The original Captain EO poster
Today marks the 30th Anniversary of Captain EO! Captain EO premiered on September 12, 1986 at Walt Disney World’s EPCOT. It then made it’s way to Disneyland six days later, then Tokyo Disneyland the next year and then Disneyland Paris in 1992. The film tells a story of a space captain battling an evil queen with the help of his crew. When Captain EO premiered at Disneyland, the park stayed open for 60 hours, with the film playing on a continuous loop for guests.
In the film, you’ll see Michael performing two of his new songs “We Are Here to Change the World” and “Another Part of Me”. “Another Part of Me” would happen to be on Michael’s BAD album the following year.
Here’s what Michael said from his 1988 book Moonwalk:
“Disney Studios wanted me to come up with a new ride for the parks. They said they didn’t care what I did, as long as it was something creative. … In the end, they asked me to do a movie, and I agreed. I love the movies and have since I was real little. For two hours you can be transported to another place. Films can take you anywhere.”
Francis Ford Coppola (director), Michael Jackson, and George Lucas (producer) on set
“Honey, I Shrunk the Audience” replaced Captain EO at Walt Disney World in 1994, Tokyo Disneyland in 1996, Disneyland in 1997, and Disneyland Paris in 1998. All these parks got Honey I Shrunk the Audience short film, featuring characters from the movie Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.
After Michael’s sudden death in June of 2009, Disneyland decided to bring back Captain EO for a limited time. It reopened on February 23, 2010 and was relabeled as Captain EO Tribute, including a new poster. It eventually reopened at the same park it originally premiered at.
Captain EO is truly a masterpiece! It was great that the Disney parks brought it back in honor of Michael Jackson. I’m sure this was something that Michael was happy to be a part of considering he loved music, film, and Disney and the world got to relive his magic all over again.