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4.7 out of 5 stars
Flight of the Navigator [Blu-ray]
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121 of 131 people found the following review helpful
on May 27, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
Flight of the Navigator is a far better movie than we'd have a right to suspect.
Plot spoiler if you read further:
A few minutes into this film, 12-year-old David Freeman (Joey Cramer) is on an
errand to retrieve his 8-year-old brother, Jeff, when he falls into a gulley and is
knocked out. Regaining consciousness, David returns to his house, thinking only a
few minutes have passed, and instead of his parents and brother finds a locked
door and an elderly couple living there.
Taken to the police station, David is identified by computer records as a boy
reported missing eight years before. Despite the fact that he hasn't aged, he's taken
to the Freeman's at a different house nearby, and when he sees his parents
obviously older, he faints. He returns to consciousness again on a gurney on his
way to a hospital bed. A few minutes later, while his parents are called out of the
room by a somber-faced doctor, David is left alone with his brother Jeff -- who is
now 16.
This is ostensibly a Disney movie for kids -- and later on there is a lot of comedic
Disney hijinks -- but the first half hour of the movie, as David and his family deal
with the trauma of his time relocation, are some of the most heart-rending and
chilling sequences I've seen in any film.
Spoiler over.
This movie reminded me of some of the time-relativity sequences in Robert A.
Heinlein's novel, Time for the Stars. The characters are well written and the actors
do an excellent job, particularly in the scenes between Joey Cramer and Matt
Adler, as 16-year-old Jeff. The distraught parents, Cliff de Young and Veronica
Cartwright, are also excellent -- and Howard Hesseman and Sarah Jessica Parker
round out a great supporting cast.
Special kudos are due to Paul Reubens (best known for his character Pee Wee
Herman) who was originally credited under his own name for lending his voice to a
major character in this film, but had his name removed from the credits, replaced
by the pseudonym "Pall Mall," after Reubens was arrested for alleged indecent
exposure committed in a movie theater seat. (I've never understood how Reubens
was convinced to plead "no contest" to the charge, after theater security cameras
showed him in the lobby buying popcorn at the time of the alleged offense.)
Considering that Disney's Hollywood Pictures division released Powder, directed
by a convicted and confessed child molester, Disney should show some backbone
and restore Reubens real name to the credits.
If you can get ahold of this movie, see it -- and maybe Disney will see fit to release
it again -- on DVD, I hope.
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42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
While meeting his brother in the woods in 1978, David Freeman falls down a ravine. He gets up to discover that it's suddenly 1986. Where has he been for the last 8 years? Meanwhile, NASA has found a space ship. Is there a connection? Can they find a way into the ship? And who keeps calling David inside his mind?

I loved this movie as a kid. While the first part seems slow and rather obvious if you've heard of the premise, the second part is a fun ride. Once David meets up with Max, things pick up and the movie switch from mystery to comedy. Watching it today, I was impressed by the special effects. This movie is almost 20 years old and they still hold up very well.

This is basically a movie only DVD release. The film is presented in wide screen and surround sound. But for the price, you're getting a great deal.

While not great cinema, this is a movie that the entire family will have fun watching together. Get it today and enjoy.
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45 of 48 people found the following review helpful
on September 3, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
I have nostalgic memories from watching this film as a kid in the eightees. Along with "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" and "ET: the Extra-Terrestrial", this was one of my favorite sci-fi films. The concept of aliens and UFOs fascinated me. Unfortunately, it seems to have fallen out of circulation. Luckily I was able to get a copy of the VHS some time back. I hope Disney will re-release this film on DVD so we can see it in its original widescreen aspect ratio.
Joey Cramer is David Freeman, a boy living in a picture perfect Florida town in 1978 with his parents and bratty kid brother. However, he finds his life changed when he is knocked out in the forest for a few minutes, or so he thinks. When he returns home, he finds that it is 1986. David has been missing for 8 years, yet David himself has not aged. David's parents are now eight years older, and his bratty kid brother has grown up into a quite decent 16-year-old. David's quest to find out what happened to him will take him to an alien spacecraft run by a computer named Max.
The first half of the film is structured like an eerie mystery as David and the police try to piece together what happened to David. This is perfectly complemented by Alan Silvestri's eerie score. The film loses some of its mystery later on, but it's still highly enjoyable. The spacecraft looks incredible, and the scenes where David gets to fly the spacecraft are really neat. I think though I liked Max better before he assumed his Pee-Wee Herman voice (voiced by Pee-Wee himself).
The ending nicely tied things up. Too bad we don't get to see what becomes of David's crush on the local girl.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on January 9, 2005
Format: DVD
One of the Best movies of my childhood. along with movies like (Goonies, NeverEnding Story, Labyrinth, Short-Circut, Invisible Kid, E.T.) and etc. This movie has amazing memorable moments that you will always remember. And no other movie has a genuine story like it. Let me say this, even if you are an Adult, This movie will still catch your interest. I watch it still and i am 21 now.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on February 12, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
This movie is great for everyone. It's a Disney classic in my eyes, and I would love to see it re-released on video. I would love a DVD of it. As a child, I watched this movie over and over. It ranked up in the top, and after seeing again after many years, it still brings back that same wonderment and love. I recommend anyone who is willing to use their imagination to watch this movie!
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25 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on August 27, 2007
Format: DVD
The version I have on DVD is, unfortunately another victim of the trend of releasing great kid's films from the past in a "cleaned-up" version. The incident is very small, but I suppose I'm more upset because of the principle of censorship. There is a moment when the ships computer asks the central character David what it means when David says he has to use the bathroom. David tells Max to land, and then in a moment of frustration says that he has to take a "leak." I almost didn't notice this (since I haven't seen the film for at least 10 years), but there is even a line further on in the film (when the ship goes under water) that references said omission. David says he hopes that they don't get wet, to which the computer replies "I do not leak. You leak, remember?" I fortunately got this entertaining movie for a very low price (and it was nice to revisit a childhood favorite), but I would not have purchased this film had I known it was censored. (P.S.- Something similar happened with the re-release of "The Last Unicorn.")
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on July 17, 2000
Format: VHS TapeVerified Purchase
This is a fantastic movie. Brilliantly imaginative, well-written, performed, directed. "Flight of the Navigator" is one of those movies that represents my generation's childhood (with the likes of E.T.), and the fantasy, imagination, and wonder that was so prevalent in the 1980's and seems somehow lost today.
This movie is a teasure from a recent but gone era. It's a kid's movie, and an adult's movie. It's a movie for everyone - now and forever.
And the soundtrack is stunning as well. This movie needs to be released again on VHS and DVD. Perhaps someone will read our reviews who can help.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on November 2, 2006
Format: DVD
The flight of the Navigator; we begin our journey on the Fourth of July, 1978 with a Frisbee Dog Contest. Our hero is your run-of-the-mill 12-year-old boy named David Freeman (Joey Cramer). He is there with his family. He's got a mother, a father, a pesky younger brother, and an unspectacular dog named Bruiser.

