“E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial 40th Anniversary Edition” – Blu-ray and DVD Combo Pack Review

ET Extra-Terrestrial 40th Anniversary Blu-ray Review
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial 40th Anniversary Edition – Blu-ray and DVD pack

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment has released the E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial 40th Anniversary Edition on 4K UHD, Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital. And I’m here to let you know whether or not you should add said home release to your collection.

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial 40th Anniversary Blu-ray and DVD combo home release for review. The opinions I have shared are my own.  

Debuting back in 1982, Steven Spielberg introduced the world to a new alien icon named E.T. While coming under the sci-fi genre, the human themes featured in E.T. resonated with every type of moviegoer across the world, enabling it to still hold a special place for many and inviting repeat viewings for generations to come. It has been regarded as one of Spielberg’s most personal films and you can definitely tell due to all of the themes at play.

Directed by Spielberg (the film’s concept was based on an imaginary friend that Spielberg created after his parents’ divorce), it was written by Melissa Mathison and starred Henry Thomas, Drew Barrymore, Dee Wallace, Robert MacNaughton, and more. With a reported production budget of $10.5 million, the movie has grossed more than $794 million.

I won’t be recapping the movie in this review, of course. I mean, I would be actually surprised if someone reading this hasn’t watched it yet (if you’re one of those people–go watch it!). Instead, I will be focusing more on the 40th Anniversary home release of E.T. and if it is something you should consider adding to your collection.

While the movie itself offers a gut-punching dose of nostalgia, the 40th-anniversary edition amps that up by adding more than 45 minutes of all-new bonus features. Take note; the current release also has all of the original bonus features, too, ensuring fans get more than 4 hours of extra content to really dive into the world of E.T.

For collectors, there are three limited editions you can opt for:

  • E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial 40th Anniversary Edition Limited Gift Set (4K UHD + Blu-ray + Digital): An Amazon Exclusive, and along with the movie you will get a collectible tin tote, thermos, booklet, and a certificate of authenticity. As of writing this, the gift set is priced at USD $64.99 and it will be released November 1, 2022.
ET 40th Anniversary Edition Amazon Exclusive
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial 40th Anniversary Limited Edition Amazon Exclusive Gift Set
  • E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial 40th Anniversary Limited Edition (4K UHD + Blu-ray + Digital): Being a Walmart.com Exclusive, along with the movie you will get a collectible BendyFigs figurine. You can own this one for around $35. It seems to be available right now.
ET 40th Anniversary Edition Walmart
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial 40th Anniversary Limited Edition Walmart Exclusive
  • E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial 40th Anniversary Limited Edition Steelbook (4K UHD + Blu-ray + Digital): A Target Exclusive, this includes three newly designed steelbooks. Currently available, you can own a steelbook for $24.99. 
ET 40th Anniversary Edition Target Exclusive
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial 40th Anniversary Limited Edition Target Exclusive Steelbook

If you happen to be someone who can’t purchase the retailer-exclusive editions, the normal home releases (including the one I recieved) are more than enough. The video presentation on the Blu-ray was 1080p High-Definition Widescreen 1.85:1. You will get to see E.T.’s wrinkles very clearly. The scenes taking place at night are well-presented. That iconic scene where the bicycles fly… yes!

The audio quality is DTS Digital Surround 2.0, DTS:X for the Feature film, and Dolby Digital 2.0 for the Bonus Content. I didn’t experience any audio issues when it comes to the dialogue delivery. John Williams‘ score sounded epic!

With a runtime of approximately 1 hour and 54 minutes, the movie is rated PG for language and mild thematic elements.

As for the extra content that you will get to enjoy by purchasing the 4K UHD and Blu-ray Editions, the list is:

  • 40 Years of E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial: This piece of extra content offers you an all-new retrospective of the film and its lasting legacy.
  • TCM Classic Film Festival: An Evening with Steven Spielberg: You get to listen to Spielberg reflect on his career and the making of E.T. 40 years later. I recommend watching this one.
  • The E.T. Journals: Take a trip down memory lane and retrace the day-to-day experience of creating E.T. from never-before-seen, behind-the-scenes footage shot by Academy Award-winning cinematographer John Toll. Coming in at almost an hour, I greatly enjoyed this one!
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Steven Spielberg & E.T: You get an interview with Spielberg where he reflects back on the film and discusses his experience working with the actors, as well as his overall and current perspective on E.T.
  • A Lookback: A special insider’s look into the making of E.T. featuring interviews with basically everyone involved with the film.
  • The Evolution and Creation of E.T: A big yes to this one!
  • The E.T. Reunion: Ohhh!! The emotions!
  • The Music of E.T: A discussion with John Williams: Interviews and footage focused on the long-standing relationship between Williams and Spielberg.
  • The 20th Anniversary Premiere: Williams played the score of E.T. live at the Shrine Auditorium for the re-release premiere of E.T. This featurette gives us a behind-the-scenes look at this presentation.
  • Designs, Photographs, and Marketing
    • E.T. Designs by Production illustrator Ed Verreaux
    • E.T. Designs by Carlo Rambaldi
    • Spaceship Designs by Ralph Mcquarrie
    • Designs by Production Illustrator Ed Verreaux
    • Production Photographs
    • Marketing E.T.
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Special Olympics TV Spot

I’m still waiting for Spielberg to give us a feature-length narration. Perhaps for the 50th Anniversary edition? Or maybe, get the cast and crew back together to record a feature-length reaction video?

But, yeah, you do get a lot from the 40th Anniversary Edition release of E.T., especially if you don’t own the previous releases. However, if you happen to own the previous anniversary edition, I think purchasing the new one will come down to whether or not you consider yourself a completionist.

For those interested, I did an unboxing video of the Blu-ray + DVD pack. You can watch the video below. It also has instructions for entering a giveaway for the Digital Code!

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment made the E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial 40th Anniversary Edition available on home release on October 18, 2022.

Are you a fan of E.T.? Will you be buying the latest home release?

Let us know.

Author: Farid-ul-Haq

Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.


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