Disney successfully reanimates the late Michael Jackson

In Disneyland’s Magic Eye Theater, it’s out with the incompetent inventor Dr. Wayne Szalinski and in with intergalactic hero Captain EO. With the final screening of Honey, I Shrunk the Audience on Jan. 3, the way was cleared for the triumphant return of 1986-sensory-overload spectacle Captain EO. For those who don’t remember, the Coppola-directed, 17-minute, 3-D adventure stars Michael Jackson as the titular Captain EO and Anjelica Huston as the Witch Queen, presider over a macabre world overrun with all the requisite set pieces that indicate a post-apocalyptic hellhole in cinema. The experience is enhanced with smoke / laser effects and a field of stars projected inside the theater walls.

The first showing of EO was at 10 a.m. Tuesday morning. Crowds composed of the unique breed of hybrid mourner-fans (their habit of descending in absurd numbers on sites relevant in the singers life began on Jun. 26, the very day of Jackson’s death) converged en mass in front of Disneyland Monday night, vying to be seated in the first screening of the “4-D” feature. Enormous lines were implemented specifically for those wishing to be among the first to experience the re-release of the 1986 short film.

Jackson’s death last summer gave a much needed boost to the largely online-based effort to bring Captain EO back to the Tomorrowland theater. Park officials haven’t publicly designated an end-date for Captain EO‘s run, so it looks like the film will be screened indefinitely, or at least until its popularity flags — an unlikely scenario in the foreseeable future, given the massive wave of posthumous love for the King of Pop.