Revisiting Fan Favorite Movies through the Art of Advertising

Lisa Tate

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You might have noticed a classic Spielberg film getting a sequel of sorts over Thanksgiving week as the cable and internet service Xfinity gave E. T. and Elliott a reunion after the alien’s departure from planet Earth 37 years ago.

Actor Henry Thomas reprised the role that made him famous as a kid, and introduced Elliott's own kids to E. T. as they update their alien friend on what has been happening in the streaming service world.

Although this is simply an advertisement, those of us who got teary-eyed in the 1980s when E. T. gave his goodbyes to Elliott, this was a pretty heartwarming thing to see.

To be honest, some of the better long-awaited movie sequels and reunions have been done for the commercials or other promotions in recent years. Here are a couple of examples, complete with the original films' stars.

Matthew Broderick’s Day Off

Joker and The Hangover director Todd Phillips created this Honda commercial for the 2012 Super Bowl, and it really is as much a love letter to Ferris Bueller fans as it was a way to pitch cars:

The Home Alone Smart House

Even though there were a couple of forgettable actual sequels to this holiday favorite, Macaulay Culkin’s grown-up Kevin in full slacker form makes this Google commercial a much more worthy follow up:

Red Nose Day Actually

Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day campaigns always have great parodies, but this Love Actually sequel was exceptionally well received. I only saw the movie once, but it is hard to avoid seeing clips of it every single Christmas.

I mean, some people really, really love this film. I don’t know why the full version of this star-filled parody isn’t readily available anymore, but here’s the full “trailer” treatment it received, since fans of this romantic comedy feel it is as close to sequel as they will ever get:

Sometimes I think it is best for movies to not have sequels, as a poorly done follow up can practically ruin a good story. But in the case of these commercials, it's nice to revisit some favorite characters and enjoy a good laugh in the process.

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