Flight of the Navigator (1986)

Flight-of-the-Navigator

Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Classic and Humorous

Before we had alien movies trying to scare us away, we had movies that made us love aliens. Movies that brought magic to the silver screen, and had us looking to the stars for answers. Are we alone? These films could be serious, thanks to a Mr. Steven Spielberg, or they could be goofy. All that’s really known is…aliens were a popular topic back then, and still is today. If you can recall, a majority of these movies have a strong focus on a child, and that is also still true to today. Look at films like The Fourth Kind, Signs, and Dark Skies. All of these newer films have that focus on a child. One movie I remember bringing magic home was Disney’s Flight of the Navigator, another alien film focusing on a kid as the lead.

Back in 1978, David (Joey Cramer) was living an ordinary life for a twelve year-old boy. One night, David chases after his dog in the woods and takes a nasty fall. The next thing he knows, he’s waking up in the same spot 8 years later. Everyone around him but himself has aged significantly, and scientists can’t figure him out. That’s when his brain started talking to the computers directly through binary code. His brain messages signified something otherworldly. So NASA decided to take him in for a couple days to do tests. Well wouldn’t you know, a walnut-sized UFO speaks to him from inside NASA. David follows the voice and is lead to the ship, which allows him access, and they go adventuring together.

I can’t help but to love this film. The feeling of child innocence within an alien themed film is just too good. It’s classic! There is a lot to this film that might actually make you think Spielberg was behind the whole thing, but he wasn’t. It just has that innocence-of-a-child feel that can’t be missed in many Spielberg works. The same can be said for the humor. It is serious when it needs to be, but it thrives in its humor. The UFO is voiced by Pee Wee himself, Paul Reubens, and he doesn’t even try to hide it. That laugh…boy that laugh. The humor is light, it’s sarcastic, and it’s awesome. It may not make a lot of logical sense, but the filmmakers knew the theme of their film, and the tone is absolutely consistent throughout.

The concept is also relatively new. The boy was abducted, but I love the fact that they pretty much ignore that. Any movie now would just focus heavily on the abduction, but this film was like: well, this kid was abducted…weird. That’s it. If they went too deeply into it, the movie would have started getting darker, maybe even into the thriller/horror category. Like I said, in order to keep the tone light, they ignored it, and they did an awesome job. Instead, they send him eight years into the future. Now we’re mixing an alien film with a time travel film. Yes. That’s the part that still seems relatively new, because now we have a little boy experiencing time shock. Learning new technologies, seeing things with new eyes. As an alien movie, I haven’t really seen anything like it. That’s why I understood the relevancy when they announced this film was going to be remade. I think it deserves to be remade.

The only thing I would really change is to have that time difference longer. Obviously, it can’t be too big, because in the film, he meets the older versions of his family, but bigger than just eight years. Other than that, I know they can benefit off of modern technology and visual effects…they could really make something out of this movie. That is, if they don’t botch the concept and humor up. I could see them making it a big serious movie…that would ruin everything.

Check out Flight of the Navigator for yourselves, and tell me what you think!

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