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Out of the Loop: Michael Jackson's Captain EO returns to Disneyland

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By Andy Guinigundo

Anaheim, Calif. – The long-awaited revival of Michael Jackson’s 3D short, Captain EO has returned to the Tomorrowland Theater in Disneyland. The film originally had an 11-year run at Disneyland from 1986 to 1997 covering a good portion of the height of Jackson’s popularity. It also played at Epcot from 1986 to 1994. While Jackson was the big on-screen talent, it should be mentioned that George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola were also involved in the film’s production.

Technically speaking, Captain EO was perhaps one of the first 4D movies in that it incorporated laser effects, smoke effects and starfields that filled the theater. The 3D technology certainly foreshadowed what was to come in the future with Disney films like Hannah Montana, Up, and the upcoming Alice in Wonderland films. I have not been able to see rereleased Captain EO yet, but Disney reported that some of these theater-based effects would be not be installed for this run of the movie.

Despite the missing theater effects, the 17-minute movie should look as good as ever. The movie has a fresh 70mm print. It should also sound great as acoustic upgrades have been made to the theater since 1997.

There is no word as to how long Captain EO will play. I would say if you are interested, make your plans to get out there now. There has been no announcement as to the film’s return to Disney World in Florida. Additionally, there has been no announcement as to what will come next or if the Honey, I Shrunk the Audience show that was replaced will return.

Andy Guinigundo is the author of the Out of The Loop column in “Orlando Attractions Magazine”. Out of the Loop keeps you up-to-date with attraction news outside of Central Florida. Andy lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with his wife and three daughters. He grew up frequenting theme parks around Ohio and making trips to Orlando with his family. While for most of the year, he’s out of the Orlando loop, he tries to visit Florida at least once a year.

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