ChildCare Action Project (CAP): Christian Analysis of American Culture


Click on CAPCon Alert
image for explanation
Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to our youth through you,
their parents and grandparents, in His name by His Word

E.T. The Extraterrestrial, 20th Anniversary Special (1982), PG
Analysis Date: March 22, 2002
CAP Score: 83
CAP Influence Density: 0.30

ALERT: To fully understand this report you should first visit the topics suggested by the CAP Table of Contents.

For FREE text-only versions of our media analysis reports as they are calculated, open this email then click "send." If your browser does not handle this URL format properly, send us a request to add you.

NOTE: If you do not want the plot, ending, or "secrets" of a movie spoiled for you, skip the Summary/Commentary. In any case, be sure to visit the Findings/Scoring section -- it is completely objective to His Word and is the heart of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie.


If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary likely using a mix of KJV and NIV.

E.T.: THE EXTRATERRESTRIAL (1982), 20TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL (PG) -- The language and attitude are still there ... at least the guns are gone.

Distributed by: Universal Pictures
Director: Steven Spielberg
Producers: Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy, Melissa Mathison
Written by/Screenplay: Melissa Mathison
Cinematography/Camera: Allen Daviau
Music: John Williams
Edited by: Carol Littleton
Special Effects by: Gary Crawford, Dale L. Martin, Andrew Miller, Steven Willis (E.T. operator), Robert E. Worthington

He's ba-ack. the lovable and cuddly, "squashed" E.T. (Pat Welsh, Debra Winger) from 1982 is back. There are some things different in this 2002 replay of the famous 1982 blockbuster. It is amazing what you can remember from twenty years ago. The language and attitude are still there -- the five uses of middle school locker room language, the adolescents yelling at their mother, ignoring her, lying to her, sneaking out, etc. and another trying to touch her posterior. At least the guns are gone. The scene of the government agent cocking a shotgun is gone. The guns of the agents at the blockade have been replaced with walkie-talkies. Nice touch. There is some new stuff such E.T. taking a dip in the bathtub, and the spaceship's propulsion turrets now have an aura bubble under them them instead of beams of light. And there is a lot more footage of E.T. being chased by the science team.

A spaceship towers in a forest as two of its occupants scour the countryside. For what purpose is not revealed. No matter. The point of this part of the film is that the ship takes off as an earth science team nears the ship, leaving one of its occupants behind. Stranded. Millions of miles away from home. The one we know as "E.T."

After being chased for a few minutes, the bawling and braying E.T. finds his way down the hillside to the home of Elliot (Henry Thomas), his older brother Michael (Robert MacNaughton) and his younger sister Gertie (Drew Barrymore) and their mother (Dee Wallace). E.T. hides in a utility shed at the back of the home. During a table game party with two of Michael's friends, Elliot fetches a pizza from the deliverer and hears some noises coming from the shed. Investigating it, Elliot tosses his baseball into the shed and it comes back out. Screeching, Elliot runs back into his house telling all of the intruder in the shed that threw his ball back to him.

The entire household now investigates, even after the command of the mother telling them to all stay in the house. Armed with mom's $20 kitchen knives the older boys rush out and all others follow. Finding some footprints in the dirt, Michael proclaims the coyotes are back. Then all retreat back into the house.

Later, Elliot's curiosity breaks down his inhibitions and leads him to reinvestigate. Elliot and E.T. meet for the first time with mutual screams in a cornfield. Once parted, Elliot again succumbs to his curiosity and leaves a trail of candy from the nearby forest back to his home. Waiting in the dark, armed with only a flashlight, Elliot hopes the bait will lead the spaceman back to him. And it does.

Now begins the touching fantasy tale of a boy befriending a stranded extraterrestrial. Elliot brings E.T. into his home and starts to indoctrinate E.T. with earthly things. Elliot is home alone at this time I might add. Dad has fled to Mexico with Sally, leaving mom behind to fend for herself. Single-parent homes often find themselves resorting to taking chances with the safety of young children in order to work to feed the creditors and mouths. When Michael gets home Elliot makes him swear the most excellent promise to not tell about what Elliot is about to show Michael. Soon, Gertie shows up and is coerced by the two boys with threats to tear up her doll of she tells. Soon, all three accept the new friend from space and agree to deceive mom about E.T.

E.T. shares a variety of new things with the kids, including his power to levitate. I am not going to get into a debate about the evilness of levitation. Many of you will remember His wisdom though me that the source of the power determines its holiness, not the user nor its use. As in *Marry Poppins* there was nothing sinister or evil about the use of levitation. For all we know it could have been a gift from God.

Eventually, E.T. succumbs to the difference in environments and begins to die, taking Elliot with him in symbiotic connection. By now the science team have E.T. under custody and try their best to save E.T. but cannot. At a point, the symbiotic connection between Elliot and E.T. is broken and Elliot returns to normal health, but not E.T. He dies. Or so the since team thinks. Once E.T. is "packed in ice", he revives and through a series of Rube Goldberg shenanigans, the teens return E.T. to his ship which returned because E.T. built a communicator from a Speak-n-Spell, a phone and a number of hardware items rotated by a child's record player (if anyone remembers a record player nowadays).

