E.T., the eponymous character from Steven Spielberg’s hit 1982 movie, along with the actor who played Elliott, Henry Thomas, returned for Xfinity’s new holiday commercial, which premiered during the Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 28.
In the new ad, E.T. comes back to visit his friend, Elliott, for the holidays. It’s been 37 years since the best friends last saw one another, and during his stay, E.T. learns that Elliott now has a family of his own and that technology has completely changed on Earth since his last visit.
Thomas said of reprising his iconic role for the commercial was a much better idea than creating a movie sequel to original film, which also starred a young Drew Barrymore, and Dee Wallace as their mother.
“The audience is going to get everything they want out of a sequel without the messy bits that could destroy the beauty of the original and the special place it has in people’s minds and hearts,” Thomas said. “It’s really a win-win. Looking at the storyboards, I could see exactly why Steven [Spielberg] was really behind it, because the integrity of the story isn’t lost in this retelling.”
The full-length two-minute version of the commercial show’s Elliott’s kids playing in the snow when they suddenly spot E.T. hiding behind a snowman. They scream, just like their father once did upon first meeting the alien.
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E.T. asks if one of them is Elliott, when the grown-up Elliott, the kids’ father, comes outside and embraces his buddy. The family shows E.T. a V.R. helmet and watch White Christmas on the TV. At the end, it’s time for E.T. to return to his family, but not before the kids recreate the iconic flying bicycle scene before saying goodbye.
Peter Intermaggio, senior vice president for marketing communications at Comcast Cable said, “Our goal is to show how Xfinity and Sky technology connects family, friends and loved ones, which is so important during the holidays. The classic friendship between E.T. and Elliott resonates around the world, and their story became a very meaningful way to bring our company’s consumer technology to life.”
More E.T. reunion special bonuses are available online. Viewers can go to http://www.xfinity.com/ET to see the full four-minute version of the reunion story, as well as an interview with Thomas. Xfinity TV customers with X1 will be able to say “E.T. Phone Home” into their voice remote and connect to an E.T.-themed destination. Xfinity retail locations can pick up a special E.T. coloring book and candy.
Viewers Dub The New ‘E.T.’ Commercial The Best New Ad of The Decade
While the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade remains the most-watched morning show of the holiday, E.T. & Elliott’s reunion during the Xfinity commercial absolutely stole the show. Within a half-hour, the new ad, which touched on viewers nostalgia, while delivering what’s basically a short-film sequel to the original film, was a top trend on Twitter.