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Michael Jackson, a huge Disney fan, was still enjoying the fame and notoriety of his hit album Thriller when his financial advisor, David Geffen, suggested Jackson make a movie for Disney. Geffen called his long-time friend, Jeffrey Katzenberg (then head of the studio), with the idea. Katzenberg and Eisner countered with creating a 3-D movie/rock video for Disneyland. Jackson liked the idea, but insisted that either George Lucas or Steven Spielberg be a part of the project. Imagineering's Rick Rothschild drew up three different story lines. Both he and Jackson picked the same one to do: Captain EO.
With George Lucas already working on designing Star Tours for Disneyland, he was enlisted to work on Captain EO. Lucas brought in Francis Coppola, Rusty Lemorande and Angelica Huston for the film. Jackson wrote the two songs featured in the film: "We Are Here to Change the World" and "Another Part of Me." The original $11 million budget grew to $17 million as more and more special effects were added. At about $1 million per minute, it was probably the most expensive film ever made (at that time). It was decided that EPCOT would also get Captain EO to help liven up the park. Frank Wells renegotiated Kodak's contract so that Kodak agreed to pick up some of the costs of producing the film, building a theater at Disneyland and renovating EPCOT's Magic Eye Theater to accommodate the new special effects. The new attraction opened at EPCOT on September 12, 1986 and only six days later at Disneyland's Tomorrowland.
Upon entering the theater, futuristic music sets the mood. A cast member reminds guests that no food, drink or flash photography is allowed and to put on their 3D glasses. The lights dim, a view of the universe appears and a meteorite spins closer and closer to the audience.
Male Announcer: The cosmos: a universe of good and evil where a small group struggles to bring freedom to the countless worlds of despair; a rag-tag band led by the infamous Captain EO.
EO's spaceship blasts the meteorite into pieces and then soars into the picture on its way to a nearby planet. On board, the ship's navigator appear. The creature, known as The Geex, has two heads - one named Idy and the other Ody.
Minor Domo folds his robotic arms in and ducks behind something.
Hooter blows air out of his trunk right at Idy and Ody.
Whistle goes off.
Captain EO rises up on an elevator platform into the cabin.
Hooter throws a can across the cabin.
Hooter makes noise in agreement and salutes.
Captain EO: OK. (Salutes Hooter back.)
The enemy patrol ship roars by.
EO's ship flips underneath the patrol ship, dodging it and its laser guns. Minor Domo is sent flying across the cabin into Major Domo (leaving a dent in Major Domo's metallic back). Hooter is thrown onto his bunk. The patrol ship turns around and hits EO's ship with its laser gun.
The chase continues with EO's ship nearing the planet. EO's Commander appears on a holographic screen.
Commander Bog looks around and sees the ship in disarray.
Hooter throws something at the screen and covers the Commander's eyes.
The ship flies down in between buildings on the planet and approaches a tunnel.
Hooter jumps and hits the button which brings the sail in just in time. EO's ship flies right through the tunnel without being hit by the patrol ship's weapons.
Everyone cheers with relief. They're not clear yet, though. EO must navigate the ship through a series of tight spaces.
The ship crashes and smoke is released into the theater. Major Domo shines a light throughout the cabin to inspect the damage. Captain EO is laying on the floor with small pieces of debris on him.
EO sits up and looks around at what happened.
They all cheer.
EO turns to check with his crew.
The crew leaves the ship in pursuit of the Supreme Leader even though they don't know where she is. The setting is very dark with lots of smoke and scrap metal all around. Fuzzball flies right out at the audience. Hooter sneezes loudly.
Hooter paws through the junk.
As they go further, they hear strange sounds and begin to look all around them. Hooter stops short and the rest bump into him creating a noise which alerts the guards.
Guards pop up from behind the heaps of metal and surround the crew.
Outnumbered and nowhere to go, EO and the crew surrender and are led to the Supreme Leader's dark, grungy lair. Continue on Page 2 to find out what happens to EO and his crew.
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© EPCOT Discovery Center
Created May 23, 1997 / Last modified September 16, 2001