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The behind the scenes making of "Captain EO" that was the pre-show seen by theme park guests prior to seeing the feature 3D presentation, "Captain EO" featuring Michael Jackson and Angelica... See full summary »
Debbie Lee Carrington,
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Captain Eo and his rugged crew set out on a mission to deliver a special gift to a wicked queen who lives on a dark, desolate world. Getting there is half the fun, especially when the good captain starts boogying and the special effects start flying. Written by
Kevin Gillease <email@example.com>
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Captain EO is a much better film than anyone could have hoped. First off, I wish to remind people this a Disney-produced film. It was released into Epcot in 1986.
Epcot was a complete bore in 1986. Except for the area with the countries, nothing deserved the attention that Captain EO did. When I visited Epcot, this film was so fun, I went back to see it in the first day seven times. It's only 17 minutes long, so I had enough time to see it seven times. It's an exciting film: very immersing and fun.
It was directed by Francis Ford Coppola, and this film is as masterfully directed as Apocalypse Now and The Godfather, or anything else he's directed. It stars Michael Jackson.
It released in 1986, which was about six years into the Reagan Administration and "the moral majority." This film crashes right through that mentality to fulfill a much-needed statement about the future of the human race, and also of human enlightenment. It pits a contrast of meaningful and non-prejudiced life against a black-and-white drone mentality. The meaningful, non-prejudiced, and enlightened perspective is symbolized by the film's protagonist philosophy: the loudness of the film in its multi-racial (or rather multi-species) dance routines, the rainbow on the lead character's shirt, and the lead character dressed in a white uniform. The lead is played by Michael Jackson. The protagonist philosophy depicts the good, while the antagonist's philosophy is symbolized as the evil aspects of humanity, the drone mentality: the spider-appearance of the antagonist leader mostly in black is similar to H.R. Giger's Alien from a few years before, the black-and-white and gray color pallet, the German expressionism, the robots symbolizing the drone mentality and fascism, and the planet's metallic-refused surface for industrial advancements. The antagonist leader is played by Angelica Huston, a white woman.
Although this film appears to be a science fiction, it is similar to Star Wars in that they are both disconnected Westerns to some degree: the subject here is good versus evil as laid out by symbolism. This gives the film its weight. Or, it could be construed loosely as what happens to the inner universes of two people who fall in love, which could be symbolized by the protagonist being played by a black male star and the antagonist being played by a white female, although this idea isn't as developed as the former; but, both of them probably fit together somehow. It probably exemplifies the possibility of how the two could fit together when endured by love over hate. Love, not money, makes the world go 'round.
The reason Captain EO is a very good film is half because of the importance of its statement to all enlightened existences and half because of the quality in its direction, its expression, its submersion, the technicality of its cinema. The special effects rival films like this one showcased by theme parks today, and according to one source is the most expensive film ever made, by the minute, estimated at over one million dollars per minute of the movie.
Jackson performs two songs in the movie, "We are Here to Change the World" and "You're Just Another Part of Me." The latter track is on Jackson's music album "Bad" (1990) virtually the same way it is performed in the film. The other song does not exist in that form anywhere else; however, there is a song with this exact title on the album "Victory" (1984) by the Jacksons, an album on which Michael performs.
Although I have not seen the film in at least the thirteen years since Disney withdrew the film in 1994, I remember being wooed by it during my teenage years. Epcot was very boring, and this film amazed me: I saw it seven times that day I first saw it. It's in "3-D." The room had special effects. When Jackson's space vehicle lands on the planet, fog fills the audience and stage under the screen image. When a character shoots a laser gun, the explosions occur on the ceiling of the theater. When the spaceship travels through space, the entire room is filled with stars. Even though I haven't seen the film for a very long time, I remember it, and I remember what sitting the auditorium was like: I felt excited by all of it.
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