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Captain EO Returns To Epcot

Captain EO starring Michael Jackson has returned to the Imagination Pavilion in Epcot after a 16 year absense.

Captain EO was a landmark, Sci-Fi musical 17-minute 3-D film experience created for the Disney Parks. It debuted in 1986 when Michael Jackson was at the height of his popularity.

Jackson was not the only star associated with Captain EO. George Lucas was the executive producer. Francis Ford Coppola was the director, and Oscar Winning actress Anjelica Huston starred as the Supreme Commander.

At the time it was created this was the most expensive movie per minute of film ever made. It was created on the heels of Michael Jackson's very successful Thriller video and ran in Epcot from 9/12/86-7/6/94.

Captain EO 2010
Recently I had the chance to see Captain EO in Epcot.  The interior of the Imagination Pavilion has been redone to remove references to the Imagination Institute and the "Honey I Shrunk The Audience" show.  It is now adorned with Michael Jackson and Captain EO posters and signage.

The preshow video is a behind the scenes look at how Captain EO was made.  It includes a lot of footage of George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola collaborating as some of the scenes are going through rehearsals.  This gave a great view of 1986 fashion for those not old enough to remember. 

I thought the preshow was very interesting and set the stage in telling that Captain EO is something created almost 25 years ago.

Once inside the main theater you are told that the movie will be shown in its 70 mm original form.  The 3-D technique used in the film that was developed by Kodak was cutting edge at the time and still looks good now.

I was very impressed by the "4-D" effects that were used.  As I understand it, some of the original 4-D effects were reused (dormant for 16 years) and some of the ones for "Honey I Shrunk The Audience" were repurposed and seemlessly integrated.  You will experience water sprays, air blasts, and seat movements.  They were well done and it really added to the film.

As someone who remembers the 1980's Thriller/Billy Jean Era Michael Jackson, Captain EO brought back fond memories of when Michael was at his very best.  The film was silly, but the music and dance moves were all classic Michael Jackson.

Half Full Theater
Even in the middle of July and only about a week after the July 2nd re-debut the crowds for Captain EO appeared to be very light.  If you don't already know what Captain EO is, it isn't well advertised until you get into the theater.

Part of this may be the effect of people being used to skipping the Imagination Pavilion and the Imagination Theater on their tour of Epcot.

Skipping Captain EO would be a mistake.  Even though the movie is 25 years old and some of the effects are dated now, it is still entertaining and enjoyable.

Michael Jackson - Captain EO Sovenirs
There is a cart outside of the theater that is stocked with Captain EO sovenirs, including the Rainbow T-shirt that Michael wears during the film.

For the Captain EO fan there is plenty to choose from.

Must See Epcot Attraction
It may not rank ahead of Soarin', but Captain EO should be on your must see list of Epcot Attractions.  It is worth your time to either re-visit or see Captain EO for the first time.

1 comments to "Captain EO Returns To Epcot"

  1. Thanks for the update. It will be interesting to see how long Disney sticks with Captain EO. The whole pavilion is due for a major overhaul.

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