Captain EO

Discussion in 'Lucasfilm Ltd. In-Depth Discussion' started by EternalHero, Apr 29, 2014.

  1. EternalHero Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2014
    star 3
    I didn't see a thread on this so I thought I'd start one!

    Captain Eo was an attraction at Epcot, a 3D movie written/produced by George Lucas, directed by Francis Ford Coppola and starring Michael Jackson and Angelica Huston. The orchestral score was provided by James Horner who would go on to score Willow for Lucasfilm.

    I'm fascinated by this short film because I couldn't see it when it was at Epcot, my family was going through hard times financially, and a family trip to Epcot was definitely not on the agenda. I didn't get to see it until it showed up on YT. It's kind of a forgotten Lucasfilm project.

    Here's a pretty decent widescreen transfer:



    Did anyone see this in the 1980's or when it was re-released? Any memories to share?

    I have some old articles about it, I'll post more info when I get the chance.

    Fun stuff!
    Last edited by EternalHero, Apr 29, 2014
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  2. EternalHero Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2014
    star 3
    The spaceship chase was directed by Joe Johnston at ILM and the whole film was edited by Walter Murch.

    Some fun facts!
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  3. Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2009
    star 5
    That was fun - a real trip back to the 1980s. Pretty silly stuff, but it's got that unmistakeable 1980s ILM sci-fi flavour, along with Henson-esque puppets.

    The design looks like a shameless cobbling together of SW, Star Trek & the Alien films.
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  4. thejeditraitor Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 19, 2003
    star 6
    amazing! ha ha! never seen this.

    i've lived in florida near the theme parks my whole life but i never went to the parks very often. i remember when this came out i really wanted to see it. they made a huge deal out of it. only went to epcot once and it was probably before this. i can imagine standing in line for two hours just to watch a fifteen minute movie. it was in 3-d though so there's that.
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  5. Mr. K Moderator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 1999
    star 5
    At a cost of a million bucks per minute, this was (and still may be) by the minute, the most expensive motion picture ever made...and it remains unreleased. Thank you for sharing.
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  6. Seagoat Music and PT Section Sentinel (and PT Trivia Host)

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2013
    star 5
    I saw it in Disney World when they were showing it to honor the life of the then recently deceased Jackson... it was pretty cool. Disappointed that he only got away with one or two "humps"
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  7. vong333 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 18, 2003
    star 4
    This was an awesome movie, I remember not only seeing in this, but also reading on the making of it. There was a magazine released by the people who made the Starlog magazine, but it wasn't star log it was another one that was short lived that had probably the most in-depth article on the making of it. It was a pretty big hit at the time and in fact was still running until Michael Jackson (in peace he may rest) got caught up with all those children scandals.
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  8. sbk1234 Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Sep 21, 2014
    star 1
    I really liked it when it first came out, and for many years later. But it ultimately ran its course. When they brought it back to Disneyland I saw it once or twice, but that was about it.
  9. Billyjeanplxiv Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Aug 8, 2014
    star 1
    Ive seen it and like it, many Jackson fans like Another Part of Me in Captain EO more than the BAD album version
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  10. Darth Zannah Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2014
    star 3
    I love this movie!! I've been trying for years to find an official DVD for this but keep coming across bootlegs....I know there is a real official version out there because whenever I come across the bootleg it comes with a widescreen and 4:3 version side by side...so there's definitely a master copy out there intended for home use...anyone know where I can buy this?
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  11. EternalHero Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2014
    star 3

    There's never been an official home video release but who knows? Maybe Disney will make it available now. That would be awesome! It's also ripe for expansion, it would make a cool animated series.
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  12. Darth Zannah Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2014
    star 3


    How can that be? My bootleg has a widescreen and 4:3 version AND the maknig of documentary with Whoopi Goldberg...like it's from an official release or something. How did the bootleggers get their hands on this? It's just strange to me...was there ever a VHS? I also remember I use to see it on TV all the time....can't believe this hasn't been released....they could make a lot of money of this....
  13. Pensivia Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2013
    star 4
    Wow, that was a great blast from my past! Good ol' MJ destroying evil and negativity with rainbow-colored blasts of light and music--gotta love that![face_laugh] Ah, yes, the days when the King of Pop reigned supreme! And a "Max Rebo" look-a-like character to boot!:p

    I was in high school when this came out and definitely remember seeing it on a school trip to Disney. I remember how everyone loved the big "3-D effect moments" where various things point at or fly out toward the camera[face_laugh] And I am embarrassed to admit that I seem to recall being slightly scared by looks of the Angelica Houston baddie, even though I should have been way too old for that reaction[face_blush]

    Fun memories--thanks for posting this, @EternalHero! They should definitely release a quality version on disc, maybe as a bonus feature with other Disney/MJ/Lucas or Coppola-related material.
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  14. EternalHero Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2014
    star 3
    1. The movie they screened at parks must have had a "master"; that's where I'm supposing the bootleg version comes from.
    2. The making-of special aired on the Disney channel.

    To my knowledge this was never released to home video.
  15. EternalHero Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2014
    star 3
  16. JEDI-RISING Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 15, 2005
    star 5
    i saw it a long time ago at Disneyland
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  17. Boski Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2005
    star 1
    If you guys are ever back at Epcot they still show it and its one of those attractions that has practically no wait. They sometimes use the theater to show extended trailers to future releases (the last few months have been Tomorrowland and then Inside Out) so there is a chance you might miss it but Capt. EO is set to start showing again July 19th.
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  18. MeBeJedi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 6
    Saw the re-release at Disneyland in the "Honey I Shrunk the Kids" studio...the thumping seats were annoying.
  19. Kylo Ren's 8-Pack Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 1, 2016
    star 1
    There was indeed a official video tape release of 'Captain EO' back in the late 1980s....released only in the UK and perhaps also Europe in the PAL format if i am remembering correctly.
    There was no official release for the USA or Canada, as it was hoped people in those territories would be drawn to Disneyland and Walt Disney World to experience the film in person.
    Tapes can be found second hand, but you would need a PAL system to play it on or transfer the images from.

    It was officially released by Disney overseas on home video since there was no other way to view it unless you visited a US Disney Theme Park.
    It was instant money in the bank to market it was a 'new Michael Jackson' movie overseas...and market the 4D film experience Stateside to draw business to the Parks.
    This was before EuroDisney / Disneyland Paris was built...which eventually did show the film when the Park opened in 1992.



    'Captain EO' is great...i've always enjoyed it.
    The original release period was the best, as it was one of the first '4D' theater experiences and the effects were fantastic.
    Nobody had experienced anything like it.
    Moving floor, multiple in-theater effects, stunning 3D images ( for that time ), and the contemporary appeal and excitement created by Michael Jackson.

    When 'Captain EO' was re-released in the mid-2000s at Disneyland and WDW's Epcot as a 'Tribute' to Michael Jackson's passing, many of the original in-theatre effects were sadly not re-installed.
    These included fog machines, laser effects, and a beautiful fiber optic starfield effect.
    Only the more basic effects were included in the re-release at the Parks, primarily colored lighting, floor movement, and when working..the 'ankle whips'.

    Hope this helps !

    :)
  20. Metal Lord Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2016
    star 1
    My parents were with me in Euro Disney in Paris when I was a kid, must be over 20 years ago. I was fascinated and now when re-watching it it still puts a smile on my face. Thanks. :) I am a Michael Jackson film since I got to know him in the Bad era, partially due to the Moonwalker movie. :)
    Last edited by Thomas Jay, Feb 12, 2016