Saturday, September 12, 2009

Captain "Oh No"

Let me start off by saying that I'm a Michael Jackson fan.

I love his music and admire his innovation.

Like most of you, I shook my head over the last 20 years when he was buying the Elephant Man's bones and sleeping in hyperbolic chambers.

I cringed when he was running around with Emmanuel Lewis and Bubbles.

I hated to see it when he was hauled in to court after being accused of improper conduct with a child.

But all of that never changed my mind about his music.

When the shocking news was announced this summer that Michael Jackson was dead, I was sad.

That night, I pulled out my Thriller LP and gave it a spin it in honor of The King of Pop. I prefer to remember MJ as the icon from the 80's, not as the sideshow attraction from the last two decades. So it seemed like a fitting tribute.

Now I hear a rumor that Disney is considering dusting off Jackson's 3D film "Captain EO" and showing it once again at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World. In fact, it was reported that Disney executives actually screened it a few weeks ago to help them make a decision.

As much as I like Michael Jackson and as interesting as I think it would be to see Captain EO on a big screen again, I don't think Disney should pull the trigger on this plan.

For one thing, the film is over 20 years old. Even though it was set in the future, it would probably look outdated when compared to today's high definition presentations. 3D technology has improved greatly and the 1986 film would pale in comparison to what's being done today.

Also, while the Disney parks are rooted in tradition, they are always moving forward. It would be strange to see a retired attraction return for no other reason than because of Jackson's death. There was a reason that they closed the attraction to begin with. So why open it again?

The only precedent that I can think of is "The Main Street Electrical Parade." Disney has retired that show twice, but has brought it back again and again because people love it.

But "Captain EO" isn't "The Main Street Electrical Parade." It didn't have the same emotional connection with people as the iconic parade did.

Plus, I don't think Disney wants to open the Pandora's Box that would be the swarm of media coverage that would occur if they brought it back. They'd probably get some positive press, but the Bill O'Reilly's and Glen Beck's of the world would go wild with criticism.

Most importantly, I think it would be creepy to see a dead pop star headlining a Disney theme park attraction. We don't have attractions based on Elvis, Marilyn Monroe or Kurt Cobain... why start now.

Disney's CEO Bob Iger must feel the same way, because he said that "there aren’t plans to bring back ‘Captain EO’ at this time." But that doesn't sound like he closed the door forever.

If people want to remember Michael, they should do what I did... Grab their Thriller CD and listen. I think that's the best way to honor his memory.

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