I don’t know about you, but I sure ate more than my fair share of turkey, sweet potatoes, and pie yesterday. I drank the wine, laughed with family as football played all day on TV, and watched my kids chase their cousins and sneak extra cookies when they didn’t think anyone was looking. It was a wonderful holiday and everything I hoped it would be.
But there was also an unexpected surprise this Thanksgiving—shown over a quick commercial break. If you caught it, you may have wondered if, for just a few moments, you’d traveled back in time and were a little kid again.
Because yesterday, an XFINITY commercial took us all back to 1982 to when we wished an adorable child-sized alien came to live in our house, became our friend, and taught us how to fly on our bicycles past the moon.
ICYMI, the 4-minute clip featured a reunion between E.T. and his buddy Elliott. (Be forewarned, when Elliott says, “You came back,” you’re gonna lose it.)
Elliott is all grown up now, with a wife and his own son and daughter (both of whom bear strong resemblance to childhood Elliott and his little sister, a.k.a. tiny Drew Barrymore). The family wakes up to discover that E.T. has returned and hasn’t aged at all. (No fair, aliens!)
Elliott’s kids scream in terror when they first see him, just as the kids in 1982 did. But they eventually befriend him, play in the snow, watch movies, and of course eat cupcakes with Reese’s Pieces (E.T.’s fave!).
E.T. is a member of the family again, just like old times. Only this time, they don’t have to camouflage him in their sea of stuffed animals.
Also, in the original, they call “home” to reconnect E.T. with his family via a good old fashioned Speak and Spell, but 37 years later, technology has improved substantially, so this time he uses what looks like a Star Wars hologram device instead. Either way, the E.T. magic is still there.
But as all 80s kids know, E.T. can’t stay for long.
So they return to the hill via flying bicycles (obviously Elliott’s old bicycle is still in the garage because NOSTALGIA) and bid farewell to their extra-terrestrial friend.
Side note: How old were you when you realized that E.T. actually stood for “extra-terrestrial”?
OK, so I didn’t cry quite as hard as I did when I saw this movie as a child, but this four-minute clip definitely pulled at my heartstrings. Six-year-old me sobbed into my mother’s chest and begged, “WHY can’t he stay??!!” whereas adult-me understands that he had to go and merely whispered, “I hope you come back again, E.T.”
Well, done, XFINITY. You got me right in the 80s childhood heart. Pretty sure my kids and I will be watching E.T. (and then maybe Back to the Future for good measure) over the holidays now, and my kids will dream of a flying bicycle and an alien bestie just as I did all those years ago.
Not sure the littles will appreciate your favorite childhood movies? Try reading to them from this picture book, featuring E.T. and Elliott in illustrated form.
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