Captain EO is a 3-D film starring Michael Jackson and directed by Francis Ford Coppola (who came up with the name, "Captain Eo", (Greek for “dawn”) that was shown at Disney theme parks in the 1980s and 1990s. The attraction returned to Tomorrowland's Magic Eye Theater at Disneyland on 23 February 2010 for an indefinite engagement. Captain EO is also returning to Disneyland Paris on June 12th, Tokyo Disneyland on July 1st and Walt Disney World on July 2nd, just months after it reopened to rave reviews at Disneyland.The film's executive producer was George Lucas. The film was choreographed by Jeffrey Hornaday and Michael Jackson, photographed by Peter Anderson, produced by Rusty Lemorande, and written by Lemorande, Lucas and Coppola, from a story idea by the artists of Walt Disney Imagineering. Lemorande also initially designed and created two of the creatures, and was an uncredited editor of the film. The score was written by James Horner, and featured two songs ("We Are Here to Change the World" and "Another Part of Me"), both written and performed by Michael Jackson. The Supreme Leader was played by Anjelica Huston. Cinematographer Vittorio Storaro acted as visual consultant but was, in fact, the actual director of photography. Union requirements prevented him from receiving that credit. Captain EO is regarded as the first "4-D" film (4-D being the name given to a 3-D film which incorporates in-theater effects, such as lasers, smoke, etc., frame synced to the film narrative). This innovation was suggested by producer-writer Lemorande who is, therefore, sometimes referred to as "The Father of 4-D."
The movie tells the story of Captain EO and the ragtag crew of his spaceship on a mission to deliver a gift to "The Supreme Leader", of a world of rotting, twisted metal and steaming vents. Captain EO's alien crew consists of his small flying sidekick Fuzzball, the double-headed navigator and pilot Idey (Debbie Lee Carrington) and Ody (Cindy Sorenson), robotic security officer Major Domo (Gary Depew), a small robot Minor Domo (who fits like a module into Major Domo), and the clumsy elephant-like shipmate Hooter (Tony Cox) who always manages to upset the crew's missions. Dick Shawn plays Captain EO's boss, Commander Bog.
Upon arriving on the planet, the crew is captured by the henchmen of the Supreme Leader, and brought before her. She sentences the crew to be turned into trash cans, and Captain EO to 100 years of torture in her deepest, darkest dungeon. Before being sent away, Captain EO tells the Supreme Leader that he sees the beauty hidden within her, and that he brings her the key to unlock it: his song, "We Are Here To Change The World".
The two robot members of the crew transform into musical instruments and the crew members begin to play the various instruments. As Hooter runs toward his instrument, he trips over EO's cape and breaks it, stopping the music. The spell broken, the Supreme Leader orders her guards to capture Captain EO and his crew.
Hooter manages to repair his instrument and sends out a blast of music, providing EO with the power to throw off the guards. He uses his power to transform the dark hulking guards into agile dancers who fall into step behind him for a dance number. As EO presses forward toward the Supreme Leader she unleashes her Whip Warriors, two cybernetic defenders each with a whip and shield that can deflect EO's power.
The others all run away leaving Captain EO to fight the Whip Warriors alone. EO is trapped by a closing gate and is preparing for a last stand as both the whip warriors draw their whips back for a final blow. Fuzzball drops his instrument and speedily flies over to tie the two whips together, causing the Whip Warriors to be thrown off balance giving EO an opportunity to transform them as well. With no further obstacles, EO uses his power to transform the Supreme Leader into a beautiful woman, her lair into a peaceful Greek temple and the planet into a verdant paradise.
A celebration breaks out to "Another Part of Me", as EO and his crew triumphantly exit and fly off into space.
Captain EO made full use of its 3-D effects. The action on the screen extended into the audience, including lasers, laser impacts, smoke effects, and starfields that filled the theater. These effects resulted in the seventeen-minute film costing an estimated $30 million to produce. At the time, it was the most expensive film ever produced on a per-minute basis, averaging out at $1.76 million per minute.
The 2010 version does not include the in-theater laser and starfield effects. It does utilize hydraulics previously used for Honey, I Shrunk the Audience! to make the seats tilt along with Captain EO's spaceship. They are also used for the bass heavy musical numbers.
