It’s always fun taking a look at the differences between the original popular movies and their CGI ‘enhanced’ editions. Or is it?
This video takes a gander at the original version of E.T. The Extra Terrestrial compared to the 20th Anniversary edition.
It doesn’t actually make a case as to why the original SFX in E.T. is better than 2002’s version, filled with unnecessary CGI and uncanny valley monstrosities, but let’s be honest, you can clearly see how there is significant loss to its original charm.
At the time (2002) it may have sounded like a good idea to fix something no one asked to be fixed (because it wasn’t broken), but now it’s clear the original has a uniqueness only 1982 can deliver.
Many classic (and also completely forgettable) 80’s movies have their own special flavour the people of today expect. You don’t exactly sit down to watch a childhood favourite from the 80’s with the anticipation of bad CGI added 20 years later because ‘they had the technology available so, why not?’
Like the time many Star Wars fans were disgusted at Lucas’s attempt to ‘improve’ the original trilogy supposedly because his original vision could finally be achieved, the 2002 Anniversary Edition of E.T. The Extra Terrestrial basically made the same mistake.
There’s a few subtle changes like new shots of the city skyline, an extra tree added in here or there and some guns being converted to walkie talkies, which massively lowers the stakes in the bike/car chase, but the biggest difference is E.T. himself becoming completely CGI.
I think we can all safely say, 2002’s version of good CGI isn’t good anymore.
When you’re limited in your creativity, somehow more heart is revealed to compensate, which in hindsight is a blessing in disguise.
If you ask me, I say leave it how it is: E.T., Star Wars, whatever. Retaining the original version of a piece of art tells a story unique to its time. There’s something about it that can’t be replicated 20 years later.
Anyway, that’s just the opinion of a self proclaimed film nerd who still enjoys watching Final Destination.
If anything, this video is an historical look at what people think is creative at the time so you can decide for yourself whether you prefer the original or not.