IMDb > Explorers (1985)
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Explorers (1985) More at IMDbPro »

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Down 16% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Eric Luke (written by)
View company contact information for Explorers on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
12 July 1985 (USA) See more »
The adventure begins in your own back yard. See more »
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? Full summary » | Add synopsis »
1 win & 5 nominations See more »
(106 articles)
Running on Empty
 (From Trailers from Hell. 23 June 2017, 1:27 PM, PDT)

Jerry Goldsmith Receives a Star on the Walk of Fame
 (From Variety - Film News. 9 May 2017, 10:59 AM, PDT)

World Without End
 (From Trailers from Hell. 14 March 2017, 10:49 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Classic kids' adventure, hugely underrated See more (90 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Ethan Hawke ... Ben Crandall

River Phoenix ... Wolfgang Müller

Bradley Gregg ... Steve Jackson's Gang
Georg Olden ... Steve Jackson's Gang
Chance Schwass ... Steve Jackson's Gang

Amanda Peterson ... Lori Swenson

Danny Nucci ... Nasty Kid at School

Dana Ivey ... Mrs. Müller

Taliesin Jaffe ... Ludwig Müller

James Cromwell ... Mr. Müller

Brooke Bundy ... Science Teacher
Tricia Bartholome ... Girl in Classroom
Eric Luke ... Darren's Teacher

Robert Picardo ... Starkiller / Wak / Wak and Neek's Father
Karen Mayo-Chandler ... Starkiller's Girlfriend

Robert F. Boyle ... Starkiller's Girlfriend's Father
John P. Navin Jr. ... Couple at Drive-In
Mary Hillstead ... Couple at Drive-In
Simone Blue ... Snack Bar Girl

Meshach Taylor ... Gordon Miller

Dick Miller ... Charlie Drake

Leslie Rickert ... Neek

Frank Welker ... (voice)
Fred Newman ... (voice)
Joan Gerber ... (voice) (as Joanie Gerber)

Belinda Balaski ... (voice)
Roger Behr ... (voice)
Roger Peltz ... (voice)

Neil Ross ... (voice)
Marilyn Schreffler ... (voice)

Bill Ratner ... (voice)

Jane Kean ... (voice)

Bob Holt ... (voice) (as Robert Holt)
Jay Stewart ... (voice)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Mary Kay Place ... Mrs. Crandall (uncredited)

Directed by
Joe Dante 
Writing credits
Eric Luke (written by)

