Monday, 11 April 2016

Nerdversity Reviews: Captain EO

In 1986, Michael Jackson created a project that would change the face of theme park attractions. Debuting at EPCOT from 1986 and closing in 1996 due to Michael Jackson's then charges of child abuse. It re-opened from 2010 and closed again in 2015. 

The movie, which was 20 minutes long was directed by Francis Ford Coppola and produced by George Lucas. At the time, it was one of the most expensive theme park attractions ever made, as the combined effects on screen and the combined effects in the theater ran for a total cost of $1.76 million per minute. 

The plot of the movie revolves around Captain EO played by Michael Jackson who's a starship captain tasked with delivering a gift to The Supreme Leader (played by Anjelica Houston). His crew is a ragtag bunch comprised of a twin head pilot named Idy and Ody. A robot named Major Domo. A small creature by the name of Fuzzball. Another robot called Minor Domo and a clumsy alien called Hooter. 

After crashlanding on the planet of the Supreme Leader, they find a hellish wasteland filled with rotting metal, pipes and more. They are captured by the henchmen of the Supreme Leader and taken to her. She threatens to turn the crew into trash cans and torture EO in her deepest darkest dungeon for a hundred years. Before they are imprisoned, EO tells The Supreme Leader that he senses beauty deep within her. Major Domo and Minor Domo transform into instruments and begin to play a song (We Are Here to Change The World). Hooter trips and falls over EO's cloak and breaks the instruments, breaking the spell. 

Hooter fixes the instrument just in time and uses it to boost EO's power, allowing him to change the Supreme Leader's army into dancers. The song continues with a dance number and EO marching towards the Supreme Leader who unleashes her Whip Warriors, more powerful and dangerous ones who can deflect EO's power. It seems that EO is unable to defeat them and tries to escape, only to find the castle door close.

EO turns to make his last stand against the Whip Warriors. Using the distraction, Fuzzball saves the day by tying the whips together, making them unusable. They too are transformed into dancers and they join the others on the final march towards the Supreme Leader. EO uses his power to transform the Supreme Leader into a beautiful woman and the planet into a lush paradise. 

The planet celebrates to another song (Another Part of Me) as The Supreme Leader is carried off to her new kingdom, waving towards EO and his crew as they take their leave and blast off towards another adventure into deep space.

The movie has only ever been shown on TV via an MTV special in a 2D format. I saw this in it's final year in 2014. I loved it. It has a mix of Star Wars and the usual magic we get from a Michel Jackson short film. The only way to see it these days is on YouTube, as the special hasn't aired in ages and the attraction is no longer in any parks.