6.6/10
17,630
94 user 50 critic

Explorers (1985)

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:

Joe Dante

Writer:

Eric Luke
Reviews
Popularity
2,658 ( 1,029)

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ethan Hawke ... Ben Crandall
River Phoenix ... Wolfgang Müller
Jason Presson ... Darren Woods
Bradley Gregg ... Steve Jackson's Gang
Georg Olden Georg Olden ... Steve Jackson's Gang
Chance Schwass 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 Tricia Bartholome ... Girl in Classroom
Eric Luke ... Darren's Teacher
Robert Picardo ... Starkiller / Wak / Wak and Neek's Father
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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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

12 July 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Explorers See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,607,340, 14 July 1985

Gross USA:

$9,873,044
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Starkiller science fiction film that was made up for this film parodies low budget Italian-made "Star Wars" rip-offs which the actor's voices are dubbed. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Wak: Its a brand new car!
Wak: The Rolls Canardly... Rolls down one hill CanArdly get up the next!
See more »

Alternate Versions

Some International Video and TV versions omits several musical cues from the soundtrack including a moment where Jerry Goldsmith's score accompanies the Mr Ed Theme sung by Wak and the "80's music" Wak listens to on Darren's walkman (in these versions, you can't hear the music at all). Several score cues are also missing aboard Wak's spaceship and in the first third of the film. It is unclear where this is a mastering issue or a music rights issue. See more »

Connections

References The Beverly Hillbillies (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

Less Than Perfect
by Gene Stashuk and Michael Becker
Courtesy of Red 7
Courtesy of MCA Records, Inc.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

I liked it better than E.T.
3 September 2002 | by renaldo and claraSee 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!


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