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

Director:

Writer:

Reviews
Popularity
2,698 ( 19)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

D.A.R.Y.L. (1985)
Family | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A seemingly normal young boy turns out to be a top secret military-created robot with superhuman abilities.

Director: Simon Wincer
Stars: Mary Beth Hurt, Michael McKean, Kathryn Walker
Adventure | Family | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In 1978, a boy is moved 8 years into the future and has an adventure with the alien ship that is responsible for that.

Director: Randal Kleiser
Stars: Joey Cramer, Paul Reubens, Cliff De Young
Comedy | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Apartment block tenants seek the aid of alien mechanical life-forms to save their building from demolition.

Director: Matthew Robbins
Stars: Hume Cronyn, Jessica Tandy, Frank McRae
Short Circuit (1986)
Comedy | Family | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Number 5 of a group of experimental robots in a lab is electrocuted, suddenly becomes intelligent, and escapes.

Director: John Badham
Stars: Ally Sheedy, Steve Guttenberg, Fisher Stevens
Comedy | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Robot Johnny Five comes to the city and gets manipulated by criminals who want him for their own purposes.

Director: Kenneth Johnson
Stars: Fisher Stevens, Michael McKean, Tim Blaney
SpaceCamp (1986)
Adventure | Family | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

The young attendees of a space camp find themselves in space for real when their shuttle is accidently launched into orbit.

Director: Harry Winer
Stars: Kate Capshaw, Lea Thompson, Kelly Preston
Action | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A young boy and his imaginary friend end up on the run while in possession of a top-secret spy gadget.

Director: Richard Franklin
Stars: Henry Thomas, Dabney Coleman, Michael Murphy
Comedy | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

The Henderson family adopt a friendly Sasquatch after accidentally running him over on a hunting trip, but have a hard time trying to keep him away from the authorities and an eccentric hunter who's determined to catch "Bigfoot".

Director: William Dear
Stars: John Lithgow, Melinda Dillon, Margaret Langrick
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A babysitter must leave her safe suburban surroundings and head for the heart of the big city to rescue a stranded friend, unaware of the perilous adventures that await her and the kids she's looking after who have tagged along.

Director: Chris Columbus
Stars: Elisabeth Shue, Maia Brewton, Keith Coogan
The Quest (1986)
Drama | Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Still grieving the loss of his parents, a young boy living in Australia finds himself caught up in the magic of an Aboriginal myth that might be more real than anyone knows.

Director: Brian Trenchard-Smith
Stars: Henry Thomas, Tony Barry, Rachel Friend
The Goonies (1985)
Adventure | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

In order to save their home from foreclosure, a group of misfits set out to find a pirate's ancient valuable treasure.

Director: Richard Donner
Stars: Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Jeff Cohen
Comedy | Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A boy discovers an incredible and gruesome world of monsters under his bed.

Director: Richard Greenberg
Stars: Fred Savage, Howie Mandel, Daniel Stern
Edit

Cast

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
Edit

Storyline

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

Taglines:

The adventure begins in your own back yard. 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:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

12 July 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Istraživači  »

Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

River Phoenix would usually remove his glasses in between takes, because he felt embarrassed in front of the girls in the cast. See more »

Goofs

During the hill scene, Wolfgang creates 2 holes in the ground. One leading downward while the other ends going up exploding a large hole near Darren and Ben. At the end of the film they are back at the same hill and there is no sign of the hole near the tree trunk Wolgang came out of. See more »

Quotes

[watching the movie "Starkiller"]
Wolfgang Müller: Explosions in space? It's impossible.
Ben Crandall: What do you mean? You can hardly see the strings.
See more »


Soundtracks

All Around the World
by Robert 'Bumps' Blackwell (as R. Blackwell) and Monica Millet (as M. Millet)
Performed by Little Richard
Courtesy of Speciality 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?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Being 10 years old in 1985 EliasExplorer
The deleted scene walking to school BrickNash
Help please!! ... I'm searching Gooniesque 80's film!! matias_celentano
More old children's Sci-Fi (I can't remember) drewlew
Good film... for the first hour jimbob02111980
6.1??? Are you kdding me paul810
Discuss Explorers (1985) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?