Tales of Folly (February 20, 2010)

On February 23rd, Captain EO will be returning to the Tomorrowland Theatre at Disneyland for a supposedly limited engagement. The famous 3D movie, starring the late Michael Jackson, produced by George Lucas and directed by Francis Ford Coppola, was a prominent part of both Disneyland's Tomorrowland and Epcot's Journey into Imagination pavilion in the late '80s and early '90s before being replaced by Honey, I Shrunk the Audience! Some have suggested that Jackson's notorious scandals were the impetus behind the replacement, though the relevance of both the cinematic quality of the film and Jackson's music almost certainly were a factor given how far or different both media had come in the mid to late '90s. Upon Jackson's death last year (The Tragedy of Captain EO), fans started clamoring for a rerelease of Jackson's most direct connection to Disney.

There are currently no plans for the film to reopen at Epcot (or anywhere else at Walt Disney World). There is also no word yet on how long the run at Disneyland will be.

Unfortunately this is one of the least appealing choices of attraction resurrection I could think of at a Disney theme park. "4-D" films like Mickey's PhilharMagic, Jim Henson's Muppet*Vision 3D, and It's Tough to be a Bug! all represent finer, more entertaining use of 3D technology that ultimately includes more timeless characters. And most fans I know would actually rather see Disney bring back Magic Journeys than EO! There's also a sense of catering to the cultural carnival that still surrounds Michael Jackson's death that makes this a little too inaccessible to a lot of people. On the other hand, it's a rare example of the company responding to overwhelming drive to bring back an old attraction.

Too bad that old attraction wasn't Horizons!