10-year-old Elliot, one of three kids in a single-parent family and a bit of a loner, gets the shock of his life when he discovers an alien in his backyard. He and his siblings resolve to help ET get back to where he belongs but Government officials have other ideas.

5
The best Disney film Disney never made, though revisionism has crept into the anniversary edition.

From the moment it was released 20 years ago, Stephen Spielberg`s delightful fantasy E.T: The Extra Terrestrial, became an instant classic, now it`s getting an anniversary reissue for a whole new generation.

This sweet story of a creature from outer space left behind when his flying saucer hurriedly leaves without him is, as the Variety review of the time aptly noted, the best Disney film Disney never made. The insatiably curious E.T. befriends young Elliott, Henry Thomas, whose parents are separated and who`s looking for love.

The film is full of funny scenes and magical moments, the children, including a young Drew Barrymore, are beautifully directed, and the alien itself, a mechanized puppet created by Carlo Rambaldi, might not be as wondrous as some of the digitally created CG characters in today`s films, but is undeniably endearing.

A five star film by any standards, there are a couple of controversial things to mention about this revival. One is that Spielberg has digitally 'tweaked' the material; the men who pursue E.T. at the end no longer carry guns, as they did in 1982, but walkie-talkies. And Elliott`s mother no longer uses the word `terrorist` to describe his Halloween costume. You may regret this kind of revisionism, and I hope that, by the time the new DVD comes out, both versions of the film will be included for comparison.

More serious is the fact that the Office of Film and Literature Classification has given the film a PG rating; twenty years ago, it was G. Under current regulations E.T. contains 'supernatural' themes, therefore a PG is mandatory. What rubbish, and what a sad, sad commentary on where this country is heading in its attempts to protect us. It's ludicrous to suggest that if E.T. was rated G in 1982 it can`t be given the same rating today.