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Captain EO Starring Michael Jackson at Epcot has Closed

Captain EO was an attraction located within the Imagination pavilion.

It closed on December 6, 2016.

Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival has replaced this iconic attraction.

This attraction is distinct in that it features none other than the King of Pop, Michael Jackson.

The story of Captain EO begins at the height of Jackson's career, the frenzied aftermath of his classic Thriller album.

An avid Disney fanatic, Michael sat down with his mentor and friend, billionaire record executive David Geffen, and discussed the possibility of starring in a Disney film.

Geffen used his contacts within Disney and soon the Disney Imagineers began to brainstorm ideas.

Michael himself chose the Captain EO storyline and the work on the project commenced.

The King of Pop

Unsurprisingly, the King of Pop had a few very particular, very ambitious and very expensive requests.

He asked Disney to appoint Star Wars legend George Lucas as director of the film.

The score was composed by Academy and Golden Globe award winning James Horner, who has worked on films such as Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, Titanic, Avatar and many more blockbuster films.

It is therefore quite safe to say that Captain EO is a truly star-studded project, both on screen and behind the scenes.

The film is approximately 17 minutes long, and had an initial budget of $11 million, which later ballooned to nearly $24 million as a result of problems with the plot in addition to initial difficulties with special effects.

On a per minute basis, Captain EO actually cost more than the 1997 blockbuster smash Titanic.

The movie was shot in 3D, something that was quite revolutionary for the mid 1980s.

Not only that, Captain EO is also considered to be the first ever 4D film, as the 3D screening is enhanced by physical effects from within the specialized theatre itself.

Captain EO is also distinct in that it has been opened, closed, replaced by another attraction (Honey I Shrunk The Audience) and eventually re-opened.

The soaring popularity of Michael Jackson after Thriller led to the opening in September 1986.

As Jackson's popularity waned towards the mid 90s, the attraction was closed in the summer of 1994.

Following the death of the King of Pop in 2009, the film took its rightful place back at EPCOT.

Space Travel

The film follows Captain EO and his crew as they travel through space and protect the universe from evil.

EO's first destination is a decrepit world of metal and industrial waste.

They arrive with the best of intentions but are immediately captured by followers of The Supreme Leader.

Just before Captain EO and his crew are imprisoned, the robots amongst them transform into instruments and Captain EO sings We Are Here To Change The World.

As long as the music keeps going, Captain EO can rely on his powers of transformation to turn the hostile prison guards into dancers, The Supreme Leader into a radiant young woman and the entire planet of filth into a lush paradise.

Everyone celebrates to a resounding chorus of Jackson's classic Another Part of Me and Captain EO's space ship zooms off into intergalactic space.

By Marie Ospina
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