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Flight of the Navigator (1986)

PG  |   |  Adventure, Family, Sci-Fi  |  30 July 1986 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 32,159 users  
Reviews: 97 user | 38 critic

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



(story), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Max (voice) (as Paul Mall)
Albie Whitaker ...
Jonathan Sanger ...
Iris Acker ...
Mrs. Howard
Richard Liberty ...
Mr. Howard
Detective Banks
Cynthia Caquelin ...
Woman Officer
Ted Bartsch ...
Night Guard Brayton


A 12-year-old boy goes missing in 1978, only to reappear once more in 1986. In the eight years that have passed, he hasn't aged. It is no coincidence that at the time he "comes back", a flying saucer is found, entangled in power lines. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


David is eight years late for dinner... and the U.S. Government wants to know why. But David has an excuse, an absolutely fantastic excuse! See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

30 July 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El vuelo del navegante  »

Box Office


$9,000,000 (estimated)


$18,564,613 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Originally an independent film. The main production company, Producers Sales Organisation (PSO), collapsed midway through production. Walt Disney picked up all rights for this film and several others in a liquidation sale. They also paid for its completion. See more »


When David is outside the ship in the Florida cow field, overhead shots show the shadow of the framework holding up the ship. Several dents are visible in the ship's finish. See more »


Max: [Last line] See ya later navigator haha.
See more »


Referenced in Paul (2011) See more »


Walk While In My Blues
Written by Will Jennings
Performed by Steve Tyrell
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User Reviews

Where did Disney come up with this?! It's (gasp) original!
14 September 2003 | by See all my reviews

You know the drill: 12 year old David falls into a ravine in the woods and discovers when he wakes up that he's been missing for eight years. He also discovers that he's hearing voices that seem to come from a mysterious craft housed in a NASA hangar.

My two cents worth: In a time when all the live action Disney movies seem to be a variant on "I was normal but just discovered I am/have just been mistaken for royalty/merperson/rock star/leprechaun/etc., this movie from the 1980's is a real breath of fresh air.

The scenario, waking up and discovering that everything except you has changed, and knowing you'll be somebody's idea of a guinea pig for the rest of your life, is instantly relatable and creepy, whether you're a kid or an adult. The kid fainting, the change in the two brother's relationship due to the age flop, parents trying to protect their son, government trying to exploit the kid's knowledge, everyone's reactions to the situation are all logical and believable.

And who hasn't wanted a chance to fly a saucer? Having Max, the ship's pilot, be a robot was another stroke of brilliance. So many movies have the aliens flying all the way here to come visit us face to face. But if we send machines to other planets because it's cheaper than going ourselves, why wouldn't they? And having him learn about Earth courtesy of a 12-year-old's TV polluted brain was hysterical.

The movie seems a little dated today; but it's forgivable because, like Back to the Future, it's set so specifically in a certain frame of time (you expect it to look and sound like 1986 because, hey, they keep telling you that's when it is.)

Recommendations: Back to the Future and Big are the two I can think of that are most along these lines.

66 of 76 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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