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Sometimes all it takes is a little nudge to set off a fireworks display of memories in one’s mind. For example, just today I was reading about how Disneyland (that’s the one in California) has re-released the 3D Sci-fi mini musical Captain EO as a tribute to the late king of pop, Michael Jackson.

Now before you go connecting my flood of repressed memories to Jacko in any way, let me clarify that it’s the movie I had forgotten about, not anything a top-dollar psychiatrist may or may not have hypnotized out of me. Reading about EO’s re-issue brought me back to my childhood for a fleeting moment and I re-experienced a day in my life where everything was brutally awesome.

I had seen the 17 minute film probably around 1989, although it was in Disneyworld (that’s the one in Florida), or, more specifically Epcot Center.  I can recall the artistic “jumping fountains” I played with on the path leading up to the theater and the amount of waiting me and my family did before we were issued our own sticky pair of 3D glasses. At the time I was too young to know who George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola were, and I really didn’t care. I just wanted to see 3D spaceships. My brother, on the other hand, did know who they were, and was chomping ravenously at the bit to see what happens when you hand the creator of Star Wars, the director of the Godfather series 30 million dollars and the biggest name in music to work with. That comes out to around 1.76 million a minute, for anyone crunching numbers.

Surprisingly, the plot for Captain EO was relatively simple. It’s about a rag-tag group of space travelers lead by Michael who are on a delivery mission. The mission is to bring a gift to an evil witch, ominously called “The Supreme Leader”. What follows is a display of dance and music, the likes of which only Michael Jackson could perform. It was quite a production, especially for a little kid to take in.

But make no mistake; Captain EO wasn’t the immersive high-technological achievement like James Cameron’s Avatar. This was rude, things-flying-at-your-face 3D, the kind that wets your shorts for you if it catches you off guard. In other words, my brother and I saw it four times that day. It was a baby blockbuster to us, and I’m glad to see it making a return to the screen after a 13 year hiatus. Yet I can’t help but wonder who’s in charge of marketing this thing?

My point is: where are the DVD and Blu Ray releases?

All I’m sayin’ is that this is 2010 and I’m genuinely surprised someone at Disney is missing out on the opportunity to cash in. I mean, they took a park attraction, Pirates of the Caribbean, and made it into a multi-million dollar cash cow, why not do it with Captain EO? In this case it’s already filmed! Give me (and others) our memories on tangible media, Disney! We’ll buy it!

Although these are probably just the ravings of someone who wants the best parts of their childhood back, but really, who doesn’t?


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3 Responses to “The Captain Returns (kind of)”

  1. David Gibbs says:

    Andy, that does bring back some memories. I took the family there in 1983. I don’t remember what Captian EO was about now, but I do remember seeing a man get smacked in the head with one of those shots of water from the fountians out side the theater. I loved Epcot and hope to go there again someday.

  2. Chuck says:

    Michael Who?

  3. Sandy says:

    My husband will be delighted with this news. He has talked about this movie ever since he saw it, also in Florida in 1989. He was particularly impressed by the asteroid that came out of the screen and got blasted to bits, right in front of the audience members. In fact, I hadn’t even realized that it was a musical, because I’ve only heard about the special effects. Will it be showing only at the Disneys, or will it be more-generally released?

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