Flight of the Navigator

Discussion in 'Archive: SF&F: Films and Television' started by Tabula Rasa, Jan 7, 2006.

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  1. Tabula Rasa Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    For the longest time, as I was growing up in the early nineties, long before dicovering the internets, I wasn't sure if this movie actually ever really existed. I remembered bits and pieces of it, but nothing specific, which led me to believe that I had dreamt it all up. But then, one glorious day in the latter nineties, I found a VHS copy of it in a $5 bin in some store. I watched it as soon as I got home, tripped down memory lane, and have been watching it often ever since. It's one of my favorite movies, period.

    Appart from my nostalgic attachment and appreciation of it, the movie is an absolute gem. I still don't understand why it never got the credit it deserved. It's special effects still stand after 20 years, and even though the story can be a bit thin at times, it's most entertaining, and would still blow kids' minds today. If you haven't seen it yet, look around for it. If you have, let's discuss it.

    [image=http://jc.oaxz.com/nav1.jpg] [image=http://jc.oaxz.com/nav2.jpg]
  2. Tyranus_the_Hutt Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 14, 2004
    star 4
    For the longest time, as I was growing up in the early nineties, long before dicovering the internets, I wasn't sure if this movie actually ever really existed. I remembered bits and pieces of it, but nothing specific, which led me to believe that I had dreamt it all up. But then, one glorious day in the latter nineties, I found a VHS copy of it in a $5 bin in some store. I watched it as soon as I got home, tripped down memory lane, and have been watching it often ever since. It's one of my favorite movies, period.

    That?s a nice story. I first became familiar with this film when I was much younger, having caught a showing of it on television; subsequently, when it reappeared, I made sure to record it, and upon repeated viewings it became one of my favorite pictures. Alas, having watched the film on DVD some time ago, I am no longer convinced of the movie?s greatness, yet I retain a great deal of admiration for its enchanting, wondrous qualities.

    Appart from my nostalgic attachment and appreciation of it, the movie is an absolute gem. I still don't understand why it never got the credit it deserved. It's special effects still stand after 20 years, and even though the story can be a bit thin at times, it's most entertaining, and would still blow kids' minds today.

    Although "Flight of the Navigator," directed in 1986 by Randal Kleiser, is a little too derivative of Spielberg?s considerably more effective "E.T.," it does work as both a time-travel picture and as a more linear science-fiction fantasy. "Navigator" successfully taps into the fear and wonder that exists in its fantastical premise, using its young protagonist (well-played by Joey Cramer) as a vessel to negotiate all of the nebulous details of his predicament; we see through him into the story.

    The film of course describes the tale of David Freeman, a 12-year-old boy who in 1978 falls unconscious in a ravine, only to awaken 8 years later, not having aged at all. He eventually reunites with his parents and brother, all of whom have grown older, and it is at this point that director Kleiser begins to draw on the melancholy aspects of his story; I like the fact that he attempts to actually deal with the emotional complexity of this situation in a relatively mature, insightful fashion. In other words, the relative psychology of the characters is employed to embellish and explore the situation within the immediate context of the material; obviously, "Flight of the Navigator" is not about the depths of the human condition, but I remain fascinated with the level of acute observation that is evident in the first act of the film ? it feels authentic.

    Interwoven with the dominant character arc is a plot strand centering on the discovery of an aerodynamically complex space vehicle, which is quickly taken into custody by the suits at NASA. At this point, David starts to develop a "connection" to this mysterious craft, and during some examinations at a hospital, this matter is unearthed; later, after much debate, David reluctantly agrees to submit himself to a tests at NASA, all of which will be overseen by a scientist named Faraday, played by Howard Hesseman. Faraday is more or less a variation on the obligatory "adult with a hidden agenda" seen frequently in these sorts of films, usually implemented as a device to manufacture some degree of salient interpersonal conflict; fortunately, however, Hesseman, like Peter Coyote in "E.T.," makes his character specific and multi-dimensional so that we are able to consider him not as an objectified villain, but instead as a complex human being.

    Eventually, during the course of their examination, Faraday and his team learn that David has been implanted with star charts and interstellar maps, and the boy?s connection with the alien craft becomes an increasingly prominent concern for all of the central figures. Despite the vociferous objections put forth by David and his parents, Faraday extends the duration of David?s stay at the NASA compound, as it has become clear that an additio
  3. DARTH_GOLLUMSMEAGOL Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 20, 2003
    star 5
    ...................yeah...............whst he said..........
  4. NJOfan215 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2003
    star 5
    Oh my god this movie was awesome!
  5. Everton Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 18, 2003
    star 10
    During the 90's Navigator used to get shown a lot during the holidays here in the UK. I've never owned it on any home format, but was quite familiar with it due to frequent broadcasts. If the BBC had a gap in their holiday schedule during the day, they'd stick it on... and I'd watch. Sometimes school holidays dragged. :p

    It's an excellent film. One of the classic children's sci-fi films.
  6. Rox Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 24, 2000
    star 6
    I loved this movie when I was a kid. It's one of the reasons I went to school for Com[puter Graphics. If not for it and a few others I don't think I would have turned out to be a Graphic Designer. I'd probably be out there as a architect like my dad.
  7. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 10
    Still like the film quite a bit. Always caught it on TV or rented it as a kid.

