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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Flashback: Flight of the Navigator

Everyone has that one movie from their childhood. The one that you use to watch over and over again. Then as you grow up, your taste changes and you forget about it. Until one day when your going through your old things or stumble across it in a video store. Then for fun's sake you watch it again years later, to see what all the fuss what about. You watch it and even after all this time, you still enjoy it. The you realize that the child in you is very much still alive. Everyone has that one movie. For me, that movie is Flight of the Navigator. 

Flight of the Navigator is a 1986 Disney movie starring Joey Cramer, Paul Rubens(Voice of the UFO) and a young Sarah Jessica Parker. The story takes place in 1978. A boy is walking through the woods to go to a friends house to get his brother when he falls and hits his head, which knocks him unconscious. He wakes up after what seems like only a few minutes and heads back home. He returns home to realize that his parents no longer live there and he has been missing for eight years, it is now 1986. 

The couple who now lives in his home report him to the local police. They are puzzled because the boy has not aged and looks exactly like he did in 1978. He also thinks Jimmy Carter is the president. The police reunite him with his family, who have all aged. 

Meanwhile, NASA discovers a UFO that has crashed into power lines. After arguing with the police, NASA convinces them that the spacecraft is theirs and they take it to study it. 

The boy is taken to a hospital to help determine what happened to him. They run tests on his brain and find that he contains information about the spacecraft at the NASA base. 

After events, the ship telepathically calls for the boy to come to it. The boy eventually sneaks out of the nearby hospital and goes to the ship and they both escape. The ship has a personality and makes the boy it's navigator. They travel around and befriend each other as they are being chased by NASA.

Compared to most of the kids movies I know of today, Flight of the Navigator is very well written and a movie that I'm not ashamed to say that I still very much like. The special effects for the time are phenomenal. The spacecraft is very cool and the creature inside the ship are very well done as well. 

This is a good movie. The film has mostly been forgotten over time but is considered a cult or retro classic by film fans. It seemed like the makers of Flight of the Navigator tried to make a very good, well written, and visually pleasing kids movie. And they did just that. 
Whenever I feel the stresses of the adult world weighing down on me and I want to reminisce about the carefree days of being a kid, I watch Flight of the Navigator and it all comes rushing back. 

If you have children, spare them the crap that is made for kids now, and show them Flight of the Navigator!


  1. Very good article. I totally agree with you. Every now and then you should take the time to watch your childhood movies again.

  2. A former boss of mine who used to live in Florida (where Navigator was shot) said that his dog was Joey Cramer's dog in the movie. I guess I believe him -- who would make up something that obscure?