Captain EO (1986) Poster


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A Fun and Applicable Movie
arthurblenheim10 January 2007
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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It lived up to it's billing
djlucas1 June 2005
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.

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It's the 21st Century and still no sign of an Official Release.
atrac21 July 2002
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.
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3-D Disney Magic...
Winnie-186 March 1999
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.
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One of pop cultures greatest achievements.
equaltocody22 October 2012
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.
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Classic 3-D musical fun.
Alex Rivera25 February 2010
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
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The Best Ever
md00623 February 2001
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+
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San Franciscan6 July 2003
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...!!!)
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M_Wolf12 July 2000
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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Greatest mini musical ever
capteo-230 August 1999
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.
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The Best of the Best!!!
marcvalenzuela14 August 2006
This entire 17-minute film was one of the most brilliant shorts for the great Michael Jackson! I mean, first of all the character designs are reminiscent to George Lucas' "Star Wars" and the music is mesmerizing. Michael traveling into outer space and then crashing onto a planet where everything is dreary and boring. It's hard to imagine that this premiered at every Disney theme park during the late 1980s to the mid-1990s! Oh, man! I'm still EXTREMELY excitable just thinking about it! I can never get enough! Sure, the year was 1986 and a bit outdated, but I can never forget what Michael has done throughout his career in music. After all, the 1980s was MY birth decade, and I grew up listening to his music throughout the years. I am NOT at all disappointed with this film, neither do I hate Michael Jackson! He is really awe-inspiring! Anyway, I give this film a perfect score!

When the grand re-opening of this attraction happened at Disneyland in February 2010, it was like a dream come true! The tribute was worth it and nostalgic! The moment I arrived in line, the queue and auditorium were packed to full capacity (in which compared to "Honey, I Shrunk the Audience," there weren't as many)! It was obvious the people were die-hard Micahel fans and I won't deny that I am one myself!
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Time is not on Captain EO's side
Brian Patrick20 February 2006
While the 3D effects were thrilling for 1986 this film does not hold up well thru time. Since its heyday we have seen many 3D movies that have better effects and do not have the distinction of having dated music. This was not just a movie. There were several site specific effects during the show that cannot be duplicated if this were ever to be released on DVD. Such as lasers shooting over the heads of the theatergoers, searchlights in the audience and smoke. The effects are terrible by 2006 standards. Michael Jackson is terrible and unconvincing as a space captain. The creatures look like toys and the costumes are dated. So much so that during the climax... the big scene... the huge production number... you'd swear it was Xanadu. The story is thin. Even though this tops out at a little over 17 minutes it seems they story is stretched to fill that time. Oh Francis why did you do this? Best to let this one fade away.
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Michael Jackson came to change my world
Jordan-1511 June 2003
I saw Captain EO on MTV in June of 1995 (exactly 8 years ago) a few months before I turned 13. it was MJTV week, and it was announced it would only be shown once and once only, so I taped it and made sure I got it from beginning to end. believe me, I was not going to miss a thing. My boyfriend now knows how much of a fan of MJJ I am. I own a piece of history. I never saw it at Epcot Center, but he saw it as a child. I'm holding on to this tape. maybe one day my children will see it and feel the energy I feel when watching MJJ dance and sing. this is truly for the Michael Joseph Jackson fan and for those who are just getting into him.
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Well Mike DID...
chimera-2114 March 2007
...still have a nose.

Other than that, lemme see, the effects are dated. The acting is horrible. James Horner should be ashamed. Lucas and the rest HAD to be on some bad drugs...

The main value of this thing is as a sad piece of history serving as a reminder to us all that the creature we see on tabloids today was once Michael Jackson. Probably one of the most talented people ever to come along and, then, with a future so bright nobody could imagine where he'd go...

...certainly we never imagined where he'd wind up.
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Very Weak
cdrw6228 March 2010
Horrible excuse for a "movie" (mostly just an extended music video). What's wrong with it:

1. It proved what a terrible actor MJ was.

2. Effects were mediocre even for the time when it was made. Terrible stop motion effects when the robot turned into the drum set. Terrible green/blue screen effects: When the orange gerbil flies around you can see where the puppeteers hand goes in it's backside.

3. Puppets and creature costumes you'd expect to see in a cheapo Sid and Marty Kroft Saturday morning kids TV show (like Liddsville).

4. Group dance routine that looks like a lame retread of Thriller and Bad.

5. The same group of recycled MJ dance moves he used in EVERY music video: thrusts crotch, wiggles fingers, does some "walk like an Egyptian" move, grabs crotch, moonwalks, repeat, etc.

