Anyone remember this film? You may or may not have since it was only shown in Disney theme parks from 1986 to 1996. It was brought back in 2010 after his passing and then once more in 2015 for its final showing at Epcott Center. The film was made during the height of 3D and people’s growing interest in the trend, and was brought to life by George Lucas and Frances Ford Coppola. As one of the rising attractions during its day it was definitely among the more popular things to see when visiting Disneyland since it provided a way to rest your feet and still be entertained.
In fact once you entered the theater, after a lengthy wait depending on the day, you would find that the 3D experience was quite interesting since the filmmakers didn’t just go in for the expensive effects and in your face visuals, but also had the benefit of incorporating many in-theater effects such as smoke, a laser show, and several other effects that made the experience just a little more enticing. This had the effect of making this show one of the most expensive to produce however since it cost a whopping $30 million to make. Now factor in that it was only a little over 17 minutes long and you can see that it cost well over $1 million per minute.
The story was easy enough to follow and the acting wasn’t all that bad really, especially taking into consideration the length of the film. Captain EO, played by Jackson, and his ragtag crew were on a mission to deliver a gift to the Supreme Leader when they were waylaid by an attacking ship, forcing them to land on the planet as intended.
There are a lot of Star Wars and Star Trek themes in this film if you look, as Captain EO is capable of wielding a force that no one else can, while the aliens they encounter look an awful lot like the Borg. Plus there are some other elements that almost look like something H.R. Giger might have cooked up. But the overall gist of the story is that EO and his crew are there to “change the world” as the title of the song he sings becomes clear. It’s not an easy process however as he soon finds out.
While the Supreme Leader looks on EO begins to transform her followers into brightly-clad individuals that join him in his bid to rid the world of its dark and foreboding nature. Once she calls her whip warriors out however EO and the newly freed natives find that they can’t stand against them on their own. As he becomes backed into a corner after failing to transform them one of his crew, Fuzzball, manages to tie their whips together and gives EO the chance to transform them as well.
From that point it’s all EO as he finally confronts the Supreme Leader and uses his power to transform her and the scenery around her, revealing that behind her dark facade is a beautiful queen, played by none other than Angelica Huston. The queen thanks EO and then he and his crew depart, off on another mission as the film slowly fades to black.
The show was great enough that people would wait for nearly an hour or more as the theater would fill up repeatedly on a daily basis. Some people would watch the show multiple times just to get the rush of it over and over. Now however it seems to have faded from memory, even after it was brought back for a limited time.
I won’t profess to be a Michael Jackson fan, but there were a few moments during his career that were extremely inspirational and a lot of fun to watch. That being said, this just seems like a pleasant memory to get lost in for a short while.