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?
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 <email@example.com>
Wolfgang's "talking" rat is named Heinlein, after science fiction author Robert A. Heinlein, who wrote many stories about young boys experimenting with spaceflight. See more »
When Ben and Darren walk over to Wolfgang's house, Ben is wearing brown corduroy pants. Then when they go down to the basement, he's wearing blue jeans for a few shots. And then he's back to wearing his brown corduroys for the rest of the scene. See more »
The shorter version released on home video as "A special home video version of Explorers," actually contains a scene which does not appear in some theatrical versions. In this scene, Ben falls asleep in class and finds himself in a dream where all his classmates have disappeared. With his glowing gift from his alien friends in hand, he rises out of his seat to find the "Thunder Road" in the corner of the classroom looking brand new. (It had fallen into the lake while returning home after their visit with the aliens.) Ben then finds himself flying with Wolfgang, Darren and Lori. See more »
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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