Produced by
David Bombyk .... producer
Edward S. Feldman .... producer
Michael Finnell .... executive producer
Tom Jacobson .... associate producer
Original Music by
Jerry Goldsmith 
Cinematography by
John Hora (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Tina Hirsch 
Casting by
Susan Arnold 
Production Design by
Robert F. Boyle 
Art Direction by
Frank Richwood 
Set Decoration by
George R. Nelson 
Costume Design by
Rosanna Norton 
Makeup Department
Paul Abascal .... hair stylist
Rob Bottin .... special makeup effects
Scott H. Eddo .... makeup supervisor (as Scott Eddo)
Zoltan Elek .... special makeup artist: Rob Bottin Productions
Vincent Prentice .... special makeup effects artist
Bobby Belnap .... assistant makeup artist (uncredited)
Production Management
Tom Jacobson .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jack Cooperman .... second unit director
Carol Green .... second assistant director
Pat Kehoe .... first assistant director
Eric Wall .... second second assistant director
Art Department
Henry Alvarez .... head sculptor
Rubin Andreatta .... greensman foreman
Mike Blaze .... assistant property master (as Michael Blaze)
Jeff Clark .... set painter
Ron Esposito .... paint foreman (as Ronald Esposito)
Sabino Ferullo .... construction foreman
Louis Frederico .... stand-by painter
Les Gobruegge .... set designer
Rainer G. Gruetzmacher .... construction foremen
Don High .... set designer (as Donald High)
Thomas W. Lay Jr. .... production illustrator
Daniel Maltese .... set designer
Larry McGuire .... lead man
Frank Mitchell .... greensman foreman
Gene Nollman .... set designer (as Eugene C. Nollmann II)
Phil Read .... construction coordinator (as Philip Read)
Miles Teves .... concept illustrator: Rob Bottin Productions
Tommy Tomlinson .... property master (as Charles T. Tomlinson)
John Lister .... propmaker: ILM (uncredited)
Paul Marco .... swing gang (uncredited)
Robert Misetich .... painter (uncredited)
Sound Department
John Dunn .... sound effects editor
Walter A. Gest .... re-recording recordist
Lisa Gilbert .... sound effects assistant editor
Warren Hamilton Jr. .... sound effects editor (as Warren Hamilton)
Doug Hemphill .... sound effects recordist
Ken King .... production sound mixer
Bonnie Koehler .... sound effects editor
Nicholas Vincent Korda .... adr editor (as Nick Korda)
Robert J. Litt .... re-recording mixer
Mark A. Mangini .... Sound Effects by (as Mark Mangini)
Janet Fiona Mason .... sound effects assistant editor
Michael Minkler .... re-recording mixer
John Pospisil .... sound effects assistant editor (as John P.)
Stephen Purvis .... adr editor (as Steve Purvis)
John Roesch .... Foley by
Robert Rootenberg .... sound effects assistant editor (as Robert Rootenburg)
David Schneider .... utility sound
Solange S. Schwalbe .... sound effects editor (as Solange)
David E. Stone .... sound effects editor (as David Stone)
Elliot Tyson .... re-recording mixer
Douglas Vaughan .... boom operator
David Williams .... assistant sound editor
Solange S. Schwalbe .... foley supervisor (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Henry Alvarez .... head sculptor: Rob Bottin Productions
Max Alvarez .... special effects crew: Rob Bottin Productions
Gary D. Bierend .... special effects technician
Sheri Brooks .... special effects crew: Rob Bottin Productions
James Clark .... special effects crew: Rob Bottin Productions
Nick Delchev .... special effects crew: Rob Bottin Productions
Kathleen Elek .... special effects crew: Rob Bottin Productions
Alex R. Felix III .... special effects crew: Rob Bottin Productions
Ed Felix .... mechanical effects supervisor: Rob Bottin Productions
Gunnar Ferdinandsen .... special effects staff shop supervisor: Rob Bottin Productions
Laura Filip .... special effects crew: Rob Bottin Productions
Tamara Fites .... special effects crew: Rob Bottin Productions
Eddie Garcia .... special effects crew: Rob Bottin Productions
Clive R. Kay .... special effects contact lenses
R.A. MacDonald .... special effects coordinator (as Robert MacDonald Sr.)
Douglas R. MacMillan .... visual displays
Dan Martens .... special effects crew: Rob Bottin Productions
Bob Means .... special effects crew: Rob Bottin Productions
Richard Medina .... special effects crew: Rob Bottin Productions
Becky Ochoa .... lab cosmetic supervisor: Rob Bottin Productions
Becky Ochoa .... special effects unit supervisor
Dennis Pawlik .... makeup/special effects
Dennis Pawlik .... special effects crew: Rob Bottin Productions
Dennis Petersen .... special effects foreman
Patrick Philben .... special effects crew: Rob Bottin Productions
Art Pimentel .... special effects crew: Rob Bottin Productions
Steve Prentice .... special effects crew: Rob Bottin Productions
Tom Prossner .... special effects crew: Rob Bottin Productions
Gordon Seitz .... special effects crew: Rob Bottin Productions
Ernie Shelton .... special effects crew: Rob Bottin Productions
Mike Sorrentino .... production assistant: Rob Bottin Productions
Wayne Strong .... special effects crew: Rob Bottin Productions
Michiko Tagawa .... special effects crew: Rob Bottin Productions
Jackie Tichenor .... special effects crew: Rob Bottin Productions
Richard White .... project coordinator: Rob Bottin Productions
Willie Whitten .... special effects crew: Rob Bottin Productions
Visual Effects by
Barbara Affonso .... model maker
Carl Assmus .... stage technician
Craig Barron .... matte photography supervisor
William Beck .... model maker (as Bill Beck)
Lance Brackett .... stage technician
Barbara Brennan .... visual effects animator
Harold Buchman .... digital artist
Dave Childers .... stage technician
Wade Childress .... matte photography
Donald Clark .... optical camera operator (as Don Clark)
Robert Cooper .... character miniature crew
Peter Daulton .... visual effects assistant camera
Dick Dova .... stage technician (as Dick Dova Spah)
