Flight of the Navigator


1h 29m 1986
Flight of the Navigator

Brief Synopsis

A boy travels 8 years into the future and has an adventure with an intelligent, wisecracking alien ship.

Film Details

Also Known As
vol du navigateur
MPAA Rating
Genre
Comedy
Adventure
Family
Fantasy
Sci-Fi
Release Date
1986
Distribution Company
Walt Disney Studios Distribution
Location
Norway; Florida, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 29m

Synopsis

A boy travels 8 years into the future and has an adventure with an intelligent, wisecracking alien ship.

Crew

Randolph Alsenz

Other

Steve Austin

Special Effects

Randall Badger

Assistant Director

Mark H Baker

From Story

Mark H Baker

Story By

John Balling

Scenic Artist

Jack Bennett

Special Effects Supervisor

Mori Biener

Animator

Tim Blaney

Other

James A Bogardt

Adr Editor

Peter Bogart

Assistant Director

John Boisseau

Special Effects

Petter Borgli

Special Effects

Craig Boyajian

Effects Coordinator

Marc Breslow

Other

Courtney Brown

Stunt Man

Renee Brown

Other

Harold Buchman

Animator

Michael Burton

Screenplay

Mary Lou Byrd

Costumes

Bradford L Calhoun

Animator

Jim Casey

Other

Janis Benjamin Collister

Production Coordinator

Peter Collister

Dp/Cinematographer

Peter Collister

Director Of Photography

Kenneth J Creber

Other

William Creber

Second Unit Director

William Creber

Production Designer

Mark Damon

Executive Producer

Dane A. Davis

Other

Patrick Dewarren

Animator

Peter Donen

Visual Effects Supervisor

Bud Elam

Motion Control

Torill Elk

Production Assistant

Ed Eyth

Art Department

John Paul Fasal

Other

Jane Feinberg

Casting

Mike Fenton

Casting

Will Fowler

Technical Advisor

James Glennon

Director Of Photography

James Glennon

Dp/Cinematographer

Daniel Gluck

Visual Effects

David Goldberg

Puppets Construction

Philip Goldblatt

Makeup

Ron Goodman

Camera Operator

Jeff Gourson

Editor

Joseph F Griffith

Production

Al Guthery

Pilot

Craig Haagensen

Camera Operator

Luke Halpin

Other

Anne Hamre

Wardrobe

Bruce Hannover

Special Effects

David Hardberger

Motion Control

Malcolm Hardin

Production Manager

Malcolm R Harding

Co-Executive Producer

Barbara Harris

Casting

Hal Harrison

Post-Production Supervisor

C Robert Hoffman Ii

Animator

William Hooper

Sound Editor

John S Howard

Animator

John Howard

Animator

John W. Hyde

Executive Producer

Scott Jacobson

Set Decorator

David Joseph

Coproducer

Kenneth Karman

Music Editor

Jeff Kleiser

Animator

Gary Lee

Visual Effects

Jan Lindvik

Sound

Laine Liska

Other

Robert J Litt

Sound

Matt Macmanus

Screenplay

Douglas Macmillan

Animator

Rox Ann Madera

Art Department Coordinator

Rocky Mahoney

Other

Dessie Markovsky

Sound Editor

Dessie Markovsky

Sound Design

Michelle Marx

Assistant Director

Steve Maslow

Sound

Valorie Massalas

Casting

Kevin Mccoy

Stunt Man

Dee Miller

Casting

Terry Miller

Assistant Director

Mike Moder

Assistant Director

Gardner Monks

Production Assistant

Mark Moorman

Production Assistant

George Muhs

Motion Control

Tony Murchland

Lighting

Bridget Murphy

Production Coordinator

Lynn Novatt

Production Assistant

Michael Novotny

Art Director

Janice Parker

Editing

Kjersti Paulsen

Production Assistant

John Pennie

Animator

Emile Razpopov

Sound Design

Emile Razpopov

Sound Editor

Anthony Rivero Stabley

Production Assistant

Cathy Roszell

Production Assistant

Jonathan Sanger

Executive Producer

Frank Serafine

Sound Effects

David Sharp

Construction Coordinator

David W Sieg

Animator

Alan Silvestri

Music

Sheree Smith-mullins

Production Assistant

Mike Sorensen

Puppets Construction

Mark P. Stoeckinger

Sound Editor

Egil Storeide

Puppets Construction

Sam Tedesco

Location Manager

Inge Tenvik

Production Manager

Elliot Tyson

Sound

Tony Urbano

Other

Dimitri Villard

Producer

Robby Wald

Producer

Robert Wald

Sound

Joseph Wallikas

Digital Effects Supervisor

Inger Cecilie Weedon

Production Assistant

William G Young

Sound Editor

Film Details

Also Known As
vol du navigateur
MPAA Rating
Genre
Comedy
Adventure
Family
Fantasy
Sci-Fi
Release Date
1986
Distribution Company
Walt Disney Studios Distribution
Location
Norway; Florida, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 29m

Articles

Flight of the Navigator


Four years after revolutionizing the use of computer-generated imagery in Tron (1982), Walt Disney Pictures took another big technological step forward with one of its big summer films for 1986. Released on August 1, Flight of the Navigator caught the eyes of visual effects devotees with its morphing "Max" (Trimaxion Drone Ship), while audiophiles took note of the unusual score by Alan Silvestri with its multi-track digital Synclavier veneer (with no traditional instruments) resulting in a groundbreaking aural texture at the time. (Incredibly, the score has yet to receive a legitimate soundtrack release in any format.) A modest box-office success, the film found itself pitted on screens against everything from the notorious Howard the Duck to the popular Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives, and even holdovers like Aliens and Top Gun which were still occupying many theaters due to their strong staying power.

