4. E.T. IN E.T. (1982)
Who thought that a short, rubbery, ugly looking alien with an appetite for Reese’s Pieces could manage to rake in over $700 million in worldwide ticket sales? Then again, when you have a couple of visionaries in charge of making a movie, these films have no boundaries.
Depending on the scene, E.T. was either a full animatronic puppet, or a costume that had animatronic elements that a little person could fit into. It could emote perfectly and had over a dozen facial expressions at its disposal. The baby steps that Spielberg took during Jaws were more like gigantic strides with the advancements made in E.T. The puppet could pull off comedy, joy, anger, and remorse completely convincingly, and singlehandedly made the questionable premise of the movie work flawlessly.
While the special effects team did a great job in bringing this puppet to life, it was really Spielberg’s vision that made E.T. break down the barriers of prior works of puppetry and become one of the most memorable on-screen characters of the ‘80s.