The Flight of the Navigator Movie Poster Image

The Flight of the Navigator

An exciting time travel adventure.
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 1986
  • Running Time: 90 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages
Not applicable
Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable

A few isolated swear words.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this film contains a few expletives and some scary situations, but it's nothing that even younger children won't be able to handle.

What's the story?

THE FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR begins as David Freeman (Joey Cramer) comes home one night to discover that his family has aged eight years and think he's dead. For David, only a few minutes have gone by. The mystery slowly unravels, leading to David's being taken away by NASA and escaping in a space ship. Eight years have changed things a lot -– David has never seen a music video, and can't believe that Starsky and Hutch isn't on anymore. When David is aboard the ship, he makes friends with its mechanical occupant, Max, who is voiced by Paul Reubens (credited here as Paul Mall), clearly working in his Pee-Wee Herman mode.

Is it any good?


This is an above-average offering from Disney. The sequences on the ship are both funny and touching, as Max and David each try to get home. The special effects are, for the most part, surprisingly fresh and believable, and the opening sequence of dogs playing Frisbee is spectacular.

It's all very well done, with clever shots that make everyday objects look like they just might be from a spacecraft, and very affecting scenes between David and his new, older family. Joey Cramer does a good job in his role. This is a charming movie, with enough drama and humor to please almost any viewer.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how they would feel if everyone in their family were suddenly older while they stayed the same age. Also, for sci-fi fans, it could be interesting to look at the use of special effects then and now.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:July 11, 1986
DVD/Streaming release date:June 1, 2004
Cast:Joey Cramer, Paul Reubens, Sarah Jessica Parker
Director:Randal Kleiser
Studio:Walt Disney Pictures
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Adventures, Space and aliens
Run time:90 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:a smattering of swear words, some scary situations

This review of The Flight of the Navigator was written by

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Adult Written bysearmenta April 9, 2008
Parent of a 2, 6, 8, and 8 year old Written byFowlerFan September 5, 2014

Language is a problem

It's a shame about the language, otherwise this would be a great movie. S##t is heard a few times along with retard and bastard. Not really necessary either. There were some scary parts for younger kids when the main character couldn't find his parents and when he was alone in the forest. But those parts are near the beginning. The movie gets better as it goes along.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Teen, 13 years old Written byDisneymovielover77 January 31, 2015

E.T. meets Witch Mountain

Quit complaining about this movie, we hear way worse when we're in school. There are a few bad words but I didn't notice them. There are way worse movies that have worse language and tv shows like dance moms and other shows like that. This is just a fun a Sci-Fi movie of the 80s that families watch. The movie is about a boy named David Scott Freeman. One night he disappeared into the forest and wakes up eight years later. He has information about a space ship and what happened to him and where he was gone for eight years. He became something called The Navigator because of all the information he got when he was gone for 8 years of his life. The movie reminded me of Escape to Witch Mountain and Return to Witch Mountain, with a dash of E.T thrown into the plot. The inside of the spaceship was really cool and so were the little animals that were puppets in it. I was laughing while watching it. Max became David's friend when he was on the ship and he had a new pet that he got when he traveled back in time with Max to July 4th,1976. He does learn a few important lessons in the end like that you do belong even if you disappear for 8 years and you never aged and you also learn a thing or two about friends. It's really cool movie in my opinion. I watched it because it's Disney and I started watching some of their old live action films and there new ones as well. The language was not an issue now would you rather show your kids the movies that are R and are WAY worse than this or show these movies from Disney and other kid movies of the 80s. I thought it wasn't an issue also I hear words that are worse in school than what I heard in this movie. My point is..... is that we watch movies because they're fun and enjoyable and I thought this was a cute and fun family sci-if movie of the 80s. The only scary scene in the film was when David was in the forest alone. It's a really good movie and I thought it was fun to watch. Give it a chance and here's a life lesson Don't Judge A Book By It's Cover or Judge a Movie By The Company But Judge A Movie by How Much Heart The Movie Has!!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models