- I’m not exactly convinced Spielberg’s WOO policy always applies to films he produces rather than directs. I think he enjoys inserting a reference on occasion, if it suggests itself…but I’m not positive he feels compelled to do so. That said, this film does feature the familiar sub-theme of a poor abused alien just wanting to go home. See Jaws, War Horse, The Terminal, A.I., The Color Purple, Sugarland Express, Close Encounters, Empire of the Sun, Catch Me if You Can, Saving Private Ryan, War of the Worlds, Super 8, 1941, Amistad, Minority Report, Munich, Hook, Poltergeist, E. T. , Used Cars.
- Interesting that going home often involves flying or falling through the air, balloons, tornados, planes bicycles and spaceships. See Twister, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Jurassic Park, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, War of the Worlds, Super 8, Always, Joe vs. the Volcano.
- Close-up shot at end of bicycles getting whirled up through air to alien’s ‘model’ spaceship in a gentle tornado-ish manner. See Twister, War of the Worlds for cyclonic movement. See Munich, Adventures of Tintin, Amistad, 1941, Always, Super 8, War of the Worlds, Empire of the Sun,The Goonies, Sugarland Express, Jaws, Inner Space, Used Cars for bicycles.
- Cyclonic play figures into Casper, Poltergeist, Close Encounters, Twister, War of the Worlds and WOO.
- The deputy infiltrates the Air Force’s lair by dressing up like a soldier: Lion, Tinman, Scarecrow’s method to get into witch’s fortress. See Catch Me if You Can disguise. He also ducks out of soldier’s line in same move as we find in Raiders of the Lost Arc and WOO.
- A Close Encounter’s flashback happens at the gas station before sheriff is abducted: we hear that spooky clinking noise…remember mailboxes in E.T.? Glinda’s magic chimes are used over and over in Spielbergia as foreshadowing devices. See Always, A.I., E. T.,The Color Purple, Jaws, Close Encounters, Empire of the Sun, Twister, Twilight Zone the Movie Kick the Can Episode, Joe vs. the Volcano.