Spielberg produced this film, which borrows more than a little from E.T. Here, the strange creature who finds a home with a suburban family is Bigfoot himself. Despite trashing the Henderson’s house upon his arrival, he turns out to be warm and nurturing. Surprisingly, he bonds more with the dad, George (John Lithgow) than the kids, one of whom is a snotty teenage girl who finds Harry more of a pest than a pet.
As in E.T., the authorities come looking for the beast, and while the Hendersons wonder if he wouldn’t be better off in the wild than in the suburban jungle, Harry is soon lost in a hostile city. The movie has more slapstick comedy and less philosophical/spiritual weight than E.T., though it does ladle on the pro-environmental, pro-vegetarian messages. It does have an unusually soulful monster, thanks to 6’9″ Kevin Peter Hall, who does most of his acting with his eyes, the only part of him visible behind monster-makeup whiz Rick Baker’s Sasquatch suit.
Next My Neighbor Totoro