Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Captain Eo Premiere

Hard to believe it's been 25 years since the initial release of Michael Jackson's 3D featurette, "Captain EO." Doing a quick run through in my head of Disneyland history, I can't think of a single attraction other than "Captain EO" that was removed and then years later, brought back to life. "Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln" was a temporary removal for the 50th Anniversary Steve Martin movie; The Motor Boats morphed into different forms over a period of some 30+ years before disappearing for good. Is "Captain EO" the only attraction to get yanked and then return? I'm sure there's a DL history nut out there who would know.

These publicity photos were released in conjunction with the grand opening of "Captain EO" at Disneyland. From the publicity caption:

9/13/86: Director Francis Coppola, actress Anjelica Huston and Director George Lucas cut the ribbon to open Walt Disney Co.'s "Captain Eo," the much-ballyhooed 17-minute 3-D film starring Michael Jackson. Jackson did not take part in the opening but Disney's chairman Michael Eisner told the crowd that Jackson was somewhere in the audience disguised "either as an old lady or an usher or animatronic character." Although the cost was not disclosed, it is estimated to run more than $1 million a minute.

Here is a shot of the men behind the film, Coppola, Jackson, and Lucas:

Follow my Daveland updates on Twitter. See more Captain EO photos on my Captain Eo web page.


Chiana_Chat said...

Were you there Dave? I was. Got the T-shirt to prove it hehe. Park was open for 3 days round the clock, iirc. Yes it was rumored he was there. But although my friend accompanying me was a major Jackson fan, I wasn't so much; I was there to enjoy some heavy park hours.

Their timing with MJ and Lucas should have been a little earlier - even then some were starting to get a slightly odd vibe about MJ. And it wasn't unnoticed that Disney was relying on buying "partnerships" and "franchises" more than creating anything of its own worth calling classic... or at all. But taken together with the whole park, the experience was a blast at the time.

"You're just another part of me - he he!" with that bass line stuck.

JG said...

We all watched this again recently. My kids were amazed. My daughter remembered it from her first trip, but my son (3 years younger) said "I saw that before??", remembering only the "I shrunk the Kids" version.

This wasn't bad, it held up well over time. I think the Star Trek Borg Queen, well in the future of this film, was lifted directly from this clip.

Since Disney is a film company, for crying out loud, why is taking them 12 years at a run to make new films for this theater? They ought to have a new one every year!


Davelandweb said...

Good question, JG - you'd think that they would have a wealth of innovative film material that would keep Tomorrowland fresh.

Mike, Studio City said...

Glenn and I were there for the opening. We still have our T-shirts. It was amazing watching the sun come up at Disneyland. BTW, Glenn and I are still together, 25 years plus a few months.

Chiana_Chat said...

Congrats, Mike. :)

Goes to show how imaginative they are as a film company doesn't it, JG?

They just don't want to invest and on the few occasions they have, they acquire outside ideas; at the other park there's Muppets and this there's Lucas/Jackson.

An innovative presentation of a new America the Beautiful would sure be welcomed by me and might fit in nicely at DCA. Even an obvious idea like that's too much to hope for I guess...

I totally agree about the "Borg Queen"!

Tilly said...

Wow, that long. Everytime we go in there, I always say, "If there was an earthquake, we wouldn't know." Maybe the Peoplemover will come back to life too, because the track is still there! Same with Swiss Family Robinson treehouse. Technically America Sings is still alive, because of all of the animatronics in Splash Mountain. Thanks for honoring its opening!

Davelandweb said...

Chiana - No, unfortunately I was not there at the opening. Mike - congrats! Could you shoot me an email at: I have a favor to ask -