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10 Things You Probably Didn't Know About CAPTAIN EO

In 1986, Michael Jackson appeared in the 4-D Disney ride, Captain EO. Captain EO was a groundbreaking production at the time with 3-D effects, lasers and smoke in the theater, and a starfield on the walls made from fiber optic cables. The short film has become a legend in pop culture and Disney lore. Here's a few interesting facts most people don't know about the production.

1. Michael Jackson wanted either George Lucas or Steven Spielberg to produce the movie. Spielberg declined because he was working on The Color Purple, but Lucas agreed to produce.

2. Lucas recommended Francis Ford Coppola to direct, because Coppola needed work after his career suffered a setback with two box office bombs, Rumblefish and The Cotton Club.

3. The movie was named by Francis Ford Coppola. "EO" comes from the Greek goddess of the dawn, Eos.

4. At an estimated budget of over seventeen million, Captain EO cost over a million dollars a minute, making it one of the most expensive short films ever made.

5. The week of Captain EO's release, the National Enquirer published the now infamous photo of Michael Jackson sleeping in a hyperbaric chamber. Jackson leaked the photo himself to build up attention for the ride.

6. To portray the Supreme Leader, Anjelica Huston endured three hours of make-up daily, and had to be suspended from the ceiling in cables. Jackson made her stay in makeup every day, even when they weren't shooting her scenes.
Source: YouTube
7. The scene in Star Trek: First Contact where the Borg queen is lowered on wires was inspired by the Supreme Leader.

8. The character of Hooter was inspired by Return of the Jedi's Max Rebo.

9. A poor critical response and lack of repeat business shut down the ride in 1997. The ride was reopened in 2010 after Michael Jackson's death.
Source: Attractions Magazine
10. MTV aired Captain EO once in 1996, the only time the short film has aired on TV. Captain EO has never been officially released in any home format.

However, if you want to watch it, you can see it online at YouTube (as of 1/6/14):

What do you think of Captain EO? Have you ever seen it?

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  1. I might have seen it when we went to Disney in 1987 but I don't really remember. Hard to believe it kept airing until 1997. Now that there's 3D TV you'd think a Blu-Ray or streaming release would make sense.

  2. I remember the pic of him in the chamber.
    I thought that was just an enquirer type moment, not from this.

  3. I know that it is truly awful, as Disney World is still playing it and I've had the misfortune to see it...

  4. thank you for this, i didn't even know who Captain Eto was...

  5. I'll have to come back and watch...

  6. I did as well, David. I was surprised when I find out MJ was behind it

  7. It would be cool, Pat. Just not sure there's a demand

  8. I saw this back in the day, and even though I was a HUGE Michael Jackson fan, I thought it was some corny, Power Rangers bullshit.

    As an adult, I can now see it for what it was...an amateurish vanity piece for a very talented one trick pony.

  9. I'm a huge Michael Jackson fan and I remember being mesmerized by the display at Disney World as a kid, but never got to see it (I think it was being renovated or something). Later as an adult I watched it at home and no matter how much I wanted to like it, I couldn't. I guess it's just not the same without the 3D and lasers and stuff.

    I kind of felt the same way about the majority of the Moonwalker story (minus the music videos, which are cool, and Smooth Criminal is freaking amazing).

    He should have just stuck with music videos and not tried to make a movie type thing.

  10. Captain EO reminded me of Moonwalker, too

  11. Anytime I'm at Disneyland with newbies I always make them sit through the horror of what this is. It is sooooo bad it's goo..... ok it's just really really bad. But I always like to get peoples first time reaction to it.

  12. I don't know why as a kid I remember "Another Part of Me" being one of the main songs, and not just a musical bumper. So when I watched it again, I was a bit disappointed the song didn't play.


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