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Flight of the Navigator (1986)



Average Rating: 6.5/10
Reviews Counted: 27
Fresh: 22 | Rotten: 5

Bolstered by impressive special effects and a charming performance from its young star, Flight of the Navigator holds up as a solidly entertaining bit of family-friendly sci-fi.


Average Rating: 7.5/10
Critic Reviews: 9
Fresh: 7 | Rotten: 2

Bolstered by impressive special effects and a charming performance from its young star, Flight of the Navigator holds up as a solidly entertaining bit of family-friendly sci-fi.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 58,948

My Rating

Movie Info

The year is 1978: 12-year-old David Freeman (Joey Cramer), playing in the woods near his home, is knocked unconscious. He awakens and heads home, only to find strangers living there. He also finds that the year is 1986, and that he's been officially missing for eight years. NASA officials determine that David was abducted by aliens during his blackout, and hope to scan the boy's brain in order to unlock a few secrets of the universe. Answering the call of a strange, unseen force, David boards a

Jun 1, 2004

Watch It Now


Latest News on Flight of the Navigator

November 28, 2012:
Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly Writing Flight of the Navigator Remake
Trevorrow may also direct Disney's remake of the '80s sci-fi adventure.
May 26, 2009:
Disney's Navigator Gets Another Flight
Disney is prepping a "Flight of the Navigator" remake, and has hired "Wild Hogs" writer Brad...


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All Critics (27) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (22) | Rotten (5) | DVD (5)

When the film shifts into the action mode in its second half -- the flying saucer returns to aid in David`s rescue -- it becomes quite bright and lively.

April 1, 2014 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

If there is more than a little something borrowed from Spielberg, Kleiser's movie is amiably undemanding entertainment that says the right things, albeit without great originality.

April 1, 2014 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There's no mistaking Flight of the Navigator for a really first-rate children's picture like, say, The Black Stallion. But Flight of the Navigator is an enjoyable film that encourages kids to use their heads.

April 1, 2014 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Whereas its plot may be derivative--and at several junctures, unconvincing--"Flight of the Navigator" nevertheless manages to develop considerable humor and poignancy from David's predicament and what he does about it.

April 1, 2014 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This children's adventure turns out to be, despite its title, less of a Star Wars trip than an entertaining variation on the time-travel adventure Back to the Future.

January 16, 2013 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Instead of creating an eye-opening panorama, Flight of the Navigator looks through the small end of the telescope. Life on Earth is magnified but without an expansive vision.

March 26, 2009 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Appealing children's sci-fi fantasy film, that follows the squeaky-clean Disney formula.

April 9, 2014 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

The brain-assaulting sci-fi second half of Flight of the Navigator is made palpable by Cramer, who deftly conveys anguish during the first half. Now, he wants to go home and his gung-ho attitude makes every dumb effect exciting.

April 1, 2014 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Daily News
Philadelphia Daily News

Flight of the Navigator, in spite of a rough beginning, soars as it should, taking a child on the journey of his life.

April 1, 2014 Full Review Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

The early CG FX have aged remarkably well, while the slow build-up makes the Spielbergian space adventure all the more fantastic.

April 1, 2014 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

This appealing children's adventure has just enough quirky touches to keep adults involved as well.

April 1, 2014 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

Cramer gives a spirited performance as the title character. Director Randal Kleiser uses a deft touch with his material. The result is a Navigator that's out-of-this-world fun for adults as well as children.

April 1, 2014 Full Review Source: People Magazine
People Magazine

Not a particularly original or insightful film of its kind, and marred slightly by the whining of Cramer in the lead role, this is nevertheless enjoyable fare for kids.

April 1, 2014 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Never brave enough to feel far-reaching (or, ironically, far-fetched, when time-travel and space flight are so popular at the movies), Navigator still fulfills its mission, distracting the family for bang-on an hour and a half.

April 1, 2014 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

An exciting time travel adventure.

January 2, 2011 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

Innocuously entertaining...

November 25, 2010 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

Weirdly entertaining kiddie space adventure.

April 17, 2005

Pee-wee Herman voices the main robot. If that ain't enough said, you're hopeless.

September 7, 2004
New Times

The special effects and gadgetry start to detract from a human story that is only vaguely hinted at.

May 24, 2003 Full Review Source: Film4

Audience Reviews for Flight of the Navigator

Always loved this Disney flick, great effects and adventurous plot that is kinda 'Back to the Future' mixed with 'Explorers' purely for kids with an extraterrestrial twist.
The effects were fantastic for the time and it was the first film to use environment mapping, the CG was some of the first used in motion pictures and in my personal opinion they still hold up very well today, I might add they also used stop motion in the mix too! truly classic workmanship.
As said the effects were always the star attraction with this film, the ship looked way cool (simple design for today of course), the hydraulic alien arm thing inside was nicely designed, the ships interior was really well designed and looked almost like the interior of the 'Predator 2' ship whilst the other aliens creatures were all decent muppet style creatures which were simple fun and amusing.
The whole film was so well made and showed so much vivid imagination, it was colourful and a really exciting ride for kids at the time, I loved every minute of it. The only thing I never liked was Paul Reubens voice as the alien later on in the film, that spoilt the sensible aspect of the plot and made it stupid with his 'Pee Wee Herman' voice. SJP made up for it being very very cute and one of my first kid crushes :)
June 27, 2011

Super Reviewer

This lively alien-fantasy-action film is exciting without relying on agression. The extra-terrestrial creatures are bad Muppet imitations, although that alien with a cold is a gem.
As a NASA intern, Sarah Jessica Parker looks the same as she does now.
April 6, 2011
Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer

Another movie I saw as a kid, this sci-fi adventure is pretty cool, but very much for kids. I don't think I'd like it as much today.
January 28, 2011

Super Reviewer

a fantastic film from the minds of disney and had a gripping story that sucked me in in the first 20 minutes
December 16, 2010
michael e.
Michael Edwards

Super Reviewer

    1. Max: I crashed into electrical towers and my star charts were erased. I need the ones in your head to complete my mission.
    2. David Freeman: So you need ME and my INFERIOR brain to fly that thing?
    3. Max: Correction, I need the SUPERIOR information in your INFERIOR brain to fly this... thing.
    – Submitted by Adrian G (2 years ago)
View all quotes (1)

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