(posted by julia prescott)
Disneyland has done it again. Just when you thought that all was sacred and nostalgia would cement your childhood memories in their rightful past state, they go ahead and dig up what they so recently buried.
Fueled by the all-mighty dollar, and the terrifying concept of tourists shifting their focus to (gasp) another theme park that may or may not resemble the Harry Potter film series, the big folks at Disney have re-opened the “Captain EO” attraction at the Magic Kingdom. This daring move, surely met with a resonating question of “…too soon?” may delight Disney fans at first, but how long can this enthusiasm possibly thrive before it wanes to a ho-hum shift?
I attended what was still considered within the first week of its premiere just yesterday. I’m not sure what I expected, as I could hardly remember the film from my childhood. What I do remember though, is some shred of space travel and Michael Jackson workin’ it in a white leather spacesuit; what I got wasn’t far from that.
Here’s something that may have fallen through the cracks in your memory: Francis Ford Motha’fucking Coppola directed this movie. Did you hear me? Let me say this the fuck again. FRANCIS FORD COPPOLA DIRECTED “CAPTAIN EO” – Alright – let that seep in for a second.
While waiting in line you may notice a “Behind the Scenes” featurette that more or less details the hair and make-up process for most of the stars. This is meant to give the film more meaning than being just a glorified MJ music video. You’re supposed to wonder at the precision of the artists at work, the shameless moonwalking by the film’s star, silently sip up the whimsey of the furry muppet-like characters with a grain of salt.
The move to bring back what the ‘80s so rightfully spit out seems to be just another chapter in Disney’s “Wouldn’t it be cool if…?” mantra. I witnessed the same concept applied to the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise, a series of films that I’m undoubtedly convinced was entirely written on Denny’s napkins.
Sure, people miss Michael Jackson. You didn’t need a group of touristy white women in the front rows of the Disney amphitheater hooting and hollering at his pelvic thrusts to get this, but it did cement that notion. But how much steam can this brand of nostalgia maintain? How much longer until we become sentimental over something else that is so blatantly ephemeral?
I would like to borrow a concept from the comic Eliza Skinner, who I saw rock it out at UCB’s “Crash Test” last night. She mentioned being excited about the upcoming movie, “Clash of the Titans” and being in a lovely nerd purgatory, sandwiched between the nexus of the idea for the movie, and the imminent disappointment of the off-kilter execution that is certain and inevitable.
I feel like there’s no other way to categorize Disney’s exaltation of “EO”. This is something that most likely started as a ridiculously cool rumor met to resonating nerd applause at their D-23 expo, but is now only a matter of time before the Disney amphitheater is occupied by another so-so gimmick.
I beg the question, how much longer? What’s next? “Wild Hogs: The Interactive Stage Show”? “Tooth Fairy in 3D”? It’s only a matter of time.
My name is Julia Prescott and I’m not afraid to dislike kitschy ‘80s nerd faire.