After being sealed away in the Disney Vault for 13 years, Michael Jackson's "Captain EO" saw the light of day on Tuesday at Disneyland.
Disney surprised Jackson fans earlier this week when it issued an announcement that the 1986 film would be returning to the Tomorrowland Theater. Directed by Francis Ford Coppola and produced by George Lucas, the 17-minute 3-D film reportedly cost $30 million to make — setting a record at the time for the most expensive short film ever made. The story follows EO (Jackson) on a journey with his fuzzy alien friends to deliver a gift to the evil Witch Queen (Anjelica Huston).
The feature originally ran exclusively in Disney parks from 1986 to 1997, closing four years after the pop star first faced child molestation allegations.
Interest in the futuristic sci-fi film was reinvigorated after the sudden passing of Michael Jackson last June, when fans began campaigning on Facebook for the movie's return. According to Disney, more than 500 people (some in EO-inspired costumes) lined up to catch Tuesday's 10 a.m. premiere. Some had even spent the night outside the gates in order to see the first screening.
"I loved it," one fan commented. "I grew up on it, so I'm so excited that it's back."
Some of those who enjoyed "Captain EO" during its original run said they were excited to share the experience with a new generation.
"I absolutely loved it," said one parent. "It was just like when I was 7, and it was amazing. I'm so glad I could bring my little one. She's 3, and she loved it too — huge Michael Jackson fan!"
While Disneyland says "Captain EO" is running as a limited engagement, a spokesperson told KTLA that it will continue to play as long as it's popular.
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