E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial – Anniversary Edition Combo Pack
Thirty years ago a stranded little alien captured the hearts of moviegoers around the world. The film still holds several box-office records and won many Academy Awards in 1983, and was nominated for Best Picture that year. Why has this little film become a classic? All you have to do is watch it to understand. The stories in E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial and the characters fill the screen with compassion and love.
I remember writing an article about the 20th Anniversary of E.T. for L.A. Family Magazine in 2002. My assignment was to speculate on what the little alien would find different and the same were he to return to Earth that year. Interestingly, in one of the bonus features in this Combo Pack, Steven Spielberg discusses how he thought about bringing E.T. back to the planet, but came to the conclusion that it was best not to make a sequel and keep the story as it is. In my opinion, that was a good decision.
As always, what is interesting in new home video editions are the bonus features. This Anniversary Edition Combo pack includes Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + Ultraviolet, so viewers can experience the wonder and magic of the story on all their devices. Plus, the bonus features are numerous.
Included are two deleted scenes, one of which I thought would have been fun to leave in the film. In it, E.T. discovers all the items in the bathroom, including a tube of toothpaste and the bathtub.
Several bonus features have been included in past editions: the 20th Anniversary Reunion in which the cast talk about making the film and working together, A Look Back in which Spielberg discusses the story, The Evolution and Creation of E.T. with Steven Spielberg who says the film is "a little piece of wonderment in my life," and The Music of E.T. with John Williams who won the Academy Award for scoring the film.
In the two new featurettes viewers learn a lot more about the film and the story. Steven Spielberg and E.T. is an informative addition with the director who discusses creating the story. The movie is "fragments of ideas" put together for the complete story. Although he had movie successes prior to E.T., Spielberg says it is his "first personal movie." E.T. was just a small little film of which he had no high expectations so it caused him no pressure. But, when all was said and done, it was "a dream come true" for the director. The story is about a family's situation after the divorce of the parents, which was something Spielberg and his siblings encountered in their own childhoods. That was the impetus behind the movie. He wanted to tell the story of a family coping with divorce. He states, "I fell in love with the picture." Steven Spielberg took the film to the White House and screened it for Ronald Reagan and his family and staff.
The E.T. Journals takes viewers behind the scenes during the making of the film. As Spielberg confesses, he didn't use storyboards and decided to "wing it every day." Wow. Can you imagine that? With no storyboards to guide each scene it was up to the director and the cast to create their own vision of the story. But isn't that what moviemaking is all about?
With the beauty of high-definition, the wonder and awe of the film is made that much more enjoyable. Plus, viewers can bookmark their favorite scenes and relive them over and over again.
If I were given the assignment I had ten years ago, to write about what E.T. would encounter were he to return to the planet, the differences would be about what they were in 2002. Technology has advanced and continues to advance at a great speed, but the turmoil in the world still has a hold on countries and people. I believe, were E.T. to come back to check on Elliott today, he would be impressed with the advances we have made, but sad and disappointed with the violence humans inflict on each other.
E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial Anniversary Edition Combo Pack is something every family should own. It is the ultimate family film, although it is rated PG for language and mild thematic elements.
Francine Brokaw has been covering the entertainment business for over 12 years. She also writes about technology and has been a travel writer for the past 10 years. Her articles have appeared in national and international newspapers and magazines as well as Internet websites. She is the author of Beyond the Red Carpet: The World of Entertainment Journalists, from Sourced Media Books. Find more about her at www.francinebrokaw.com.