The Making of Captain EOEdit
Concurrent with the opening of the attraction, a behind the scenes documentary special entitled Captain EO: Backstage was produced for television by MKD Productions. The piece was directed by Muffett Kaufman and was hosted by Whoopi Goldberg. It featured interviews with cast, writers and the director. 
MerchandisingEditThe story was adapted with art by Tom Yeates in the comic book Eclipse 3-D Special #18 and issued in two formats: regular sized for distribution to the national network of comic book stores and tabloid sized sold at Disneyland as a souvenir. Toys available included plush versions of Idy and Ody, Hooter, and the "Fuzzball" character. Trading cards, pins, keychains, a Hooter backpack, and a 'glow in the dark' T-shirt with the same three-color pattern painted across it that Captain EO wears in the film were also produced.
The show's orchestral score was composed by James Horner.
Two new songs appeared in the film. The first is an early mix of "Another Part of Me." The song was re-mixed and later appeared on Jackson's hugely successful Bad album. It was released as a single in 1988.
"We Are Here to Change the World" was not officially released until 2004 as part of Michael Jackson: The Ultimate Collection. However, this version is a shorter edit of the full-length song.
The area and Preshow music was composed by Richard Bellis
Popularity and returnEdit
After the death of Michael Jackson on June 25, 2009, Captain EO regained popularity on the Internet. For several years, a small group of fans had petitioned Disney to bring back the attraction and Jackson's death had brought this campaign to a peak. Soon afterward, Disney officials were seen in Disneyland at the Magic Eye Theater and reportedly held a private screening of Captain EO to determine if it could be shown again. It was rumored that Disneyland would announce the return of the attraction at Disneyland in September. However, on September 10, Disney CEO Bob Iger said, "There aren’t plans to bring back Captain EO at this time ... We are looking at it. It’s the kind of thing that, if we did it, would get a fair amount of attention and we’d want to make sure we do it right."
On December 18, 2009, it was announced that Captain EO would return to Tomorrowland at Disneyland beginning in February 2010. Social and Print Media Manager Heather Hust Rivera from Disneyland Resorts confirmed this on the DisneyParks Blog and stated that Honey, I Shrunk the Audience! would be closing. The attraction hosted its final public showing in the Magic Eye Theater at midnight on January 4, 2010 to make way for the Michael Jackson film's return.
The attraction, now entitled Captain EO Tribute, re-opened at Disneyland park on February 23, 2010.
On April 21, 2010, it was announced that Captain EO would return to Discoveryland at Disneyland Paris beginning in June 2010. A flash update to Cast Members confirmed this and stated that Honey, I Shrunk the Audience! would be closing. The 3D show hosted its final public showing on May 3, 2010 to make way for the Michael Jackson film's return. Following the temporary operating period, a new interactive show will premiere, although at this point, no details have been released.
At Tokyo Disneyland, Captain EO also returned on July 1, 2010.
- ^ Cadman, Chris (2007). Michael Jackson: For the Record. Authors OnLine. ISBN 978-0-7552026-7-6.
- ^ Retroland.com
- ^ "The Making of Captain EO". The Disney Sunday Movie. ABC. 1986.
- ^ "AllMusic: "A Good As It Gets"". allmusic.com. 2006. http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:dpfixql5ldfe. Retrieved 2007-05-29.
- ^ Brady MacDonald. "Iger: No plans to bring ‘Captain EO’ back to Disneyland". Los Angeles Times. http://travel.latimes.com/daily-deal-blog/index.php/iger-no-plans-to-bri-5337/. Retrieved 2009-09-26.
- ^ "Official Reopening Date Set for 'Captain EO' Featuring Michael Jackson". Disney Parks Blog. 2010-02-19. http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2010/02/official-reopening-date-set-for-captain-eo-featuring-michael-jackson/. Retrieved 2010-02-19.
- ^ http://dlrpfan.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/captaineo-managementflash1.jpg Disneyland Paris Management Flash
- ^ http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2010/04/captain-eo-returning-to-walt-disney-world-resort/