That evening, our older brother hero, goes into the woods to find his younger brother so that the family can begin their Independence Day celebrations. Wandering in the woods, he looses his balance and falls into a ravine. He gets up, brushes himself off after what appears to be just minutes. But it hasn't been just minutes; it is actually eight years later. David hasn't changed in any way, but the rest of the world has.

Now it's 1986. An older couple now lives in his house, his younger brother is now his older brother, and his favorite TV show, "Starsky and Hutch" is off the air! David doesn't know what's happened or where he's been. It's a mystery that fascinated specialists are more than willing to try to unravel.

One of these fascinated specialists is Dr. Faraday (Howard Hesseman), who makes it clear to David and his family that NASA and it's top-of-the-line resources are their only shot at figuring out what has happened. David agrees to spend 48 hours at a NASA base, so that he can be tested by NASA's best people in a search for answers.

At the same time Dr. Faraday and the NASA specialists are troubled by an apparently unrelated discovery of what appears to be a spaceship. This additional discovery causes Dr. Faraday to decide that David will need to stay longer than promised to finish his tests.

David, unhappy with the delays decides to escape, and with the help of Carolyn McAdams (Sarah Jessica Parker), a friendly young intern at the base, he is successful. His getaway quickly takes him to Dr. Faraday's problem spaceship, and on his own he begins to make sense of the some of the strange things, dreams and voices, he has been experiencing.

The spaceship is commanded by a robotic intelligence (voiced by Paul Reubens), who David names Max. Max needs help from David, specifically the contents of his brain. David wants answers from Max and to escape from the curious scientists. Their needs come together and they take off together on a unique and thrilling journey through space and time.

Flight of the Navigator is brilliant. All of its elements seem to work like a well oiled machine. The extremely clever premise is played to perfection, thanks to skillful crafting and flawless casting.. The film has an intriguing premise, and sets a fast and flawless pace that it never departs from.

In the lead role, Joey Cramer has just the right amount of curiosity and charisma to make the protagonist fully likable. Supporting performances from the family members all seem to hit the right notes. The robotic character, Max, is a lot of fun. Once he acquires some personality from a mind-mining procedure, he begins to sound quite a bit like the very best of Pee Wee Herman.

The films script and direction deserve highest possible praise. These and a great sense of humor helps to distinguish Flight of the Navigator from other strong science fiction films of the late '70s and early '80s. While its time-travel tale is a serious one, it deftly uses comedy to enhance the adventure and to crank up the entertainment value. In many of the best ways, the film calls to mind the perfect blend of Back to the Future, without feeling the least bit derivative.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on May 27, 2004
Format: DVD
I waited a long time for this to come out on dvd. Bugs me that the companies don't get it right the first time though. They release the dvd with no extras what so ever just so they can release a special edition a few months later. Disney did the same thing with Tron. I'm sure they have a lot of stuff they could've put on this dvd but they chose otherwise. I would've liked to see some trailers at least and it doesn't even look like it has any.
Anyway Flight of the Navigator is a great movie for the whole family. It's under-rated and a lot of people might not even have heard of it. It's about a boy who's accidently sent to the future by an alien space ship. When he finds his family they wonder why he hasn't aged a day. Scientists then run tests on him to find out where he was. He decides to escape and find a way back to the past and getting a ride on the space ship is the only way back. Once he gets on the ship is when the movie turns more goofy as the alien is voiced by Paul Reubens (Pee Herman) after all. The movie is still tons of fun and it does have some clever science fiction in it too for a kids movie. So eventhough the dvd has no extras what so ever the movie itself is worth checking out.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
This movie was both breath taking and inspiring to watch as a young child. I recommend it for all ages and hope that it can be as important in another childs life like it was in mine. It's a beautiful story. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for it's re-release.
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