I’ll tell you what I did not expect to see on Thanksgiving is a four-minute sequel to Stephen Spielberg‘s E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial starring the original Elliott, Henry Thomas. I definitely did not expect it to also be an Xfinity commercial, which means I for sure didn’t expect it to still be…kind of great?
Titled “A Holiday Reunion”, the short film sees E.T. return to Earth to visit his ol’ pal Elliot, who has grown up and started a family of his own. It’s all just really pleasant. E.T. goes sledding. E.T. wears VR goggles. E.T. gets to learn about 2019 by touring Elliot’s house, which is just filled with Xfinity products. (I know, I know.) It’s easy to be cynical, but John Williams‘ theme from the original score is still stirring, and Thomas grew up to be a great enough actor to still pull the heartstrings even when he’s working with a puppet.
“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 told Deadline, which is true, because “A Holiday Reunion” does leave out the part where the federal government kicks down Elliot’s door on Christmas and arrests his entire family.
Anyway! Check out the full short film below.