Many now-adults probably remember meeting Spielberg’s E.T. for the first time as kids. The friendly, glowy-fingered alien typically instills either pure fascination or abject terror that leaves a lasting impression.
Spielberg had depicted alien interactions before, but “E.T.” was the first time he explored what has become a major theme in his movies: kids saving the world because adults are too incompetent or corrupt to trust with such a task. In “E.T.,” it’s Elliott’s (Henry Thomas) connection to the alien that ultimately saves him and Michael (Robert MacNaughton) and his friends who help Elliott get E.T. to the spaceship.
“Sweet Tooth” also shows kids displaying courage and wisdom beyond their years, of a sort many adults in the series lack. The Animal Army is made up of teens who have made it their mission to protect animal and human hybrids, while a lot of adults are out trying to hunt them down. And Gus’ (Christian Convery) unerring optimism drives him and Jepperd (Nonso Anozie) on in their quest to find Gus’ mother, even when the older and more jaded Jepperd is wary.
There’s a reason kids love Spielberg movies as much as adults do: For the first time, they get to see themselves as the heroes. “Sweet Tooth” gives them the same opportunity, antlers not required.