There are many things that happen between the highlights I gave you. If you have not seem E.T.: The Extraterrestrial and wish to do so, you will see that all I have given you will not spoil the movie for you. But if you do decide to take your kids with you, note that there are a number of foul words spoken by Michael [Titus 2:6-8]. Also note that one of the boy guests tried to touch mom's backside [Ruth 2:9, 15]. And there were many of the typical adolescent issues of other forms of arrogance and rebellion [Is. 30:1]. While containing a decent "message" of kindness to strangers, the ignominious content may have an impact as well on the coping skills and behavior mechanics of your little ones, which includes at-home teens [1 Cor 15:33].

Please consult the listing in the Findings/Scoring section for a complete accounting of the findings.


If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ]. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.

  • Titus 2:6-8 Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.
  • Take example from wise Boaz regarding Ruth, knowing the likelihood of inappropriate activities as Ruth gleaned grain from Boaz's fields with men: Ruth 2:9 "Watch the field where the men are harvesting, and follow along after the girls. I have told the men not to touch you." Boaz even further told his men in Ruth 2:15 "... Even if she gathers among the sheaves, don't embarrass her." To touch a woman in the private parts before marriage is wrong. To sum up God's admonitions about sexual relationships, any sexual contact (including visual), conduct or activity outside of a monogamous heterosexual marriage is sinful.
  • Is. 30:1 Woe to the rebellious [carar {saw-rar'}: rebellious, stubborn, revolters] children, saith the LORD, that take counsel [adopt ways, behavior], but not of me; and that cover with a covering [mask, hide], but not of my spirit [with vain and empty reasoning], that they may add sin to sin:

    *******Food for Thought*******
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 (KJV) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (NIV) Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.
  • Jude 4 For certain men* whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]
  • Matt. 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto [or for] one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto [or for] me.
  • Luke 17:2 It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. [cause by teaching or example]
  • Ps. 119:133 Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me.
  • John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
  • 1 Thess. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

    As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.

    E.T. The Extraterrestrial, 20th Anniversary Special (1982) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
  • brother holding sister to shut her up
  • leaving a seven year old girl alone in the house
  • riding a bike off the edge of a cliff
  • breaking and entering
  • boy out all night alone
  • adolescent trespassing
  • home invasion by science team
  • car theft with endangerment
  • running from police

    Impudence/Hate (I)(1):
  • young boys ignoring guardian's commands
  • potty talk
  • foul insult by adolescent
  • five uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary by an adolescent
  • lying about illness to manipulate and deceive
  • adolescent yelling at and arguing with mom
  • mischief by adolescent

    Sex/Homosexuality (S):
  • adolescent trying to inappropriately touch adult woman

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • smoking
  • drinking beer

    Offense to God (O)(2):
  • five uses of God's name in vain without the four letter expletive, thrice by an adolescent and twice by an adult

    Murder/Suicide (M)(3):
  • none noted

  • NOTE: None of the organizations in the images on this page are paying one cent for the space.

    Help us to stay active by making your purchases through...


    Christian Media News
    Entirety Management Services, Inc.

    Biblical based Management Consulting

    A Singles
    Christian Network

    NOTE: The CAP Analysis Model makes no scoring allowances for trumped-up "messages" to excuse or for manufacturing of justification for aberrant behavior or imagery, or for camouflaging such ignominy with "redeeming" programming. Disguising sinful behavior in a theme plot does not excuse the sinful behavior of either the one who is drawing pleasure or example from the sinful display or the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. This is NOT a movie review service. It is a movie analysis service to parents and grandparents to tell them the truth about movies using the Truth.

    "There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our nearly seven years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.

    Join Christian Banner Exchange Network Today!

    (1) As noted in CAP Special Report-001, "Investigation Area and Scoring Trend," of the six CAP Investigation Areas, Impudence/Hate was the strongest presence in all four movie classifications. It has a strong revelation about the entertainment media.

    (2) The use of the three/four letter word vocabulary without God's name in vain is incorporated into the Impudence/Hate Investigation Area. The use of God's name with or without the four letter expletive is incorporated into the Offense to God Investigation Area. There is no duplication.

    (3) Only portrayal of successful murder or suicide are incorporated into Murder/Suicide. Portrayal of attempts to commit murder or suicide and deaths by police action or war are incorporated into Wanton Violence/Crime.

    The ChildCare Action Project (CAP) is a nonprofit Christian ministry. We rely on public support. If you wish to contribute to the CAP, please send your donations to

    ChildCare Action Project
    Post Office Box 177
    Granbury, TX 76048-0177

    Your gifts are tax deductible in accordance with Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Tax Codes.

    Please feel free to write to us.

    You are welcome to
    Open a new page for the CAP Reports page: (NO FRAMES) OR  (FRAMES)

    or go to the
    Top of the CAP Home Page
    or the
    CAP Table of Contents

    or leave me an email message or comment at

    Thank you for visiting us and may God bless you. Prayerfully, we will provide you with some of the most revealing commentary and investigative reporting you have ever read.

    In the name of Jesus:
    Lord, Master, Teacher, Savior, God.

    ChildCare Action Project (CAP): Christian Analysis of American Culture

    Copyright ChildCare Action Project (CAP) Ministry