Posts Tagged ‘Disneyland’

Captain Eo Tribute

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010
Captain Eo Tribute

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It’s official. Captain Eo is back. Having just posted about it here, I feel like I should be in a Windows 7 commercial. You know the ones, “I’m a PC, and Windows 7 was My idea.” Well, not one to turn down buckets of money, Disney brought back its classic 3D adventure Captain Eo, starring none other than Michael Jackson. Profiteering, anyone? Not that I mind it. As I mentioned in my previous post on the topic, Captain Eo set the standard for 3D movies in my mind. I finally had a chance to see how good a memory I really have.

I dragged my parents, wife, and two boys in to see the movie. At 17 minutes, I guess film is more accurate, though music video is probably the best description. I remember when it was released the lines were incredibly long. At 5 years old, all lines are long, but I recall an hour and a half wait being a minimum wait time. I also remember a documentary on the making of Captain Eo, where they showed how they got Michael Jackson and his nemesis to interact high above the stage floor. When we got to the doors at the end of the line, we were able to watch another brief documentary. This one showed George Lucas, Francis Coppola, and Michael Jackson at their best, along with all the choreographers, set designers, and more. It was interesting to me, but I was walking down memory lane, so I was bound to be impressed.

When the show started, the asteroid that floated above the audience was just as impressive as I remembered it. I have had trouble with 3D glasses for the last decade or so, and am constantly fiddling with them to get the best effect. This time was no different, but since a lot of the 3D elements were slow-paced, I had reasonable success viewing them.

Not everything was as it once was, however. First of all there was the noticeable “Tribute” label added to the t-shirts and posters I saw at the park. Next was an announcement at the beginning about how most of the original special effects had been retained. I wondered what to expect, and it didn’t take long to find out. Captain Eo succumbed to the “4D” hype. The fourth dimension involved here is touch. Disney and Universal have been adding various pokes, prods, and blasts of air or water to enhance their films, and Captain Eo got the same treatment. There was the occasional blast of air in the face as an action sequence played out, and for most of the dance numbers the whole audience got to rock out to the beat, although not of their own accord. The seating had been rigged to bounce to the rhythm of the music. I could have done without these features. The music was good enough on its own. It did give me a chance to keep my one-year-old busy, and he was clapping through the whole show, even without the glasses.

All in all, it was a really good show, and was almost as good as I remembered it. I was glad to have had a chance to relive that brief period of my childhood where Captain Eo reigned supreme and “Honey I Shrunk the Audience” was not even a speck on the horizon. I don’t know how long Disney will keep it around, but judging by the rabid Michael Jackson fans out there, I would imagine the cash registers will be ringing for the better part of this year at least. If you haven’t seen it, it is worth a look. It isn’t an Oscar winning piece by any means, but it is good entertainment, and Disney for all its faults is good at giving a good show.

Check out Disneyland’s Captain Eo page.