This is really Sci Fi Day Part 2, picking up where we left off last weekend.
Spielbergâ€™s classic family film is essentially Lassie meets Close Encounters, of course the â€˜dogâ€™ in this boy and his dog tale is far more intelligent than any of the human protagonists, although, come to think of it, thatâ€™s true of most Lassie films.
Henry Thomas and Drew Barrymore give excellent performances, particularly given their age and lack of experience at the time. While most child actors donâ€™t make the transition to adult roles (co-star Robert MacNaughton being a perfect example) both Thomas and Barrymore have gone on to successful careers, particularly Drew who weâ€™ll see again shortly in Donnie Darko.
The film still pushes all the right emotional buttons and has a timeless quality which will ensure it remains one of the all-time great family films, despite Spielberg â€˜doing a Lucasâ€™ and making unnecessary changes. Just for the record we watched the original version.
You’ll find Dipa’s thoughts on revisiting this childhood favourite here.