Instead of creating an eye-opening panorama, Flight of the Navigator looks through the small end of the telescope. Life on Earth is magnified but without an expansive vision.
Young David Freeman (Joey Cramer) vanishes from his Fort Lauderdale home only to return to the identical spot unchanged eight years later. When a sleek silver flying saucer turns up on the scene, NASA gets into the act and all roads lead to David. It seems his head has been filled with star charts and he’s been serving as navigator for an exploratory ship from a distant planet.
Film finally gets on track when 12-year-old David is reunited with the spacecraft for a trip which ultimately will deposit him right back where he started. Along the way the journey is imaginative and fun but earthbound, with a robotic flight commander (voiced by an uncredited Paul Reubens, a.k.a. Pee-wee Herman) who becomes fascinated with American pop culture.
As is often the problem with extraterrestrial adventures, all life forms are anthropomorphized with a selection of cute and cuddly creatures. There are some nifty special effects in the spacecraft sequences. Performances are all workmanlike, with Cramer doing a believable job.