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Michael Jackson's Captain EO to return to Tokyo Disneyland on July 1

Captain EO sign

Tokyo Disneyland has confirmed that Michael Jackson's 3D movie Captain EO will return to the park from July 1, 2010.

As at California's Disneyland, where Captain EO recently returned to rave reviews, the attraction will replace MicroAdventure! (Tokyo Disneyland's version of Honey, I Shrunk the Audience). It is scheduled to remain in place in the 369-seat theater for exactly a year, closing on June 30, 2011. MicroAdventure! will close on May 10, 2010, to make way for Captain EO's return.

Captain EO originally occupied the same theater at Tokyo Disneyland between March 20, 1987 and September 1, 1986. Its return will come just 5 days after the first anniversary of Jackson's death on June 25, 2009, and will act as a tribute to the pop superstar as well as a temporary replacement for the aging MicroAdventure!. The FASTPASS queue-jumping scheme will be available for Captain EO when it reopens.

The show is likely to be brought back in a similar format to the one employed by Disneyland. This has seen the original film shown without many of its original special effects, which were removed during the conversion to Honey, I Shrunk the Audience. Instead, it makes use of the moving seats, strobe lights and compressed-air effects that were installed for its replacement.

The news that the show will return to Tokyo Disneyland is expected to be followed in the next few weeks by confirmation that Disneyland Paris will also replace its version of Honey, I Shrunk the Audience with Captain EO. That would leave Epcot as the only Disney park that has previously housed Captain EO not to have brought it back, with an announcement from the Florida park looking increasingly likely.

Directed by Francis Ford Coppola, and executive-produced by Star Wars creator George Lucas, Captain EO was produced when Jackson was at the peak of his fame. The show's story sees the eponymous Captain EO (played by Jackson) and the crew of his spaceship using the "power of music and dance" to battle against the wicked Witch Queen of a faraway planet.

At just 17 minutes long, the film cost a massive $30 million to produce. It included "4D" elements such as lasers, smoke effects and starfields. 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.

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