E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial made his debut way back in 1982, and the curious little alien is just as capable of pulling at our heartstrings today as he was nearly 40 years ago. Need proof? Just watch the new E.T. sequel, which happens to be a Comcast commercial.
While the idea of E.T. selling out for one of America’s most-hated companies admittedly sounds horrifying, the commercial itself is a delight capable of melting the heart of even the most jaded cynic. It begins with E.T. hiding behind a snowman before revealing himself to a young boy and girl. Confused, the alien calls the boy Elliot before the real Elliot — played by now-48-year-old returning star Henry Thomas — comes running outside to see his old friend. From there it’s a heartwarming trip down memory lane. E.T. hangs out with Elliot’s family, eats Reese’s Pieces, clangs around in a tool shed at night, and makes bicycles take flight. There are a few examples of E.T. using Comcast’s Xfinity wifi, which is technically what the ad is promoting, but they’re blended in pretty well and don’t really spoil the fun. As usual, E.T. wants to find his way home, and over the course of the ad’s four-minute-plus runtime, he finds his way into our hearts as well. Check it out below.
The ad’s message is to reconnect with loved ones for the holidays — while using Comcast products, of course — and showing the long-overdue reconnection of E.T. and Elliot certainly gets that message across. Not only that, but the ad also somehow manages to be less controversial than a full-length sequel would likely be; at least according to Thomas. “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,” the actor said in a statement, according to Variety.
Now if you’ll excuse us, we’re going to go phone home — as soon as we’ve finished crying.