The story of Flight of the Navigator is another sly piece of childhood wish fulfillment from the studio, this time with young David Freeman (Joey Cramer) vanishing for eight years only to show up completely unchanged - and with his brain filled with detailed information about astronomical navigation. As it turns out, he's telepathically connected to a spaceship that's using him for a crucial but benevolent mission that could have great ramifications for the galaxy. The film was the fifth theatrical feature directed by Randal Kleiser, a USC film school alumnus (and roommate of sometime collaborator George Lucas) who had scored one of the most successful debut films of all time with Grease (1978). His subsequent features like The Blue Lagoon (1980), Summer Lovers (1982) and Grandview, U.S.A. (1984) may not have screamed "Disney," but he turned out to be a comfortable fit with the studio and would return there to direct White Fang (1991) and Honey I Blew up the Kid (1992), as well as its memorable 3D theme park short, Honey I Blew Up the Audience (1994). Before his move to the big screen, Kleiser had already shown his affinity for directing young actors, albeit in a far more troubled context, in two of the most popular made-for-TV films of the 1970s, Dawn: Portrait of a Teenage Runaway (1976) and The Boy in the Plastic Bubble (1976).

Though not boasting major stars, Flight of the Navigator boasts an eclectic and unexpected cast including the voice of Paul Reubens, a.k.a. Pee-wee Herman, as Max. In fact, he and Kleiser would team up again for the director's next film, Big Top Pee-wee (1988). The British Columbia-born Cramer had only appeared in two films prior to this, Michael Crichton's Runaway (1984) and The Clan of the Cave Bear (1986). However, he had already tested the Disney waters with "I-Man," an episode of Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color also starring Scott Bakula. In that one, Cramer is also given special powers by alien visitors (along with his dad). Cramer's film career dissipated right after this film, though he did take a handful of additional TV roles and reportedly can be spied as one of the party extras in Kleiser's It's My Party (1996), a groundbreaking AIDS drama based on events in the director's own experience with his ex-lover. Unfortunately, his return to Canada after retiring from acting would take a dramatic turn, with multiple arrests over the years including a much-publicized one for bank robbery in 2016.

By Nathaniel Thompson
Flight Of The Navigator

Flight of the Navigator

Four years after revolutionizing the use of computer-generated imagery in Tron (1982), Walt Disney Pictures took another big technological step forward with one of its big summer films for 1986. Released on August 1, Flight of the Navigator caught the eyes of visual effects devotees with its morphing "Max" (Trimaxion Drone Ship), while audiophiles took note of the unusual score by Alan Silvestri with its multi-track digital Synclavier veneer (with no traditional instruments) resulting in a groundbreaking aural texture at the time. (Incredibly, the score has yet to receive a legitimate soundtrack release in any format.) A modest box-office success, the film found itself pitted on screens against everything from the notorious Howard the Duck to the popular Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives, and even holdovers like Aliens and Top Gun which were still occupying many theaters due to their strong staying power. The story of Flight of the Navigator is another sly piece of childhood wish fulfillment from the studio, this time with young David Freeman (Joey Cramer) vanishing for eight years only to show up completely unchanged - and with his brain filled with detailed information about astronomical navigation. As it turns out, he's telepathically connected to a spaceship that's using him for a crucial but benevolent mission that could have great ramifications for the galaxy. The film was the fifth theatrical feature directed by Randal Kleiser, a USC film school alumnus (and roommate of sometime collaborator George Lucas) who had scored one of the most successful debut films of all time with Grease (1978). His subsequent features like The Blue Lagoon (1980), Summer Lovers (1982) and Grandview, U.S.A. (1984) may not have screamed "Disney," but he turned out to be a comfortable fit with the studio and would return there to direct White Fang (1991) and Honey I Blew up the Kid (1992), as well as its memorable 3D theme park short, Honey I Blew Up the Audience (1994). Before his move to the big screen, Kleiser had already shown his affinity for directing young actors, albeit in a far more troubled context, in two of the most popular made-for-TV films of the 1970s, Dawn: Portrait of a Teenage Runaway (1976) and The Boy in the Plastic Bubble (1976). Though not boasting major stars, Flight of the Navigator boasts an eclectic and unexpected cast including the voice of Paul Reubens, a.k.a. Pee-wee Herman, as Max. In fact, he and Kleiser would team up again for the director's next film, Big Top Pee-wee (1988). The British Columbia-born Cramer had only appeared in two films prior to this, Michael Crichton's Runaway (1984) and The Clan of the Cave Bear (1986). However, he had already tested the Disney waters with "I-Man," an episode of Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color also starring Scott Bakula. In that one, Cramer is also given special powers by alien visitors (along with his dad). Cramer's film career dissipated right after this film, though he did take a handful of additional TV roles and reportedly can be spied as one of the party extras in Kleiser's It's My Party (1996), a groundbreaking AIDS drama based on events in the director's own experience with his ex-lover. Unfortunately, his return to Canada after retiring from acting would take a dramatic turn, with multiple arrests over the years including a much-publicized one for bank robbery in 2016. By Nathaniel Thompson

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Summer July 30, 1986

Released in United States Summer July 30, 1986