Captain EO

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

The film tells the story of Captain EO (Michael Jackson) and the ragtag crew of his spaceship on a mission to deliver a gift to “The Supreme Leader” (Anjelica Huston), who lives on a world of rotting, twisted metal and steaming vents. Captain EO’s alien crew consists of his small flying sidekick Fuzzball, the double-headed navigator and pilot Idey (Debbie Lee Carrington) and Ody (Cindy Sorenson), robotic security officer Major Domo (Gary Depew), a small robot, Minor Domo (who fits like a module into Major Domo), and the clumsy elephant-like shipmate Hooter (Tony Cox) who always manages to upset the crew’s missions. Dick Shawn plays Captain EO’s boss, Commander Bog.

Upon arriving on the planet, the crew is captured by the henchmen of the Supreme Leader, and brought before her. She sentences the crew to be turned into trash cans, and Captain EO to 100 years of torture in her deepest dungeon. Before being sent away, Captain EO tells the Supreme Leader that he sees the beauty hidden within her, and that he brings her the key to unlock it: his song, “We Are Here to Change the World”.

The two robot members of the crew transform into musical instruments, and the crew members begin to play the various instruments. As Hooter runs toward his instrument, he trips over EO’s cape and breaks it, stopping the music. The spell broken, the Supreme Leader orders her guards to capture Captain EO and his crew.

Hooter manages to repair his instrument and sends out a blast of music, providing EO with the power to throw off the guards. He uses his power to transform the dark hulking guards into agile dancers who fall into step behind him for a dance number. As EO presses forward toward the Supreme Leader, she unleashes her Whip Warriors, two cybernetic defenders each with a whip and shield that can deflect EO’s power.

The others all run away, leaving Captain EO to fight the Whip Warriors alone. EO is trapped by a closing gate and is preparing for a last stand as both the whip warriors draw their whips back for a final blow. Fuzzball drops his instrument and speedily flies over to tie the two whips together, causing the Whip Warriors to be thrown off balance giving EO an opportunity to transform them as well. With no further obstacles, EO uses his power to transform the remaining four henchmen (not yet unleashed) and they, the transformed whip warriors and the other dancers, press forward in dance before EO transforms the Supreme Leader into a beautiful woman, her lair into a peaceful Greek temple, and the planet into a verdant paradise.

A celebration breaks out to “Another Part of Me”, as Captain EO and his crew triumphantly exit and fly off into space.

REVIEW:

I was just not meant to see Captain EO in theaters. The three times I’ve been there, I have missed out on it. Now it seems as if Disney will be shelving this 17 minute 3D Michael Jackson opus and I will never see it with the full experience of the interactive theater. Oh well, at least there is Youtube!

What is this about?
Captain Eo and his rugged crew set out on a mission to deliver a special gift to a wicked queen who lives on a dark, desolate world. Getting there is half the fun, especially when the good captain starts boogying and the special effects start flying.

What did I like?

Michael Prime. Michael Jackson is one of the greatest performers of all time. When it comes to his acting…well, let’s just say there is a reason he’s not in more movies. That aside, MJ was cast in this for his performance ability. In this short Disney attraction piece, we see everything that made him a star. The smile, the dancing, the singing, charisma and charm, it is all there…including the infamous moonwalk!

80s effects. As a child of the 80s, I am of course going to be a little biased towards the cheesy effects of the day. I’ll also be the first to admit that in comparison to today, these aren’t the greatest, and yet they look far more realistic than today’s CG. I can only imagine how much more impressive they happened to look on the big screen with 3D glasses. Fuzzy creatures, alien tentacle woman hanging from the ceiling, android guards, all vintage 80s look. Can we go back to this period of time, please?

What didn’t I like?

Another ripoff? It cannot be ignored the influence that Star Wars had on many of the sci-fi movies of the day…and it is still leaving its mark today. However, I think this is a downfall for this film. Why? Well, first off, there are the cuddly creatures. If this wasn’t a Disney production, they would be reviled, much as many people do with the Ewoks! Michael’s powers are in the spirit of a jedi knight. No, they aren’t the same, but he is a meek, as far as we can tell, guy who suddenly unleashes tremendous powers. There are other examples, but I don’t want this to take all night. Just be aware that the source material

Song. Quickly, off the top of your head, what is the most catchy Michael Jackson song? For me, I have to go with “Don’t Stop ‘Till You Get Enough”, but there are countless others to choose from. When it comes to the song in the film, though, it isn’t that memorable. I don’t know if that was done on purpose, but I can’t even hum you the melody right now to “We Are Here to Change the World”, and I just finished listening to it. It isn’t a bad song, just not the kind of quality we expect from MJ, especially at this point in his career, when he was releasing the likes of  “Beat It”, “Billie Jean”, “Thriller”, etc. On the plus side, we do get “Another Part of Me” as a pallet cleanser as the credits roll.

Disney had a nice little film that they were able to use as an attraction in their parks with Captain EO. There isn’t much to say about this short film. It has good and bad things, so I’m just going to come out and say that I do recommend it. If you can go to a Disney park and see it before they take it away, all the better. If not, until (and if) they release this for home release, you just have to catch it on youtube. Watch and enjoy!

3 1/2 out of 5 stars

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