Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Captain's Back

The 3D (sorry 4D) movie Captain Eo is back at Disneyland, and I knew I wanted to go see this again while I was out there.  I remember seeing Captain Eo, the 3D and special effects movie starring Michael Jackson, produced by George Lucas, and directed by Francis Ford Coppola, out at EPCOT in future world.  It was a pretty groovy little 80s Sci-fi mini-movie, with a somewhat contrived plot about a spaceship captain (Michael Jackson) and his ragtag band of misfits on a mission to defeat evil with the power of music.  (Well, you knew there had to be a way to get an extensive music video in there somehow.)

The show was shot in 3D using polarized glasses, and included in-theater special effects (like smoke and lasers).  It was replaced eventually with a movie (Honey, I Shrunk the Audience) themed on the movie Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.  At that time, the theater was upgraded with even more special effects, including water sprays and a floor which could actually move under the seats. Well in 2010, Disney returned Captain Eo to the theater for a "limited engagement" which is still going on.

I went because it's a great little piece of nostalgia for me, and I really can't see this anywhere else.  (Oddly enough, there was a video of it on YouTube, but of course there are no 3D effects.  It's just not the same unless it's in a theater.)  It was fun to see this again, and I'm glad I got to.  I'm hoping Disney realizes that there is a demand for some returns of old nostalgic attractions, at least for a while, when it's possible.

That said, I had heard that the integration of the new theater effects into the movie (especially the moving floor) was a little jarring.  It seemed to me like having the seats move in response to crashes, explosions, etc., would seem pretty natural and organic, so I wasn't sure what to expect.  Mostly the effects were fine, but I did find myself starting to giggle when I realized that the seats were bouncing in time to the bass beat during the music video portion.

By the way, adding in-theater special effects like smoke, water sprays, and moving seats apparently makes a movie "4D."  I actually overheard some kids waiting in line arguing over what particular added features made a movie "4D," vs. "5D" or "6D."  At least, I'm hoping they were kids; I didn't actually see them.

No comments: