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Captain EO at Disneyland ParisLast updated by Adam on Wednesday, December 04, 2013 15:10
Submitted by Nick on Tuesday, June 05, 2012 10:53
Michael Jackson's Captain EO reopened at Disneyland Paris in June 2010 after a twelve-year absence, as a tribute to the late pop superstar following his death a year earlier. Located in Discoveryland, the show replaced Honey, I Shrunk the Audience - the attraction which displaced it when it closed in 1998.
As with Honey, I Shrunk the Audience, guests are herded into a pre-show area prior to viewing Captain EO. After watching an advertisement for sponsor Kodak, they take their first step back into the 1980s with a chance to view the original prelude to the movie (which was shown at its grand opening at Disneyland in 1986). They then enter the theatre itself.
Directed by Francis Ford Coppola, and executive-produced by Star Wars creator George Lucas, Captain EO's plot sees the eponymous Captain EO (played by Jackson) and the crew of his spaceship travelling to deliver a "gift" to the "Supreme Leader" of a mysterious planet. The influence of Lucas is clear, with the cartoon-like crew resembling a cross between Star Wars aliens and the Muppet Babies.
On arriving on the planet, Captain EO and his sidekicks are immediately captured by the Supreme Leader's henchmen and paraded before her. Jackson’s character is required to burst into song and use a number of his trademark dance moves in order to save the day. The on-screen action is synchronised with “4D” elements, such as moving seats and bursts of compressed air.
At just 17 minutes long, Captain EO cost a massive $30 million to produce. At the time it was the most expensive film ever produced if measured per-minute (at $1.76 million), however this has since been topped by Universal's Terminator 2: 3D at $5 million per-minute.Review:
For nostalgia buffs and hardcore Jackson fans, Captain EO is still an essential stop on a tour of Disneyland Paris – the attraction offers the chance to step back in time to when the pop star was a global phenomenon and 3D was in its infancy. For everyone else, though, the 30 minutes (at a minimum) you’ll spend experiencing the pre-show and movie would be much better spent elsewhere at the park.
The return of Captain EO was a welcome tribute to Michael Jackson when in the aftermath of his untimely death, as well as a great excuse to replace the badly ageing Honey, I Shrunk the Audience. Now, though, the attraction has somewhat outstayed its welcome, and appears almost embarrassingly out-of-date itself.
The entire Captain EO experience feels temporary, with Disneyland Paris having made the minimal number of changes possible in order to bring it back. These are largely cosmetic, with banners adorning the exterior queuing sections and a slightly updated colour scheme on the inside.
The friendly characters (and Jackson's outfit) appear almost comically dated (particularly flying "cat" Fuzzball and the clumsy, elephant-like Hooter), although the menacing Supreme Leader remains a genuinely impressive creation. It’s a shame she doesn’t have more of an active role in the movie’s plot (such as it is), and an even greater shame that the original special effects (which included lasers, explosions, smoke effects and starfields) were not restored alongside the show.
That Captain EO is sponsored by Kodak, of all companies, says a lot. It’s time for Disneyland Paris to leave the past in the past, and develop a new 4D attraction worthy of its Discoveryland setting.Top Tip:
Although Cast Members will encourage guests to move down to the end of each aisle in the theatre, Captain EO is rarely busy enough to require this to be the case. Aim to sit in the middle, as this provides the best view of the primitive 3D effects.
More information about Captain EO:
Review: Captain EO at Disneyland Paris
Saturday, January 15, 2011 14:43
Theme Park Tourist's review of Captain EO at Disneyland Paris, following the return of Michael Jackson's 3D movie to the park after a 12-year absence.
Latest news on Captain EO:
Michael Jackson's Captain EO returns once again at Disneyland Paris
Friday, October 5, 2012 10:25
The Captain EO attraction at Disneyland Paris is once again operating on selected dates, after rumours earlier this year that it had permanently closed proved to be false.
Disneyland Paris lists Captain EO as "undergoing refurbishment" ahead of rumoured closure
Tuesday, March 20, 2012 08:11
Disneyland Paris has listed its Captain EO attraction as undergoing a perpetual refurbishment, amid rumours that the 4-D movie will close for good on April 2, 2012.
Rumour: Captain EO to close permanently at Disneyland Paris on April 2, 2012
Wednesday, March 14, 2012 08:23
A new rumour has emerged that Captain EO, the 3-D movie starring late pop superstar Michael Jackson, will close permanently at Disneyland Paris on April 2, 2012.
Upcoming refurbishments, rehabs and closures
Captain EO will be closed for refurbishment between Wednesday, December 4, 2013 and Friday, December 20, 2013. These dates have been confirmed by the park, but are still subject to change. Please contact the park for official details of attraction closure dates.