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-->"You are...the Navigator!"

-->"Compliance!"

''Flight of the Navigator'' is a 1986 live-action sci-fi film from Walt Disney Pictures and Producers Sales Organization (''Film/TheNeverendingStory'', ''Film/ShortCircuit''[[note]]which was released the same year[[/note]]). David Freeman, a 12-year-old boy living in 1978, falls into a ravine after searching for his younger brother, and comes to eight years into the future -- everyone has aged but him and he's apparently been ''gone'' all that time. An analysis of his brain reveals hidden schematics and star charts, and David later discovers an alien spaceship that was captured by NASA around the same time he was found. Now he must work with its computer program, which he later calls Max, to figure out what happened to him and get back home.

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!!This film provides examples of:

* EightiesHair: Carolyn's - discussed with reference to the purple streak therein.
-->'''Carolyn:''' You know something? You're a weird kid!
-->'''David:''' Me? I'm not the one with the purple hair!
-->'''Carolyn:''' Oh... yeah...I went to a concert with some friends last night.
* NinetyPercentOfYourBrain: Used to store the star charts in David's head as an experiment. Result? "[[MySkullRunnethOver It leaked.]]"
* AcrophobicBird: Averted; when David tells the ship to get [[ExactWords 20 miles]] away from the base, it goes that distance ''straight up''!
* AdultFear: The film places appropriate emphasis on the parental fear of one's child disappearing without a trace. Of course, no parent would expect their child to turn up eight years later and still be the same age they were when they disappeared.
** Inverted with David. He comes home and finds his family no longer lives there, and everything has changed.
* AIIsACrapshoot:
** [[DownplayedTrope Downplayed]] with R.A.L.F. the mail delivery robot, whose rudimentary A.I. sometimes malfunctions in harmless ways (according to Carolyn, anyway).
** Played straight with Max who got himself into the whole mess (crashed into power lines) in the first place because he was [[AttentionDeficitOohShiny gawking at some daisies.]]
* AlienAbduction: David was taken to Phaelon for study.
* AnnoyingYoungerSibling: Jeff, until he grows up without David. Now that David's back in his own time, he won't be that much annoying.
* ArtificialIntelligence: Max is a robotic A.I. for an entire spaceship. His race is never seen, so the question of whether they are all living machines who achieved BrainUploading or evolved as MechanicalLifeforms is never addressed.
* ArtisticLicensePhysics: When the ship travels 20 miles straight up, David floats up to the ceiling as if in microgravity. In reality, at 20 miles up the Earth's gravity is pretty much just as strong as on the surface (astronauts float because they ''are'' falling along with the ship or space station around -- it's just that they are traveling sideways fast enough that the Earth curves away beneath them so they never end up hitting the ground).
* AttentionDeficitOohShiny: Max crashes his ship because he was looking at daisies.
* BadFuture: For David, anyway. NASA only treating him like a test subject, earlier on, he learns that [[spoiler:he was declared legally dead]].
* BigLittleBrother: Jeff became this for David. The change is extremely awkward -- but thought-provoking -- to the both of them.
* BlatantLies: "Get back Jack, I've got a gun!"
* CallBack: Before David falls into the ravine, a freight train can be heard approaching. After returning to his own time, David wakes up to the sound of the train passing by.
* ConspicuousCGI: Notably the ship's shapeshifting animations. It's understandable given that this was 1986, and the ship's reflective effect was state-of-the-art at the time. That said, some of the shapeshifting (like the stairs) was actually stop motion.
* CoolStarship: And one that looks like a watermelon seed.
* DarkerAndEdgier: Somewhat, compared to other Disney movies (live-action or animated). The Freemans are somewhat (but not completely) dysfunctional, and the NASA scientists (at least from David's point of view) only really see him as a test subject, among other things. Oh yeah, and despite the PG rating, there's also at least two instances of PG-13 / R rated swearing (which were thankfully removed from its broadcasts on The Disney Channel).[[note]]That said, it should be noted that Disney technically didn't make this movie. They merely distributed it on another company (the aforementioned PSO)'s behalf - and outside North America it's not even released by Disney![[/note]]
* TheEighties: As if music videos[[note]]Which had just become a new thing at the time; it had been five years since MTV had launched.[[/note]] and multiple brands of Coke being the new "in" things which confuse David, or [[EightiesHair Carolyn's hairdo]], wasn't enough to remind viewers ''exactly'' which decade David finds himself in, we also have the synthesized soundtrack which practically ''oozes'' '80s.
* ExactWords: David told Max to take the ship twenty miles away from the NASA base. He never said in ''which direction'' to take the ship...
