Flight of the Navigator plots a course to adventure. Despite never watching it when I was younger, I always knew about it as one of those lesser known “Kid and his robot” movies. I wasn’t even aware it was from Disney. Flight of the Navigator was one of the first Disney movies I watched on Disney+, but I had to rewatch it after falling asleep. Making it even more enjoyable now that I appreciate the bigger picture. Which can be separated in two distinct halves.
The first 45 minutes of Flight of the Navigator follows average 12 year old kid David. He’s just trying to enjoy 4th of July until he passes out in the middle of a forest. When he wakes up, a full 8 years have passed! It’s completely unexpected and could’ve made an interesting movie all by itself. Since a kid discovering his parents and younger brother are older would be pretty traumatizing. When NASA cross examines him, a young Sarah Jessica Parker gets him out.
Leading to the last 45 minutes which delivers on the lighthearted sci-fi adventure we were promised. The cool reflective pod shaped spaceship looks great with the early 80’s CGI. The inside is equally cool with a monotone robotic drone David calls Max. The only catch is David needing to navigate since all the maps were placed in his head. They form an unlikely bond and learn a lot from each other. Max even gains the laugh happy personality of Pee-Wee Herman. Flight of the Navigator is a surprisingly thought provoking personal journey with all the adorable aliens and flight sequences to keep it fun.