1986 – Flight of the Navigator

by Alan Rapp on July 30, 2016

in DVD Reviews 

  • Title: Flight of the Navigator
  • IMDb: link

Flight of the NavigatorOn or around this day 30 years ago Disney’s Flight of the Navigator flew into theaters. The live-action sci-fi film starred Joey Cramer as a normal 12 year-old boy abducted by an alien spacecraft and returned to Earth eight years later without having aged a day to the confusion his parents (Cliff De Young and Veronica Cartwright) and once younger (now older) brother (Matt Adler). NASA grows interested in David (Cramer) as well when a medical examination links the boy to a recently crashed spaceship.

Flight of the Navigator is you typical all-ages Disney adventure. It does boast quite a few recognizable faces in supporting roles including WKRP‘s Howard Hesseman as the lead NASA scientist studying the spacecraft, Paul “Pee-Wee Herman” Reubens as the voice of the alien craft, and Sarah Jessica Parker as a NASA intern.

Telepathically linked to the ship, David helps it escape government control and begina to understand just what happened to him, why the ship’s artificial intelligence (named Max) needs his help, and how he ended up back home eight years too late.

The effects of Flight of the Navigator look a bit dated by today’s standards but the unique design of Max remains impressive. Like The Last Starfighter, early CGI proves more than capable of creating a memorable spaceship to center its movie around. Over the years an attempts to remake the movie have stalled. Even if it’s far from perfect, the movie is very much a product of its time and I’m in no rush to see a modern reinterpretation of its subject matter. Released multiple times on DVD and Blu-ray, the scant extras include commentary from director Randal Kleiser and producer Jonathan Sanger.

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