    To this day I can't go to the dentist without thinking that light above you looks like Max...
  8. George_Roper Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 1, 2005
    star 7
    The fact that his younger brother was now older always freaked me out as a kid.
  9. Darth-Vassago Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2004
    star 5
    I'm almost shocked that others have actually seen and heard of this movie. All my friends would always give me blank stares when I mentioned this movie. I quite enjoyed it as a child, and I haven't seen it for some time. Honestly, I wouldn't mind seeing it again.

    ~Vassago
  10. Healer_Leona Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 7, 2000
    star 9
    Wow, I haven't thought of this movie in awhile, just remembering it puts a smile on my face. :) I remember thinking back then how really well done it was. I remember the cute little creature that wound up going home with David and thinking how much I'd like one like it.

    I seem to remember at one point in the movie David watching TV and there was one of my fave music video's playing. Can't for the life of me remember who it was now. I'll have to look for this movie now. :D
  11. Genimay Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 2, 2005
    star 4
    I was so little when I first saw this wonderful film I too,thought it was part of a dream or something to that effect. I found it at blockbuster one day and rented it. I really love the flim and hope to find it on VHS or DVD someday.
  12. Gabri_Jade VIP

    VIP
    Member Since:
    Nov 9, 2002
    star 5
    Wow, I haven't seen this movie in ages. I recorded it once when it played on The Wonderful World of Disney, but I think I lost the tape. I'm grateful for the above summary, because I'd forgotten a lot of the details. :p I remember loving it when I first watched it, though. :)
  13. Funk-E Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 11, 2003
    star 6
    This film, along with Explorers, made up a large part of my childhood, upon reflection.
  14. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 10
    >> I seem to remember at one point in the movie David watching TV and there was one of my fave music video's playing. Can't for the life of me remember who it was now.<<

    The Twisted Sister song?
  15. AzulSaber Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 15, 2005
    star 2
    Wow. I haven't thought about this movie in a long time and like several others could not find people who have seen it.

    I remember I really enjoyed this movie and the story of David coming back and being younger than his older brother freaked me out too. I was also intrigued by the fact that he couldn't name the correct president and didn't know what a Big Mac (I think that's what it was) was.

    This one's a classic. I may have to dig it up and take another look at it, for old times' sake.
  16. Healer_Leona Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 7, 2000
    star 9
    No, not Twisted Sister. Ewww, eww,eww sorry, never cared for them.

    There was another video played, by a British Duo if I remember correctly. There were some weird happenings in it and I seem to remember a pile of funiture... weird I know. I'm sure it was in this movie though.
  17. Darth_Daver Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 23, 2005
    star 5
    Like Everton, I've seen this on TV so many times I'm surprised to hear people are surprised anyone remembers it.

    I think I saw it on it's initial cinema release, but I can't be sure.

    And I'll still watch it if it comes on.

    One of the first films I remember showing the effects of relativity:-B
  18. Master_Jedi80 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 27, 2005
    star 3
    Hahha, Explores was sweet two.
    Fligh of the Navigator was one of my all time favorites

    COMPLIANT
  19. ObiWan506 Former Head Admin

    Member Since:
    Aug 5, 2003
    star 7
    I saw this on T.V. not too long ago. Surprisingly, my fiancé doesn't really like old, Sci-Fi, movies ... but she loved this one. I think the story was one of the influential factors of Flight of the Navigator.
  20. rumsmuggler Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2000
    star 7
    I remember going to the theater to see it when it came out. It's a classic.
  21. Alethia Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 13, 2005
    star 5
    In 7th grade, we had to do this ridiculous project called 'Who Am I'. One of the things we had to do was write about the day of our birth- but as if we were turning 13 instead. Anyways, my mom had saved a copy of the Sunday Los Angeles Times from that day and I poured over it doing research.

    That's when I learned about Flight of the Navigator. It was playing in theaters the day I was born and I was instantly intrigued. A Disney Movie I didn't know? So I started trying to find it. Looked at the five Blockbusters around, none of them had it. But it was in their catologue, so I knew that it existed.

    To this day, I'd love to see it, but still haven't found it. And from that I've heard- it is a good movie, which makes me want to find it even more. I think I'm going to have to hunt for the DVD sometime now and just buy it.
  22. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 10
    It came out on DVD within the last year or so, so it shouldn't be too hard to find.

    [image=http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B0001I562I.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpg]
  23. RK_Striker_JK_5 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2003
    star 7
    I remember this movie! Man, it was cool. Out on DVD? I think I just might pick it up.
  24. TwiLekJedi Pretty Ex-Mod

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2001
    star 10
    Don't think I've ever seen it over here on DVD. I think I'd only rent it, too.
    Haven't seen it since I was a kid, but I do remember that I loved it and seen it multiple times, too. On TV, of course.

    The only thing I can really remember (I hope I don't mix up movies now) is "Take me 2000 miles away" and the ship goes up instead of forward or something. :D
  25. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 10
    hehe, yep thats the right movie.
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