Don Dow .... director of visual effects photography
Selwyn Eddy .... visual effects cameraman (as Selwyn Eddy III)
Bob Finley III .... stage technician
Pat Fitzsimmons .... supervising stage technician
Warren Franklin .... general manager: ILM
Joe Fulmer .... stage technician
Bill George .... model maker
Michael Gleason .... visual effects editor
Ellen Lichtwardt Goodchild .... visual effects animator (as Ellen Lichtwardt)
Ralph Gordon .... optical lineup
James Hagedorn .... optical camera operator
Bill Hansard Jr. .... process coordinator
Bill Hansard .... process supervisor (as Bill Hansard Sr.)
Toby Heindel .... visual effects assistant camera
Edward Hirsh .... stage coordinator (as Ed Hirsh)
Sandy Houston .... rotoscoper
John Howard .... senior digital artist
Paul Huston .... matte photography
Ed Jones .... optical lineup
Sean Joyce .... assistant matte artist
Michael Kory .... CG dream simulations
Brad Kuehn .... optical line-up
Tony Laudati .... character miniature crew
James Lim .... optical camera operator
Mike MacKenzie .... equipment supervisor (as Michael MacKenzie)
Jeff Mann .... model maker
Pamela Marcotte .... visual effects
Patrick McArdle .... visual effects assistant camera
John McLeod .... stage technician
Ted Moehnke .... stage technician
Jack Mongovan .... visual effects animator
Michael Moore .... assistant visual effects editor
Claudia Mullaly .... model maker
Bruce Nicholson .... visual effects supervisor
Phillip Norwood .... visual effects assistant art director (as Phill Norwood)
Paul Olsen .... main title designer
Michael Owens .... visual effects cameraman (as Mike Owens)
Ease Owyeung .... model shop supervisor
Michael Pangrazio .... matte artist supervisor
Michael Pangrazio .... matte painting supervisor
Terrence Peck .... assistant visual effects editor
Chris Regan .... optical camera operator
Peggy Regan .... visual effects animator
Jay Riddle .... visual effects animator
Nilo Rodis-Jamero .... visual effects art director (as Nilo Rodis)
Thomas Rosseter .... optical lineup (as Tom Rosseter)
Randall Rudd .... digital artist
Wesley Seeds .... model maker
David Sosalla .... character miniature supervisor (as Dave Sosalla)
Mike Speakman .... stage technician
Peter Stolz .... stage technician
Pat Sweeney .... visual effects cameraman
Larry Tan .... model maker
Marc Thorpe .... model maker
Pat Turner .... visual effects assistant camera (as Patrick Turner)
Bruce Walters .... animation supervisor
Ralph Winter .... visual effects coordinator
Catherine Craig .... effects camera operator (uncredited)
Bradley Alan .... stunts
Janet Brady .... stunts (as Janet S. Brady)
Jerry Brutsche .... stunts
Doc D. Charbonneau .... stunts
Bill Couch Jr. .... stunts (as William Couch Jr.)
Bill Couch .... stunt coordinator
Bob Herron .... stunts
Lane Leavitt .... stunts
Patricia Madigan .... stunts
Bennie Moore .... stunts
Gary Morgan .... stunts
Alex Plasschaert .... stunts
Art Scholl .... stunt pilot
Kym Washington .... stunts (as Kim Washington)
Mike Washlake .... stunts
Jesse Wayne .... stunts
Camera and Electrical Department
Eric D. Andersen .... camera operator (as Eric Anderson)
Wayne Baker .... aerial assistant camera: second unit
Larry Barbier .... still photographer
Peter J. Breen .... dolly grip (as Peter Breen)
Norman Cattell .... first assistant camera
Al Contreras .... best boy grip
Jack Cooperman .... director of photography: second unit
Charles Correll .... additional photographer
Randy Glass .... chief lighting technician
Lloyd Gowdy .... assistant chief lighting technician
Hal Landaker .... video supervisor
Michael Liakos .... best boy grip
John C. Moulds .... first assistant camera
Robbie Robinson .... still photographer
Alfredo Sepulveda .... second assistant camera
Stephen St. John .... steadicam operator
Joseph A. Unsinn .... video technician (as Joe Unsinn III)
Peter Wagner .... key grip
Animation Department
Peggy Regan .... animator
Casting Department
Marcy Carriker .... casting assistant
Junie Lowry-Johnson .... casting associate (as Junie Lowry)
Amanda Mackey .... casting associate
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Dallas D. Dornan .... costumer: men (as Dallas Dornan)
Shari Feldman .... costumer: women
Editorial Department
Saul Saladow .... assistant editor
Scot Scalise .... apprentice editor
Markus Schaub .... apprentice editor
Kathy Virkler .... assistant editor
John Wright .... editor: alien spaceship sequence
Location Management
Dow Griffith .... location manager
Michael John Meehan .... location manager (as Michael Meehan)
John R. Woodward .... location manager
Music Department
Bruce Botnick .... music recording mixer
Tom Boyd .... oboe soloist
Greg Fulginiti .... music engineer
Kenneth Hall .... music editor
Arthur Morton .... orchestrator
James Thatcher .... musician: french horn
Transportation Department
Dan Marrow .... transportation captain
Eddie Lee Voelker .... transportation coordinator
Other crew
Steve Berens .... animal handler
Ray Berwick .... animal coordinator
Hilary Clark .... unit publicist
Chrissie England .... production coordinator
Carol Gans .... studio teacher
Mauri Syd Gayton .... assistant: Mr. Jacobson (as Mauri Blumenfeld)
Mauri Syd Gayton .... production coordinator
Rhona Gordon .... studio teacher (as Rhona Gordon-Jepsen)
Alan Hoffman .... research assistant
Lisa Lynn Kearsley .... office assistant (as Lisa Kearsley)
Joan MacKenzie .... on-set manager
Betty Moos .... assistant: Mr. Dante, Mr. Finnell and Mr. Winter
Dennis Park .... assistant accountant
Sandra Rabins .... production accountant
Bryan Renfro .... dog trainer
Katherine Wooten .... script supervisor
Mary Kay Place .... special thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated PG for some mild language and action, and a brief scene involving beer
109 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints) | Dolby (35 mm prints)

