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>
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 »
The '80s yielded a number of movies about kids going on adventures, but "Explorers" was something else. On the surface, it seems like any other movie, but the aliens aren't what anyone is expecting. Mostly, the movie is about Ben Crandall (Ethan Hawke), Wolfgang Muller (River Phoenix) and Darren Woods (Jason Presson), and their fantasies.
And then there are director Joe Dante's touches. Dick Miller - whom Dante always casts - plays a cop who discovers the boys' spaceship. Robert Picardo (another frequent Dante player) voices one of the aliens. And of course Dante has many allusions to '50s B-movies. Maybe "Explorers" isn't anything special, but it's still pretty fascinating.
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