E.T. The Extra Terrestrial | Mechanical Animatronic Head (With DVD)
E.T. The Extra Terrestrial | Mechanical Animatronic Head (With DVD)
E.T. The Extra Terrestrial | Mechanical Animatronic Head (With DVD)
E.T. The Extra Terrestrial | Mechanical Animatronic Head (With DVD)
E.T. The Extra Terrestrial | Mechanical Animatronic Head (With DVD)
E.T. The Extra Terrestrial | Mechanical Animatronic Head (With DVD)
+ 46


E.T. The Extra Terrestrial

mechanical animatronic head (with dvd)


$800,000 - $1,000,000

Sold Price



The original Carlo Rambaldi mechanical animatronic head of "E.T.," from the Steven Spielberg film, E.T. the Extra Terrestrial (Universal Pictures, 1982). This original production animatronic is composed of a metal frame with a foam latex outer skin. A series of cables control the movement of the head, including eye movement, lips, eyebrows, forehead, and even the tongue. It could open and close the nostrils of the nose and activate the pulsation of the veins and the jugular in many close-up scenes. Upon accepting the project during the pre-production of the film, with time pressing, Rambaldi set upon finalizing the design for the E.T. figure. Spielberg sent over early drawings, which had been rendered by production illustrator Ed Verreaux who had worked with Spielberg on the conceptualization of the new character at the director's Malibu beach house on the weekends. Spielberg sent over photos of poet Carl Sandburg, theoretical physicist Albert Einstein, and author Ernest Hemingway for Rambaldi to study, stating: "I love their eyes, can we make E.T's eyes as frivolous, wise and as sad as those three icons?" But Daniela Rambaldi remembers her father wanting to give the character more innocence and finding the reference for the design of the beloved alien's eyes from the blue eyes of the family's Himalayan cat "Kikka," which Rambaldi considered "very innocent" and "a good element for the soul of E.T." The alien character's unique and memorable, extendable neck was inspired by Rambaldi's own painting The Women of Delta (1952) which represented women from his homeland of Ferrara, Italy, characterized by their long necks. Rambaldi believed the character's protractible neck would give E.T. an empathic trait, capable of being able to extend or retract based upon who he was interacting with on screen. Daniela Rambaldi remembers being called into her father's lab the day before the approval meeting for the design of E.T. with Spielberg wherein she was shown the 3-Dimensional model Carlo Rambaldi had sculpted and asked her what her first impressions were. "Did it give her the shivers?" "Did it make her feel empathetic for E.T.?" "Or did it just disgust her?" And she responded "Dad, he's really ugly, but I feel sorry for him and if I ever met him in real life, I'd help him for sure, and I like his posterior, he reminds me of Donald Duck." Which were the exact words the special effects artisan wanted to hear. "We all kind of regard him as a living breathing organism, he's a real creature, I think for me, in my experience, he is the eighth wonder of the movie world." - Steven Spielberg We have all certainly felt an attachment to our favorite characters in films, but few can be compared to the love that we all feel for E.T.. The impact of E.T. on set was so significant that the actors felt emotional when interacting with it. In the climactic scene of the film as E.T. bids a final farewell to the character Elliot and his family, then child actress Drew Barrymore shed genuine and heartfelt tears she was so touched. "If the special effect is created very well, most people don't think whether it's mechanical or not -- they're thinking about the story. When I finally saw the finished movie even I cried a little." - Carlo Rambaldi This "B" Mechatronic E.T. was consigned directly by the family of Carlo Rambaldi, who director Steven Spielberg affectionately referred to as "E.T.'s Gepetto." Includes a DVD of the film.


28 x 18 x 25 inches
From The Carlo Rambaldi Archives

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