On the night of July 4, 1978 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, 12-year-old David Scott Freeman walks through the woods to pick up his 8-year-old younger brother Jeff from a friend’s house when he accidentally falls into a ravine and is knocked unconscious. When he comes to, he discovers that it is now the year 1986; while he hasn’t aged at all, his parents are now middle-aged and Jeff is 16 years old.
Meanwhile, an alien spaceship crashes through power lines and is promptly confiscated by NASA. David is taken to a hospital for tests, but is sent to a NASA research facility when his brainwaves reveal images of the spaceship. Dr. Louis Faraday, who has been studying the spaceship since its arrival, discovers that David’s mind is filled with alien technical manuals and star charts covering expanses of the galaxy far exceeding anything humans have recorded.
David’s subconscious mind tells the scientists that he was taken to a planet called Phaelon, 560 light years away, in just over 4.4 hours. They realize that David has experienced severe time dilation as a result of having traveled faster than the speed of light, explaining why eight years have passed on Earth, but not for him. David is unable to comprehend what Faraday tells him and flees the room, leaving Faraday muttering that 48 hours will be insufficient to finish his investigation.
Flight of the Navigator is a 1986 American science fiction adventure film directed by Randal Kleiser and written by Mark H. Baker and Michael Burton. The film stars Joey Cramer as David Freeman, a 12-year-old boy who is abducted by an alien spaceship and finds himself caught in a world that has changed around him.
The film’s producers initially sent the project to Walt Disney Pictures in 1984, but the studio was unable to approve it and it was sent to Producers Sales Organization, which made a deal with Disney to distribute it in the United States. It was partially shot in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Norway, it being a co-production with Norwegian company Viking Film.
Flight of the Navigator (1986)
Directed by: Randal Kleiser
Starring: Joey Cramer, Paul Reubens, Cliff De Young, Veronica Cartwright, Sarah Jessica Parker, Albie Whitaker, Howard Hesseman
Screenplay by: Michael Burton
Production Design by: William J. Creber
Cinematography by: James Glennon
Film Editing by: Jeff Gourson
Costume Design by: Mary Lou Byrd
Set Decoration by: Scott Jacobson
Art Direction by: Michael Novotny
Music by: Alan Silvestri
Distributed by: Buena Vista Pictures
Release Date: August 1, 1986