The Unrivaled Awesomeness That Is Captain EO

The 80′s were awesome. Neon was your neutral color palette, Ecto Cooler was your beverage of choice and a little film called Captain EO graced the airwaves like nothing had ever done before.

In 1986, the dream team known as Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas and Michael Jackson came together to unite an unlikely crew of aliens in changing the world through music, dance and a large dash of “Hee Hee!”

Michael Jackson, George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola on Captain EO

© The Walt Disney Company

You know the story – Fuzzball, Major and Minor Domo, Idy and Ody, and of course, Hooter are sent into space under the command of Captain EO to offer The Supreme Leader a special gift. Unfortunately for our lovable band of do-gooders, The Supreme Leader’s home planet is less than welcoming and they are captured upon arrival.

Through wires, thorns and darkness, Captain EO & Co. are delivered to The Supreme Leader herself (played by Angelica Houston), where she sentences EO to 100 years of torture and his crew turned to trash cans. Before the evil Whip Warriors are able to drag them away, Captain EO tells the Queen that he can see her inner beauty and that his mission was bringing her the key to unlocking it. Intrigued, she offers him the chance to show it, to which the Captain replies, “Not only see your highness, but hear.” Now you know it’s about to get good.

Captain EO Crew with Michael Jackson

© The Walt Disney Company

The crew morphs into instruments and starts to play, Captain EO begins the epic song and dance We Are Here to Change the World and though efforts to thwart their merry making come on fast and strong, they are able to prevail, you know, by turning everyone into colorful dancers. With the help of the newly revived citizens, The Supreme Leader is transformed into a beautiful Queen and the planet into some type of Egyptian Temple/Paradise. As with most 1980s movies, if you ask too many questions, it’s just not as good.

Captain EO With Michael Jackson Dancing

© The Walt Disney Company

Amazing song and dance are the highlights of this 17 minute masterpiece. We Are Here to Change the World and Another Part of Me save the day and are stuck in your head for the rest of it. But it’s not just awesome music that makes this film so great. Captain EO was revolutionary as one of the first 4D films (3D animation plus in theater effects such as making the seats shake or misting the audience). It was also considered the most expensive film per minute of it’s time. But can you really put a price on 80′s nostalgia like this? Apprently you can and that price is $1.76 million per minute.

Captain EO Crew Disney Characters

© The Walt Disney Company

Though it closed throughout the Disney empire in the late 1990s (1998 for Disneyland Paris), Captain EO re-opened as a tribute after the death of Michael Jackson only to be closed again a few years later. Thankfully, it’s back on the operating schedule for October at DLP, so if you’re simply not getting enough Hooter in your life (and really, who is?), now’s the time to change your world.

Watch the Captain in all his glory here:

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the glorious “Making Of” pre-show video that’s part flash dance, part incredible moustache montage. Please do everyone a favor and watch it here:

In the words of Fuzzball, ‘Bye Bye!”

Michael Jackson as Captain EO

© The Walt Disney Company