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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.
Captain EO was the greatest attraction I'd seen in my life up to that
time. As a matter of fact, it's still the greatest.
I love theme parks and I've seen a lot of attractions. Spiderman at Universal comes close.
I was in my twenties when EO was released and the film made me feel like a big kid. I wasn't too concerned about the plot and the acting as much as the effects, music and dancing. I got everything I bargained for and then some. I was sad to see it go. If they ever brought it back, I'd be first in line to see it!
All I know is it was an attraction that I could feel. Captain EO was a trend setter. It ran as a 3D attraction, but it was more like a 4D. There was smoke and lasers to go with the 3D effects. I experienced Captain EO at least 20 times and every single time, there was roaring applause at the end.
Let's look at the talent involved with this movie: Michael Jackson,
Angelica Houston, Francis Ford Coppola, James Horner, Industrial Light
& Magic, Dreamquest Images...the list goes on.
So one can only wonder *why* we don't have an official DVD Release of this title? It wowed audiences for years at Disney Amusement Parks around the world, yet it no longer does so. Normally when a movie is "finished" in theatres, it moves on to a Home DVD Release. Logic would suggest that this is what the future holds for "Captain Eo."
OK Disney, get off of your butt and put this puppy on DVD!!!! Forget about entertaining new generations of children, it's an opportunity for you to make more money!! ...just thought I'd speak in words that Disney could understand.
Captain Eo is definitely one of those 3-d movies that are hard to forget. While only about 17 minutes long, it was long enough to show just how powerful music can be. It had everything from catchy tunes to devilish villains. While some say the story was not that strong, the movie's SFX certainly made up for anything it was lacking in plot. Personally, I thought that Michael Jackson and Anjelica Houston both gave good performances. Unfortunately, it seems as if this will be another former Disney attraction that will inevitably fall through the cracks and be forgotten once and for all.
This is the best, classic movie ever. MJ, George Lucas, Francis Ford Coppola, and Disney come together to make a great 3D movie. The story of a bunch of "losers" on a mission to Change The World. They go to this ugly planet to give the Leader a message of music. Music brings people together to bring out there beautiful insides out. "We are here to change the world" is a great, but unfortunately unreleased MJ song. Its terribly horrible that Disney pulled it out of its respective parks (excluding DisneyLand Paris I think) over MJ's controversies in the early 1990s. Hopefully we'll get to see a DVD release of it one day. EXCELLENT MOVIE. A+
I had the chance to see it at Disneyland just this week for its
re-opening and all i have to say is : wow. It has good cinematography,
great music, decent acting. The only real problem with it is the
special effects. Since it was made in the 80s, the special effects are
outdated, but not in a bad way. In fact, id take that outdated 70s,
80s, and even 90s special effects any day over the cgi effects in movie
nowadays. Michael is the show stealer, once again showing the world (
and our generation) why we love him for his talent. And the last great
part of it is of course, the 3-D effects. SO overall, if you happen to
be going to Disneyland in California anytime soon, i would recommend
seeing this attraction before it gets replaced with something new. You
wont be disappointed, since i wasn't an anyway.
I give this movie a 9/10
Some of the reviews here come off strangely, because to review this
film in the same context you would review a movie or a short film is to
review it outside of the context for which it was created. Because it
wasn't made to be a Feature length or even a short film, it was made to
be a ride at an amusement park.
Someone riding a roller-coaster is better served enjoying the twists and turns of the ride than wondering why the ride turned left THEN right, a ride is really just a combination of things that thrill.
And it does thrill, it's a 17 minute tour of the trade-mark styles of some of the most popular artists of the time, and because it was pulled so many creative forces it goes in a direction unexpected and for me is a refreshing and fantastic experience.
It scratches allot of itches I didn't know I had- It's a long form music video, it's MJ creating a character in the same way David Bowie would, it's an answer to the question 'what would it be like to take the most sought after performer and director and have them work together', and much more.
It ages extremely well, I enjoyed it as much on my most recent trip to Disneyland as I did as a kid before it's initial closing. I love the strange 'analog future' setting that is Lucas's trademark, the outlandish music video story and dancing of Michael Jackson, it has the family friendly cutesy hand of Disney in it and the directing of Coppola.
It is so, so much fun when viewed in the proper context. I'm not saying that we shouldn't analyze the parts of this story, but if you frame it in the right context, it is a masterpiece.
It is truly some sort of horrendous cultural crime that this ultracool
Michael Jackson film was yanked out of the Magic Eye theatres from Disney
Parks around the world and replaced with the completely stupid "Honey, I
Shrunk The Audience"!
The music is HOT! Michael Jackson is GREAT in it! The characters are fun, it has a great message AND its effects are gorgeous! Heck, MY COUSIN DEBBIE LEE CARRINGTON IS IN IT!!!
But Disney yanked it out of the parks due to the infamous and ridiculous accusations against Michael which I will not go into here (and of which I still strongly believe him to be completely innocent of) due to cowardice.
It deserves a re-release, and its fantastic theme song--one of the best things Michael ever wrote and performed--remains unreleased as well. COME ON, DISNEY!!! Have a little GUTS, RELEASE IT! (But what am I saying?! They're still too cowardly to re-release Song Of The South...!!!)
The story of Captian EO is one that is told through dance and music allowing it to be loved by people from all over the world. With Michael Jackson's great singing and dancing and a great performance by Angelica Houston this movie should be a classic 15 minute short. I wish it were released on tape or shown again in the Disney parks.
I think this is an excellent movie, especially that George Lucas was part of it, I enjoy his work such as Star Wars. The music was great especially when the song "We Are here to Change The World" the best part I liked was the funky slap bass thing the reason is because I play bass and I'm learning that :) Too bad Captain EO isn't playing in Disneyland anymore oh well I have it on tape when it was on MTV :)
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