Captain Eo Flies Again

I went to Disneyland on Monday for the first time since my high school graduation night, which was a very, verrry long time ago. The biggest lure to re-enter the happiest place on Earth? Captain Eo‘s triumphant return, of course. The 17-minute, 3-D [or 4-D, if you count the synchronized in-theater effects] film stars Michael Jackson as the captain of a spaceship on a mission to deliver a gift to the Supreme Leader of a dark planet deep in the throes of a cyber-catastrophe.

Coppola-directed and Lucas-produced, Captain Eo began screening in 1986 and was shut down at the height of the alleged child abuse drama in the early 90s. Re-opened, predictably, after Michael Jackson’s death, this film is quintessential Jackson. As Eo, in addition to feeding his notorious Disney obsession, Michael gets to shoot lasers from his fingertips and to hang with adorable fantasy creatures and robots. He also wears a tight, studded white leather space suit while saving the world through the power of music and dance. This is who he wanted to be. Captain Eo should have been a mini-series.

One of my favorite aspects of watching this film again was finding all the influences from from sci-fi and fantasy films of the time. There’s the Geiger’s Alien-inspired Supreme Leader, the Gilliam’s Brazil-inspired pipes and steam of the dark planet, the Jim Henson-inspired puppets alongside nods to Star Wars and Terminator. You can probably find even more influences if you watch Captain Eo beyond the jump, but I don’t recommend it if it’s your first time and there’s a chance you might make it to an in-theater screening. It’s just so much better in 3-D!

16 Responses to “Captain Eo Flies Again”

  1. Miss Spite Says:

    When I was a kid, the wicked queen lady being all tangled in her industrial webs just CAPTURED my imagination. I turned my room into a web with all of my mom’s yarn.

    I never realized how borg-ish those critters where! This would have made a really amazing mini-series. My inner child thinks that would be about the coolest shit ever.

    Also, was that Angelica Huston????? OMG!

  2. stephanie Says:

    it’s epic!!

  3. Holly-Rae Says:

    That seriously just made my night. Thank you for posting it up!

  4. La Môme Néant Says:

    From 1992 till the late nineties the film was actually aired in Disneyland Paris! I have watched about 3/4 times, since I grew up 2km far from the park. I miss it so so much!

  5. Mer Says:

    I always enjoyed trying to grab the little floaty guy at the end. MY FAVORITE.

    Gotta love all those cute widdle fantasy sidekicks from the 80s…

    Snarf, Orko, Uni, Slimer, Glomer, etc, etc…

  6. Mer Says:


  7. Zoetica Says:

    Mer. You can’t do this. First you talk about diddling in the post above, then you go and post THIS video. This one, over all others. Where the following happens:

    You know I have a problem.


  8. thekamisama Says:

    I always wondered if Hooter was related to Max Rebo. I would love to take my 12 year old son to see it with fresh eyes and childlike wonder again.

  9. DOMINIQUE Says:

    As a youngling, this blew my mind! Captain EO was the feature movie in the Euro Disney 3D theater when I was only 8. The creepy, awesome images have stayed with me for years. Thanks for the post!

  10. Mer Says:


  11. foxtongue Says:

    Good thing I refreshed the comments before posting. Looks like Mer beat me to the video I was planning to share. Man, that last frame, always creepy. ALWAYS.

  12. chickenchris Says:

    Oooohh!!! Thanks!!!!!!

  13. Heather Says:

    My parents took me to Disneyland when I was 9 (1992?) and I have closely cherished memories of watching Captain EO and being totally in love with him. I also remember the creepy-ass Supreme Leader. shudder. My first 3d film!! Thanks for reposting!!

  14. Tequila Says:

    Ah, excellent! So it is back all proper like. I will have to check it out sometime soon then. Have not been to Disneyland in ages – I have mixed feeling about the place.

    I have great memories of the film as a kid – not sure how much I want to mess with those now. Very tempting though!

    Still if you can see it in 3D first by all means do so! YouTube does this no justice.

  15. Natasha Says:

    You were there and I didn’t even work Monday!
    Between my fellow and I, you could have made it through practically all of Tomorrowland in no time.

  16. Hacky Says:

    I was just at Disneyland and I saw Captain Eo for the first time (yes, in 3D)…it is ridiculous. I love it and hate it at the same time.
    My step mother went with me into the movie and was thoroughly delighted due the 80’s being her years of wonder, so this was a massive blast of the past for her.

    I think everyone should see it at least once, just to experience the magic of 80’s ridiculousness.