It seems to be often the case that during the Christmas holidays we sit down and enjoy iconic and heart-warming films. A flick through the Radio Times reveals festive films (The Santa Clause 3: the Escape Clause (2006) and The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)), family films (The Incredibles (2004) and James and the Giant Peach (1996)), classic films (Citizen Kane (1941) and Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)) and not-so-classic films (102 Dalmatians (2000) and Rambo III (1988)).

A few days ago, on Boxing Day, I watched the 2002 20th anniversary edition of Steven Spielberg’s 1982 film E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial. It is a wonderful picture and it is interesting to compare the original with the re-released edition. Spielberg made use of improved computer technology, enhancing the eponymous alien’s facial expressions and editing out the guns with which the soldiers are armed, exchanging them for walkie-talkies.

It struck me, while watching, that E.T. looks a lot like WALL-E, another squat and lovable hero from a film that should also be playing in homes during the holiday season. Merry Christmas.