Flight of the Navigator is a 1986 live-action sci-fi film from Walt Disney Pictures. 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, Max, to figure out what happened to him and get back home.
This film provides examples of:
'80s Hair: Carolyn's- discussed with reference to the purple streak therein.
Acrophobic Bird: Averted; when David tells the ship to get 20 miles away from the base, it goes that distance straight up!
Adult Fear: 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.
Artistic License - Physics: 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).
Call Back: 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.
Conspicuous CGI: Notably the ship 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) were actually stop motion.
The Eighties: As if music videos and multiple brands of Coke being the new "in" things which confuse David, or 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.
Extreme Omnivore: One of the aliens on the ship eats David's hat, and almost eats his head.
Genre Savvy: 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.
The Government: 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.
Older and Wiser: 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.
Popular History: If we are to believe the filmmakers, the Bee Gees were the only pop group in 1978 that preteens wanted to go see. (So up yours, KISS, Led Zeppelin, Eagles, Aerosmith, Foreigner, Styx, and Van Halen!) What makes it really ludicrous is that the Bee Gees are equated with Twisted Sister.
Rip Van Winkle: 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.
Robo Speak: Max before getting his data back, as exemplified in the second page quote.