6. Completely forgettable song.

Absolutely nothing original. The only entertaining part is when a character exclaims "Captain, there's something weird out there!" and I'm thinking "What, something even weirder than Michael Jackson?"
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Can you say... Cheese?
tomimt16 May 2006
I think you can. Captain Eo, directed by Francis Ford Coppola and produced by no other than George Lucas is 17 minutes full of creatures, special effects and Michael Jackson. And in those 17 minutes were some of the cheesiest moments I've had pleasure of watching. Ever.

First of all, I am fully aware of the fact, that Captain Eo was made as a 3d movie for Disney theme park, so there are limits what can be done. But this time Lucas has overdone himself with the "cuddly and cute". I almost begun to feel nauseous, when I heard the voice acting. This is where the rejected Star Wars ideas were dumbed.

The movie actually is a music video for Micheal Jackson, but the song he does in it is pretty much same cheese with the rest of the film. Fancy dance movies can't safe this film from itself.

The only reason for seeing this film would be to see it in 3D, as that was the way it is meant to be seen. if you have change to see this from video or TV skip it: there isn't anything special to see.
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Can anyone say "rip off" ?
raypdaley18214 July 2005
lets put some puppets in space. in a spaceship that looks like its built from scrap. being chased by god alone knows what. being chased for who knows why. being commanded by Captain Eo who rather scarily looks like - Micheal JACKSON! Right, so far we could have cheaply used The Henson Creature Workshop, Stan Winston & John Dykstra.

Then Captain Eo and his friends get sent on a mission. (No, i don't know why either, it's just a plot device to get them to where they need to be)

They fly across something that looks FAR TOO MUCH LIKE The Death Star for it's own good (can we spell Law Suit? Or Rip-off?) especially the towers on the surface, the pipes like catwalks and the whole trench sequence.

Then they crash. Damn idiots! Actually no, they found the beacon they were looking for! Ah, right. Why? Don't know, shut up and watch Micheal - sorry The Captain and all his friends get captured by some bad people and taken to what really looks like a Borg Queen (Oy, Paramount - can you spell copyright infringement?).

So The Captain uses some magical colorful powers as his puppet friends Transform into musical instruments so he can dance. The magic colors turn the "Borg Queen's" baddies into colorfully dressed dancers (I recognized a few guys from the Electro Rock Crew in The Break Dance Movie) and finally transforms the "Borg Queen" into a nicely dressed lady.

Micheal, sorry - The Captain sings "Just another part of me" and it's all over bar the titles.

This is listed as the most expensive feature ever made, I assume there was some sort of 3d process when this was shown at Disneyland because even for 1986 (I think) it doesn't look very expensive.

Generally rubbish, even for Jackson fans.

Avoid. watch The Dark Crystal or Labyrinth instead. At least David Bowie is incredibly awful in that. And Gates McFadden (Dr Beverly Crusher from Star Trek Next Generation is in it too. I bet you never saw her did you? Pay attention in the ballroom scene next time!)
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Captain EO
I must admit, I've only seen this film twice, and I'm very impressed, good story, excellent talent, awesome soundtrack which includes 2 great tracks by the star of the movie Michael Jackson-the songs are: 'We Are Here To Change The World' and 'Another Part Of Me' which adds a peaceful colour to the movie , and it's fun to enjoy and watch.

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 star fields that filled the theatre. These effects resulted in the seventeen-minute film costing an estimated $17 to $30 million dollars to produce. At the time it was the most expensive film ever produced on a per-minute basis

This should be released on DVD, the movie's popularity is HUGE, so why not is it available to purchase on DVD, it'll make a lot of money! And Michael Jackson, will be very pleased and happy!

Mister J Spirit
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Another pompous overlong Michael Jackson music video
Warning: Spoilers
Maybe "Captain EO" leaves more of an impact if you actually saw it as the theme park attraction that it initially was, but for me it didn't do too much, maybe because I am not the greatest Star Wars fan. George Lucas' involvement with this movie is clearly visible. Some of the creatures in here look like they were taken right out of one of his films. The director, however, is Francis Ford Coppola, but nothing here reminds me of his work from the "Godfather" films for example. And Michael Jackson just isn't a good actor unfortunately, so it doesn't help the matter either. The second main role (if there is such a thing) is played by Anjelica Huston in the year when she won her Academy Award. All in all, I recommend these 17 minutes really only to huge sci-fi lovers or massive Michael Jackson fans. The rest really does not need to see it as I found it mediocre at best.
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An OK Disneyland attraction.
OllieSuave-0076 February 2015
This is a sci-fi short that was shown at Disneyland, starring Michael Jackson as Captain EO, who and his space crew are on a mission to save the world from the Supreme Leader (Angelica Huston) by giving her a song and dance.

This movie short is a like a longer-than-usual music video, with some pretty neat special 3D effects; when I was in the theater, I thought I got the lucky seat when Huston's long fingernails were reaching out at me.

