Flight of the Navigator

1986, Adventure/Sci-fi, 1h 29m

31 Reviews 50,000+ Ratings

What to know

critics consensus

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. Read critic reviews

You might also like

Where to watch

Show all services

Rate And Review

User image

Verified

  • User image

    Super Reviewer

    Rate this movie

    Oof, that was Rotten.

    Meh, it passed the time.

    It’s good – I’d recommend it.

    Awesome!

    So Fresh: Absolute Must See!

    What did you think of the movie? (optional)



  • You're almost there! Just confirm how you got your ticket.

  • User image

    Super Reviewer

    Step 2 of 2

    How did you buy your ticket?

    Let's get your review verified.

    • Fandango

    • AMCTheatres.com or AMC AppNew

    • Cinemark Coming Soon

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Regal Coming Soon

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Theater box office or somewhere else

    You're almost there! Just confirm how you got your ticket.

  • User image

    Super Reviewer

    Rate this movie

    Oof, that was Rotten.

    Meh, it passed the time.

    It’s good – I’d recommend it.

    Awesome!

    So Fresh: Absolute Must See!

    What did you think of the movie? (optional)

  • How did you buy your ticket?

    • Fandango

    • AMCTheatres.com or AMC AppNew

    • Cinemark Coming Soon

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Regal Coming Soon

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Theater box office or somewhere else

Flight of the Navigator Photos

Movie Info

This 1978 Disney adventure tells the story of 12-year-old David (Joey Cramer) who lives with his family in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. When he awakens from being accidentally knocked out in the forest near his home, he finds that eight years have passed. His family is overjoyed to have him back, but just as perplexed as he is by the fact that he hasn't aged. When a NASA scientist (Howard Hesseman) discovers a UFO nearby, David gets the chance to unravel the mystery and recover the life he lost.

Cast & Crew

Joey Cramer
David Freeman
Cliff DeYoung
Bill Freeman
Matt Adler
Jeff (16 years)
Albie Whitaker
Jeff (8 years)
Iris Acker
Mrs. Howard
Raymond Forchion
Detective Banks
Dmitri Villard
Producer
Michael Burton
Screenwriter
Matt McManus
Screenwriter
Show all Cast & Crew

Critic Reviews for Flight of the Navigator

All Critics (31) | Top Critics (11) | Fresh (26) | Rotten (5)

  • Flight of the Navigator won't earn a place among Disney's classics. but it's a perfectly entertaining sci-fi movie that does a creditable job with the stale human-meets-alien theme.

    October 25, 2018 | Full Review…
  • 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 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • 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 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • 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 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Flight of the Navigator won't earn a place among Disney's classics. but it's a perfectly entertaining sci-fi movie that does a creditable job with the stale human-meets-alien theme.

    October 25, 2018 | Full Review…
  • 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 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • 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 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • 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…
  • When you add up all the evidence, Flight of the Navigator remains one of the most underrated pinnacles of the sci-fi genre, a euphoric mix of pop culture nostalgia and feel-good entertainment.

    July 15, 2020 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Flight of the Navigator, the Disney studio's new movie aimed at children, has the warmed-over feeling of other time-travel yarns. But the story is snappily told and is sure to keep youngsters enthralled.

    November 6, 2019 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Flight of the Navigator

  • Sep 07, 2015
    great and original film, like so many sci fi family films attempting to find its feet in the 80s, this film is no exception. Flight of the navigator has strong character, an intriguing concept and just unleashes something really fresh. great for a trip down memory lane.
    Brendan N Super Reviewer
  • Jan 20, 2013
    A 12 year old boy (David Freeman) goes missing and returns 8 years later. He has not aged in this time and is unaware of his disappearance. Scientists, Doctors and his family are all equally baffled over this strange phenomenon. All are at a loose end until NASA come on the scene. NASA are very interested in David following their discovery of a UFO; which seems to have a lot in common with the young boy. The fun really begins when the 2 are reunited. The Flight of the Navigator is an 80's classic, Sci-Fi, family film. The story is easy to follow, light-hearted and very easy going. This is a great movie to watch when you are tired, ill or just don't want to use your brain too much. Flight of the Navigator is a very enjoyable watch. I had fun revisiting it this week and loved this film as child. It was one of my most watched "taped off the TV" VHS tapes. I think the special effects are quite good for the time, I like the pun in the opening credits, the music is pretty good throughout and I find Joey Cramer's performance as David very good indeed. I think it's a shame his movie career began to fade away rapidly after this point. Randal Kleiser (Director) did a decent job with this film. I think it's one of his greater achievements. He also had success and praise with Grease, The Blue Lagoon and White Fang. As a movie it achieves everything that it sets out to do; to entertain a family audience. I feel that it can stand comfortably amongst many other solid, light hearted, family movies of this time, such as; Batteries not Included, Honey, I shrunk the Kids, The Never Ending Story, Big, The Karate Kid, Short Circuit, Gremlins, Cocoon, etc. I think that, that category is where Flight of the Navigator belongs. To set it's sights on anything higher would be, in my opinion, "punching above it's weight". I don't think that it can be regarded as one of the really great or top family movies of the 80's. There's too much competition with movies such as; Star Wars, Ghostbusters, Beetlejuice, Back to the Future, Raiders of the Lost Ark and ET. Mr. Spielburg was really firing with both barrels at this time. Comparisons aside, The Flight of the Navigator remains an enjoyable family movie that entertains children and adults alike. I think it was probably my favorite movie when I was about 8, and continued to be so until the release of Independence day. But what did I know, I also liked Teen Wolf, Mac and Me and Harry and the Hendersons.
    James C Super Reviewer
  • Sep 05, 2011
    Once you get past the so-so acting and seeming plot holes early in the flick, Flight of the Navigator is light, wholesome family entertainment which hits on a broad number of topics near and dear to kids. There's a fantasy of being a VIP in major, interstellar affairs (and having an all-powerful best friend). The film is heavy on the family aspect, particularly between David and his brother-once adversaries, but now friends in the future. Bad adults who just don't understand a kid. And the list goes on. No one gets any particular depth to their characters-especially poor Howard Hesseman as the NASA scientist trying to figure out what's going on. The chase piece of the film is extremely light: after all, how do humans chase down a spaceship? Still, it's a fun nostalgic trip with more than a couple laughs thrown in.
    Jason V Super Reviewer
  • Dec 16, 2010
    a fantastic film from the minds of disney and had a gripping story that sucked me in in the first 20 minutes
    Michael E Super Reviewer

Flight of the Navigator Quotes

Movie & TV guides