not be popular with some folks, but it does feel that it could be done. For now, though, it’s a pleasing memory that stands out for some people and was, at the time, a quaint story that had more merit to it than many realized. 

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