Monday, May 9, 2022

Michael Jackson - Captain EO (1986)

Michael Jackson - Captain EO (1986)

Tracklist front / back album covers

Cast
Michael Jackson as Captain EO
Anjelica Huston as The Supreme Leader
Dick Shawn as Commander Bog
Tony Cox as Hooter
Debbie Lee Carrington as Geek (Idy)
Cindy Sorensen as Geek (Ody)
Gary DePew as Major Domo
Percy Rodriguez as Narrator


Captain EO was a 1986 American 3D science fiction short film shown at Disney theme parks from 1986 through 1998. The movie stars Michael Jackson, was written by George Lucas, and directed by Francis Ford Coppola (who came up with the name "Captain EO" from the Greek, cf. Eos, the Greek goddess of dawn). The film was shown as part of an attraction with in-theater effects. The attraction returned to the Disney Parks in 2010 as a tribute after Jackson's death. The film was shown for the final time at Epcot on December 6, 2015.

The film's executive producer was George Lucas. It was choreographed by Jeffrey Hornaday and Michael Jackson, photographed by Peter Anderson, produced by Rusty Lemorande and written by Lemorande, Lucas and Coppola, from a story idea by the artists of Walt Disney Imagineering. Lemorande also initially designed and created two of the creatures, and was an editor of the film. The score was written by James Horner and featured two songs ("We Are Here to Change the World" and "Another Part of Me"), both written and performed by Michael Jackson.

Cinematographer Vittorio Storaro was the lighting director during much of the principal photography. Captain EO is regarded as one of the first "4D" films (4D being the name given to a 3D film that incorporates in-theater effects, such as lasers, smoke, etc., synchronized to the film).

The film tells the story of Captain EO and the ragtag crew of his spaceship on a mission to deliver a gift to "The Supreme Leader", 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 Geek (Idy and Ody), robotic security officer Major Domo, a small robot, Minor Domo (who fits like a module into Major Domo), and the clumsy elephant-like shipmate Hooter, who always manages to upset the crew's missions.

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, which leads into the song, "We Are Here to Change the World". The Supreme Leader 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 prepares 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 and 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. Captain EO then flies up to the Supreme Leader and transforms her into a beautiful woman, her lair into a peaceful Greek temple, and the planet into a paradise.

A celebration breaks out to "Another Part of Me", as Captain EO and his crew triumphantly exit and fly off into space, ending the film.

The show's orchestral score was composed by James Horner, with additional score composed and performed by Tim Truman, while the area and pre-show music was written by Richard Bellis.

Two new songs appeared in the film: the first, "We Are Here to Change the World", was not officially released until 2004 as part of Michael Jackson: The Ultimate Collection, but this version was a shorter edit of the full-length song; the second was an early mix of "Another Part of Me", which later appeared on Jackson's 1987 album Bad in remixed form and was subsequently released as a single.

Soul/R&B singer Deniece Williams covered "We Are Here to Change the World" on her As Good As It Gets album in 1988.


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