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Perhaps Steven Spielberg wants to introduce a new generation to one of his favorite creations. Or maybe he wants to win back audiences disillusioned by his last sci-fi outing, A.I. (Artificial Intelligence). Then again, he could be trying to nudge this family favorite back into the all-time box office Top Ten. Whatever the reason, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial has landed again. What many call Spielberg's masterpiece is back where it was meant to be—in a darkened theatre on a big screen, with a top-notch sound system. Following George Lucas's Star Wars Special Edition lead, Spielberg is offering an update for E.T.'s 20th anniversary. Some details the filmmakers considered rough have been "improved"—now a digitally animated E.T. runs like a frantic monkey through the trees, and his face is more expressive. The soundtrack has been remastered. And some clippings from the cutting room floor have been reinserted to give us a few surprises.

The spiritual parable at the film's heart has made it a favorite among religious audiences, some of whom argue that E.T. is a Christ figure. (Originally, some religious leaders warned audiences away from the film for what they described as New Age messages, but those protests seem to have blown over.)

Holly McClure (Crosswalk) says the digital additions and extra scenes "only add to the pleasures of this classic film. I love this movie: the music, the adorable children, the sweet relationship E.T. has with Elliot and the fantasy elements." She adds, "Many Christians have taken issue with the spiritual messages in this film. These topics are important to discuss with your younger children, giving them your spiritual perspective, but I don't believe ...

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