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Explorers (1985) More at IMDbPro »

Explorers -- In their makeshift laboratory, three boys use an amazing discovery and their ingenuity to build their own spaceship and launch themselves on a fantastic interplanetary journey.


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6.6/10   14,422 votes »
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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 »
Plot Keywords:
1 win & 5 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Fantastic, imaginative, entertaining--halfway through. See more (86 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Ethan Hawke ... Ben Crandall

River Phoenix ... Wolfgang Müller
Bobby Fite ... Steve Jackson

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
Jason Presson ... Darren Woods

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 .... sound re-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 .... sound re-recording mixer
Mark A. Mangini .... sound effects (as Mark Mangini)
Janet Fiona Mason .... sound effects assistant editor
Michael Minkler .... sound re-recording mixer
John Pospisil .... sound effects assistant editor (as John P.)
Stephen Purvis .... adr editor (as Steve Purvis)
John Roesch .... foley artist
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 .... sound 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
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
Ellen E. Lichtwardt .... visual effects animator (as Ellen Lichtwardt)
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
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?

The actual computer that was used to make the screen display for Wolfgang's computer was not an Apple IIc, it was an SGI Iris 1400 Workstation that cost $35,000. It contained a 73 megabyte hard drive, 1.5 megabytes of memory, weighed 130 lbs and required a custom portable wooden crate to house it on set. The movie needed a program written in C language that could redraw a 3D wire-frame scene in real-time, a feat not possible before SGI produced this specialized hardware. The movement of the energy sphere on screen was controlled by a mouse and happened in real-time for each scene and take, in response to the director's instructions. The workstation was modified to synchronize with the motion picture camera (to eliminate flicker) by tapping into one of the circuit boards. The workstation had no windows operating system: all programs were controlled with Unix commands.See more »
Continuity: When the spaceship "Thunder Road" crashes through a building, it is supposed to be encased in an impenetrable force field. Yet debris and rubble is shown directly on the surface of the ship.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 »
Movie Connections:
References "The Ed Sullivan Show" (1948)See more »
Less Than PerfectSee more »


What happened to the plot toward the end?
What are the differences between the DVD Versions and the original Theatrical Version?
See more »
30 out of 32 people found the following review useful.
Fantastic, imaginative, entertaining--halfway through., 7 June 2005
Author: Michael Reed from United States

Watching Explorers as a kid, sparked all the things I loved about freedom, and adventure. I was always into space, sci-fi, computers, and aliens even at a young age, and this film does a great job geeking any kid out when it comes to science, space, and adventure. I love how one of the kids had a dream about designing a circuit board, and after creating it realizes it creates a spherical force field that has virtually no speed limit, and is impossible to slow down (blasting through an entire stack of books with ease, leaving a perfect hole).

Although, once the kids get through the testing phase of the force field, and build the ship from old carnival rides (tea-cup thingie)--the movie takes another turn. Although still fun, the writer and/or director seem to lose track of the original flare, and the movie begins to wander off into a more childish, meaningless Hollywood push-out.

Over all, the film is very entertaining. I just Netflixed it so that my girlfriend could see it, and I could reminisce. It is one of my favorite childhood movies (along side the original Neverending Story).


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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Explorers (1985)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Being 10 years old in 1985 EliasExplorer
Help please!! ... I'm searching Gooniesque 80's film!! matias_celentano
An Idea of how the energy field circuit board works cluosborne
The deleted scene walking to school BrickNash
Good film... for the first hour jimbob02111980
RIP Amanda Peterson michaelwhitehouse2011
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