Favorite Michael Moments, Part 3: We Are Here to Change the World


Part 1, Part 2.

I can't remember when I first saw Captain EO in 3-D, but it was one of Epcot's/Tomorrowland's best features. Was it on one of my family's trips to Disneyland? Or when my mom and I went to Disney World? It ran from 1986 to 1997, so I know I caught it sometime, and I guess I must have been younger because I remember being scared of the Supreme Leader, played by Anjelica Huston:

The film was directed by Francis Ford Coppola and executive-produced by George Lucas. Michael Jackson plays Captain EO in a glorious jewel-encrusted improved Storm Trooper suit (plus a rainbow tee!), and is on a mission with his ragtag team of muppets to deliver the gift of a key to unlock the inner beauty of the Supreme Leader who has been corrupted by lots of pipes and steam vents. What is that key? Why song and dance of course! Cue Michael's first song, "We Are Here to Change the World" that gives him the power to electrically charge (ala Emperor Palpatine) the Supreme Leader's guards into 80s flash-dancers who join his singing and dancing ranks.

So she unleashes two guys with magical whips who keep Michael's powers at bay, until Fuzzball ties the two whips together, allowing him to change them into back-up dancers, and then the Supreme Leader into a beautiful woman. "Another Part of Me" (later to appear on his 1987's Bad) begins and there is much rejoicing as the Captain and his crew head off into space to sing more people out of oppression. Even if like the Supreme Leader, it's their own.

Let's all take a moment to thank God again for youtube, because we can watch the whole thing*:

While hugely cheesy and outdated (like so many of the great things in life), Captain EO was a big part of many people's childhood and a main event at the Disney parks. Michael seems right at home acting with the puppet creatures and in Sci-fi, as fantasy was, I believe, one of his favorite things to participate in and produce. Watching him dance and sing in this is a reminder of just how badass he was, and so unique.

*Though this will never match the glory of seeing it in 3-D and hearing the songs in surround sound. There's actually a petition going around in the wake of Michael's death to bring Captain EO back to the Disney Parks.


Kristen said...

Today I'm going to be looking for an opportunity to casually slip the phrase "ragtag team of muppets" into a conversation.

Maryann said...

You won't regret it, my friend! And thanks for reading this--I think you're the only one!

Spiro said...

one of my favorite mj memories as well... it was great to see it again!