Did You Know?

Robert Picardo says the alien makeup is the most uncomfortable he has ever worn. The Wak makeup was like having a typewriter balanced on his head and the father was like balancing a TV. Whilst the crew where enjoying lunch he would have to sit there and take the pain which drew him to tears and actually caused open lesions on his head.See more »
Continuity: During the maiden voyage of the Thunder Road, Wolfgang removes his glasses and puts them in his jacket/shirt pocket before putting on his gas mask. After putting on the mask his glasses are back on underneath it and he is not seen putting them on.See more »
Darren Woods:She was a good ship.See more »
All Around the WorldSee more »


What happened to the plot toward the end?
What are the differences between the DVD Versions and the original Theatrical Version?
See more »
44 out of 49 people found the following review useful.
Classic kids' adventure, hugely underrated, 6 November 2003
Author: Theo J Hyman from London, England

All kids should watch this - between the ages of 6 and 13. I saw this when it came out on video - I was 8 - don't know how I missed it at the cinema - it couldn't have had a big release in the UK. I loved the detail and imagination within this movie - like the one dream that the three boys all share, the sphere they create from their computer, the guard dog they give bubble gum to, the amusement ride seat they turn into their spaceship, with windows made from the fronts of washing-machines and TVs. And our three heroes make a great team. They are all very different in character, yet share that same dream of escape and adventure. Ethan Hawke is the main hero - the one that most viewers will relate to - the average 80's kid hooked on television, daydreaming during school lessons and a huge crush on the girl next door. River Phoenix is his nerdy computer-whiz friend with an Einstein-like crazy father (played by James Cromwell) and Jason Presson is the mature, yet weird kid with a troubled home-life. The magic of this movie is in its innocence and the dreams that the kids are able to turn into reality. The first half is pure 80's kids' adventure movie. The second half becomes pure "Dante", as it dives into 50's-style B-movie sci-fi - exactly what Dante is referencing and sending up, yet paying homage to at the same time. What our heroes find out in space is certainly not what they expect or what we expect. They feel let down by their discovery and in some way, we do too. But there are so many great scenes in this film - the chemistry between the 3 main actors is great - they really bond well together and we get drawn into the film because of Dante's attention to detail in these characters. It's a funny combination of child adventure and B-movie sci-fi but kids will love it, and as you grow up, you learn to see (like many great kids' films) many new details that pass you by as a kid but keep you entertained all over again from a different perspective. A highly overlooked 80's adventure movie, almost as good as The Goonies, but far less commercial, due to Dante's unique approach. Go and see it now, or see it again or watch it with your kids - you will all love it.

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