The Flight of the Navigator



An exciting time travel adventure.
  • Review Date: July 11, 2005
  • 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 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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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written bysearmenta April 9, 2008
Parent Written bykblank321 September 28, 2014

foul language

isolated expletives include sh#t and GD and bast@#d. commonsensemedia steered us way wrong on this one. just skip it, the total viewing experience is not worth the trash talk and overall goofy quality/plot.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
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


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