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Explorers (1985)

PG  |   |  Adventure, Comedy, Family  |  12 July 1985 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 13,672 users  
Reviews: 82 user | 47 critic

A boy obsessed with 50s Sci-Fi movies about aliens has a recurring dream about a blueprint of some kind, which he draws to his inventor friend. With the help of a third kid, they follow it and build themselves a spaceship. Now what?



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ben Crandall
Wolfgang Müller
Bobby Fite ...
Steve Jackson
Steve Jackson's Gang
Georg Olden ...
Steve Jackson's Gang
Chance Schwass ...
Steve Jackson's Gang
Lori Swenson
Nasty Kid at School
Jason Presson ...
Darren Woods
Mrs. Müller
Ludwig Müller
Mr. Müller
Science Teacher
Tricia Bartholome ...
Girl in Classroom
Eric Luke ...
Darren's Teacher


Ben Crandall, an alien-obsessed kid, dreams one night of a circuit board. Drawing out the circuit, he and his friends Wolfgang and Darren set it up, and discover they have been given the basis for a starship. Setting off in the ThunderRoad, as they name their ship, they find the aliens Ben hopes they would find... but are they what they seem? Written by Liz Jordan <c9310494@alinga.newcastle.edu.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


You don't need a driver's license to reach the stars. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some mild language and action, and a brief scene involving beer | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

12 July 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Explorers - Ein phantastisches Abenteuer  »

Box Office


$25,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The first film that the American motion picture visual effects company, Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) actually co-produced with a major studio. See more »


When Ben and Darren walk over to Wolfgang's house, Ben is wearing brown corduroy pants. Then when they go down to the basement, he's wearing blue jeans for a few shots. And then he's back to wearing his brown corduroys for the rest of the scene. See more »


Ben Crandall: He's about to say something.
Wak: [in Bugs Bunny's voice] Ehhhhhhhhhhh, what's up doc?
Ben Crandall: [long pause] What?
See more »


Features This Island Earth (1955) See more »


This Boy Needs to Rock
by Jack Blades and Brad Gillis
Performed by Night Ranger
Courtesy of Camel/MCA Records, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

I liked it better than E.T.
3 September 2002 | by See all my reviews

This film really has nothing to do with E.T...people seem to think it was a 'reaction' to it...I say that maybe it made a wonderful film gem like this, a sci-fi for and starring kids, possible.

Funny and inspiring. Probably the first film I ever saw with both of these qualities. I was 6 when it came out, and though it stars 3 boys, the tomboy in me came out...even as an adult (I watched it recently again) I become awed by the scenes of the boys constructing the 'scapeship'. The writer and Dante were good about packing in little extra details, like the "talking" mouse, Wolfgang's strange family, the kids using walkie-talkies, the dog who chews gum, the drive-in movie, Ben writing a will, one of the kids living in a trailer, etc. Without being hokey, these tidbits add more depth and charm to a story that could've been called a Mickey Mouse approach to E.T. These kids are older than Elliott and smarter and the film doesn't go for tearjerking scenes; EVER. Some of the direction reminds me of Spielberg, **however... instead of this film being a kid's approach to space-travel, it's a space-travel approach to a kid's film.

Then there are the aliens. Well, we feel the way the kids do about them; disappointed. But that is the point. What would you expect to see? It is kind of like the mataphorical satire of the grass being greener on the other side.

I tried not to get too emotional when reading the viewer comments on this film. I do not consider myself a Yank-I like to use the term American-but being 1st generation -born here, I still consider myself part-European, and the fact that the film did better in Europe than in the States, and from what I hear- Joe Dante's apology for the film- makes me sad. This film started my fascination toward the unknown and the general sciences. I happen to be one "Yank" who really enjoyed this movie!

34 of 39 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Being 10 years old in 1985 EliasExplorer
Help please!! ... I'm searching Gooniesque 80's film!! matias_celentano
More old children's Sci-Fi (I can't remember) drewlew
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Unfinished? lordasaki
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