When he finds himself mysteriously in the future a young boy receives the help of an alien spaceship in 1986’s Flight of the Navigator.
The eighties were littered with movies that told the stories of young boys in fantastical situations. Whilst the most famous is undoubtedly Steven Spielberg‘s E.T: The Extra Terrestrial, many others filled many a childhood with tales of wonder. Flight of the Navigator is one of these films.
Opening in 1978, Flight of the Navigator shows the everyday life of the Freeman family. After venturing into the woods one night eight year old David (Joey Cramer) suddenly finds himself confronted with the impossible and has unwittingly travelled eight years into the future. The scenes in which he realises his predicament are, at least to a child’s mind, rather distressing, with a strange family now residing in his family home. When it is discovered that he is in fact the missing boy from 1978, scientists fall upon him in an attempt to discover how he hasn’t aged.
It is what follows that constitutes the main draw of the film. Whilst it may not have aged as well as some of its contemporaries, the film still manages to provide raw enjoyment thanks to the spectacle of the spaceship that connects with David. Though the ship’s voice (provided by Paul Reubens) may be annoying to anyone over the age of 10, the wonder presented by it is fun nonetheless, with David experiencing unimaginable things.
It may not be an award winner, but Flight of the Navigator provides exactly what you’d expect from a family adventure movie. Managing to pack a satisfying finale to boot, the film is a forgotten 80’s gem.
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