NEW YORK – An "unguarded" Michael Jackson breaks out his own home movies tonight, showing himself horsing around with pal McCauley Culkin and being surprised on Christmas morning by Elizabeth Taylor in a bathrobe.
"It's very compelling to see Michael in a way we've never seen him before, interacting with family members and friends in a very casual manner," said Brad Lachman, who produced the special Michael Jackson: Private Home Movies which airs Thursday night.
"There's one clip of him playing in his backyard, having a waterfight with [sister] Janet and McCauley Culkin and getting thrown into a swimming pool with his clothes on," Lachman said. "That's one side of him you don't get to see."
Lachman also described another scene with Jacko's friend, Elizabeth Taylor, who decided that Jacko, who was raised as a Jehovah's Witness and never celebrated holidays, "should see what Christmas looks like."
"So when Michael went to sleep one night she and some other people totally redecorated his house with Christmas decorations.
"She woke Michael up and showed him around," Lachman said. "He can't believe that she's done this for him.
"And, you get to see Liz Taylor like you've never seen her before -- in a bathrobe."
Lachman said there's also footage of Jackson during his Jackson Five days.
"They had a few days off during one of their tours and took their mom back to Alabama to see her grandfather," he said. "It's just so amazing when they go into a very rural environment."
For tonight's special -- the third intimate program about Jackson to air in just over 10 weeks -- Jackson agreed to turn over home movies and videos spanning the years from boyhood to the present.
In the show, he is seen watching them in his theater at his Neverland Ranch.
"He talks about them as the viewers watch. We get his insight. He was very intrigued as he was doing this," Lachman said.
"This wasn't scripted, whatever came out of his mouth were his observations. He didn't have a writer writing something for him to say. It's all very natural."
Lachman calls the special "a totally non-controversial show," compared to the headline -- and ratings -- grabbing Martin Bashir's documentary, Living with Michael Jackson, which aired last February.