Disneyland gets ‘Captain EO’ to reenlist


Though Disneyland sadly still lacks a little bit of Figment, the popular character found in Walt Disney World’s EPCOT Center, some cult favorites such as Fuzzbucket, Hooter and Major Domo have returned to the park, as Michael Jackson’s sci-fi short film “Captain EO” has officially reopened in Tomorrowland.

The 3-D film has replaced “Honey, I Shrunk the Audience,” which closed on Jan. 3. Fans have been lobbying for the return of “Captain EO” since the pop star’s death last summer, and it has been absent from the park for 13 years. But fears that Hooter, the space alien-elephant, had eaten the original print can now be allayed (forgive the bad in-joke references to the film -- we’re getting nostalgic here).

“Captain EO” packs a pair of Jackson songs into its 17 minutes, as well as a score from the pre-”Avatar” days of James Horner. The 17-minute “Captain EO” cost an estimated $30 million to make, and features a star-studded list of credits, including executive producer George Lucas, director Francis Ford Coppola and Anjelica Huston as the evil Supreme Leader.


Jackson’s second number in the film, “We Are Here to Change the World,” scores a confrontation with Huston’s character.

It was not officially released on CD until 2004, when Epic issued Jackson’s “The Ultimate Collection,” though it is an abbreviated version.

Disney has said “Captain EO” is only back for a limited run, but has not yet released a closing date. Disney boasts that the film now features a new 70-millimeter print as well as improved sound due to “acoustical enhancements made to the theater in recent years.”

-- Todd Martens and Brady MacDonald