Overall, it was a so-so attraction. It wasn't too exciting, just lots of loud music and classic 80s dance styles with dark scenes and somewhat cool special effects.

Grade C+
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Captain EO needs a true HD Digital Release on Blu Ray and Blu Ray 3D.
djadrianleigh8 December 2014
OK, so Disney is the out and out owner of this Michael Jackson Classic Music Video/Sci Fi Space Movie shot exclusively for Walt Disney Theme parks across the whole entire globe. Then when allegations of Pedophilia were leveled against Michael Jackson Walt Disney Studios ironically enough told Michael Jackson to Beat It and replaced Captain EO with Honey I Shrunk The Audience !

Captain EO was the first and last movie Michael ever did for Disney. It was shot in Super 70mm Format so you are talking about a true wide screen movie here needing the full blown Digital 16x9 HD Overhaul Treatment.
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The king of pop saves the galaxy with song and dance!
Mr-Fusion17 August 2014
Michael Jackson's the only man in existence who can make a rainbow t-shirt and white leather buckles look cool. I defy you to come up with someone else who could pull that off. Don't worry about it; it can't be done.

Getting right down to it, CAPTAIN EO is one 15-minute long music video. And it is glorious. Vanity project? Sure, but when you actually see this thing, you know it just had to be done. The guy was at the height of his power - why not have your own Disneyland ride? And after all these years, it plays like a real '80s time capsule: the post-STAR WARS miniatures, the spaceship production design, the crew-members that looked like they were right out of RETURN OF THE JEDI . . . I loved that this all had that time-and-place stamp on it. It is undeniably of the '80s, which I'm sure is likely to turn off some; but for me, it's a real treat.

You can find the full-length CAPTAIN EO on YouTube, but that won't ever do the movie justice. Not because it's not in 3D, but because you'd be watching it without the thrumming sound system of the theater. So I have to give Disneyland some respect (watch out for flying pigs) for bringing this back, regardless of their reasoning. It's the one reason I'm kinda bummed I didn't renew my annual pass. And I really like the way they treated this "Tribute" re-opening, showing a making-of video while you're waiting in line and piping the score through the speakers as you walk in. I've gotta say, I love the synth in this movie, and I really wish they'd release the soundtrack. "We Are Here to Change the World" and "Another Part of Me" are both go-to songs when I want to go back to this movie. It's just too bad there's no decent way to hear that slap-bass solo again.

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Wanna see Michael dance and sing in 3-D?
Joseph P. Ulibas8 July 2004
Captain Eo (1986) was a 3-D movie that starred Michael Jackson. It was a feature attraction at Disneyland back in the 80's. I saw it and was disappointed, even at my young age. Dude they promised me a movie and I'll I got was some singing, dancing and over acting. They burned a ton of money on this "movie". What I would like to know is what did they spend it on. For one thing it wasn't on acting lessons. I can tell you that for sure.

I don't think we'll ever see this movie again. They should put it in an 80's time capsule or stow it on Voyager 3 so some aliens can get wigged out on it as well.

Slightly recommended.


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captain EO rocks
Daniel6 March 2005
Captain EO had was honey I shrunk...missed. Don't know what it is but it was way more fun. It's effects where awesome ad the music was fun. "Another Part Of Me" is found on "BAD" and "We are here to change he world" can be found on "The Ultimate Collection" . Michael Jackson actually does a great job of "acting" and the dancing is first class. Anjelica Houston is, as always, an under cooled witch. It disappeared from Disney in 1998 (paris) and is now replaced by honey... which has better effects but is less fun... Will it ever appear on DVD? Maybe on blue-Ray disc? It has a great soundtrack to demo a home cinema with. I think there are to many people involved in this film and the all have to agree I guess.
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Rather ghastly corporate farrago
Tom May26 July 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Do not get me wrong: Jackson did produce some excellent short-films in his career, and possessed a strong sense of what would work visually - of what would be unique and strange. I would advise film-goers and pop fans to seek out "Thriller" and "Ghosts" to see his artistry well conveyed on film.

This, however, is less a short-film than a piece of corporate propaganda: for Jackson as 'The King of Pop', for Disney, for George Lucas and even for US consumer capitalist culture as a whole. Rock 'n' roll, dance and 'cute' anthropomorphised animals will win the day, inevitably, against the 'evil aliens' as led by Anjelica Huston's Supreme Leader. The scenario is sketchy, and relies on special effects, choreography and artless noise to keep the audience engaged.

Jackson is painted as the humane dictator, appealing to the SL's better nature or her 'beautiful side', and then in effect crushing her and her people when they refuse to yield. Her forces become EO's due to a spot of magic; she is eventually transformed into a human, which, surprise surprise makes for the sort of Happy Ending that Ronald Ray-Gun would have adored.

This whole venture can be summed up as efficient propaganda for the American way of life and globalisation more broadly.
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