From 1986 till 1997, the 17 minute 3D extravaganza Captain EO was a fixture at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World.
Starring Michael Jackson at the peak of his fame, and produced by a post-original Star Wars era George Lucas and directed by Francis Ford Coppola, this sci-fi musical packed crowds into both theme parks, and is still beloved by millions of fans.
When Jackson passed away in 2009, Disney brought back the film and renamed the experience the “Captain EO Tribute,” and that version took its final bow in 2015, but not before an entirely new generation of fans were introduced to the cosmic adventure. And now, a special treat has surfaced for fans of the film online — a rough cut of the entire film from 1985.
It’s thanks to the folks over at Walt Disney World News Today that we’ve learned that this early version of the film has now turned up, uploaded by a YouTuber named Kevin Day. This cut, dated a full year before the movie made its Disney debut, is a blast to watch for fans. This work-in-progress version has different voice tracks for the alien crew members for starters, and the final transformation scene of the evil Supreme Leader (played by Angelica Houston) is quite different as well from what fans are used to. Maybe the most obvious difference that fans will notice is the final shot departing the Supreme Leader’s home planet is actually the footage of the Genesis Planet from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan!
Fans have never ceased their nostalgic love of all things Captain EO.Hopefully Disney has noticed that fans are still interested in the movie, and might possibly give the movie an official home video release finally, with both the finished versions and the rough cut, and with tons of special features. We’re pretty sure both Disney theme park fans and Michael Jackson fans would line up around the block to own an official version in a cleaned up, restored version. We know you can make it happen, House of Mouse!
Are you a fan who grew up with Captain EO? What do you think of this original version? Let us know down below in the comments.