* ExtremeOmnivore: One of the aliens on the ship eats David's hat, and almost eats his head.
--> '''Max''': Don't get too close to them, David. They're hungry.
* FasterThanLightTravel: 560 light years in 2.2 (solar) hours, also used to explain why David hasn't aged.
* FishOutOfTemporalWater: Although it's only been eight years, David has difficulties adjusting to music clips and five brands of Coke.
* ForScience: Max's race were so intrigued by the [[NinetyPercentOfYourBrain unused mental capacity]] of humans that they decided to cram all their star charts into David's brain, just to see what would happen.
* FunWithAcronyms: RALF: "Robotic Assistant Labor Facilitator."
* GenreSavvy: when David is being observed by scientists via a one-way mirror he angrily makes clear that he knows perfectly well what that mirror is there for, because he watches TV.
* TheGovernment: The staff of the NASA facility decide to keep David virtually imprisoned indefinitely without regard for the consequences when they realize how much alien data is contained in David's brain.
* HearingVoices: David hears the voice of Max calling him to the ship.
* HeyItsThatVoice: The spaceship's AI is voiced by one Paul Reubens, more widely known by the name of his famous character "Pee Wee Herman".[[note]]However, he is credited under a pseudonym.[[/note]]
* HyperSpaceIsAScaryPlace: In this case, traveling backwards in time is not a pleasant experience at all.
* IdentityAbsorption: Max got a little more data than he bargained for when he scanned David's mind for the star charts.
* JapaneseTourist: David and Max encounter some of these when Max accidentally takes the ship to Tokyo instead of Fort Lauderdale.
* LastOfHisKind: Puckmaren, who [[spoiler:doesn't know that he]] can't go home because his planet was destroyed by a comet after he was taken.
* MachineMonotone: The previously mentioned mail delivery robot R.A.L.F..
-->'''R.A.L.F.:''' "Pardon me, coming through."
* TheNavigator: And this is his flight.
* NeverGrewUp: Not by choice, but David experiences firsthand the consequences of [[TimeDilation travelling close to the speed of light]].
* OlderAndWiser: David's brother Jeff grew up to be a pretty cool teenager. On a lesser note, the family dog "Bruiser" may have taken eight years, but he grew from an oblivious puppy who couldn't follow commands to save his life into a competent frisbee-catching dog.
* PopularHistory: If we are to believe the filmmakers, Music/TheBeeGees were the only pop group in 1978 that preteens wanted to go see. (So up yours, Music/{{KISS}}, Music/LedZeppelin, [[Music/TheEagles Eagles]], Music/{{Aerosmith}}, Music/{{Foreigner}}, Music/{{Styx}}, and Music/VanHalen!) What makes it really ludicrous is that the Bee Gees are equated with ''Music/TwistedSister''.
* PunyEarthling: See TimeTravel below.
* RipVanWinkle: David loses consciousness for "a second" and wakes up 8 years later. Once the science is explained, this situation doesn't quite fit the trope, but from David's point of view that's what happened.
* RoboSpeak: Max before getting his data back, as exemplified in the second page quote.
* SapientShip: The [[AwesomeMcCoolName Trimaxion Drone Ship]].
* SecretKeeper: [[spoiler: David's brother knows he's got a small alien creature.]]
* ShinyLookingSpaceships: The Trimaxion Drone Ship is polished silver, inside and out.
* ShoutOut:
** [[Film/ETTheExtraTerrestrial "He just said he wanted to phone home..."]]
** One of the alien critters on board the ship comes from the "{{Pixar}} Elliptic." (Pixar was founded the year the film was released.)
** After absorbing some of the information in David's head, Max briefly starts talking like [[StarTrekTheOriginalSeries Scotty]]
** "Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun!"
** The little girl at the gator farm is wearing an [[DisneyThemeParks EPCOT Center]] tee-shirt.
* SpheroidDropship: Not quite, but the ship's original form is roughly spherical.
* SpockSpeak: Max originally speaks like this.
* StarfishLanguage: David's brain has been filled with data in a totally alien language that would take years to decipher, according to the NASA men.
* SufficientlyAdvancedAlien: The Trimaxion (or Phaelonian?) race has perfected the ability to travel at any speed and travel anywhere at any point in time they wish.
* TimeDilation: The reason why David goes from 1978 to 1986 without aging a day.
* TimeTravel: Max would normally take his specimens back in time to when they were abducted, but has reluctance at taking David, fearing it would vaporize him since his body is "too fragile".
* TotallyRadical: Max speaks like this after downloading the info from David's brain.
* TwentyMinutesIntoThePast: 1978, as the movie was made in 1986.
* WhamLine:
--> '''Jeff''': "You think it's easy for ''me'' to believe you're David? You should be 20 years old by now!"
* WhatYearIsThis: {{Inverted}}. David, who's unaware he's traveled 8 years into the future, is asked this by the police.
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-->''"See ya later, Navigator! [[Creator/PaulReubens Ha ha!]]"''