FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR [1986 / 2019] [Exclusive Limited Edition Box Set] [Blu-ray] [UK Release] ‘FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR' is the action-packed Classic 1980s Adventure into Another World!
It's 1978 and 12-year old David Scott Freeman [Joey Cramer] is knocked unconscious while playing. He wakes up and discovers it's now 1986 and he's been missing for eight years. NASA believes he's been abducted by aliens and want to use him for their research.
But with the guidance of a strange unseen entity he discovers a top-secret spaceship and with the help of MAX [Paul Reubens] the computer sets off on an incredible mission to get back to the past where he belongs.
FILM FACT: 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 the Disney Organisation 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. The Trimaxion Drone Ship was rendered in computer-generated imagery (CGI) by Omnibus Computer Animation, under the supervision of Jeff Kleiser, the brother of director Randal Kleiser.
Cast: Joey Cramer, Paul Reubens (Max voice), Cliff De Young, Veronica Cartwright, Sarah Jessica Parker, Albie Whitaker (Jeff 8 years), Matt Adler (Jeff 16 years), Howard Hesseman, Robert Small, Jonathan Sanger, Iris Acker, Richard Liberty, Raymond Forchion, Ted Bartsch, Gizelle Elliott, Brigid Cleary, Michael Strano, Parris Buckner, Robyn Peterson, Tony Tracy, Philip Hoelcher, Julio Oscar Mechoso, Butch Raymond, Bob Strickland, Michael Brockman, Louis Cutolo, Debbie Casperson, Chase Randolph, John Archie, Tony Calvino, Rusty Pouch, Robert Goodman, Ryan Murray, Keri Rogers, Peter Lindquist, Jill Beach, Kenneth Ian Davis, Bruce Laks, Arnie Ross, Fritz Bronner, Tim Blaney (Puppeteer voice), Tony Urbano (Puppeteer voice), Bob Barker (archive footage) (uncredited), Corey Burton (R.A.L.F. voice) (uncredited) and Stephen Luscombe (archive footage) (uncredited)
Director: Randal Kleiser
Producers: David Joseph, Dimitri Villard, John W. Hyde, Jonathan Sanger, Malcolm R. Hardingm, Mark Damon and Robert Wald
Screenplay: Mark H. Baker (story), Matt MacManus (screenplay) and Michael Burton (screenplay)
Composer: Alan Silvestri
Cinematography: James Glennon (Director of Photography)
Image Resolution: 1080p (Color by DeLuxe)
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audio: English: 2.0 LPCM Stereo Audio
English: 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo Audio
Subtitles: English SDH
Running Time: 89 minutes
Region: All Regions
Number of discs: 1
Studio: Walt Disney Pictures / Second Sight Films
Andrew's Blu-ray Review: The astonishing success of Steven Spielberg's 'E.T.' in 1982 heralded the money-making power of the friendly alien, so naturally every film mogul wanted a piece of the pie. Independent producers PSO [Producers Sales Organization], known for more adult oriented fare, had some success with fantasy film 'The Neverending Story' so they pushed ahead with two cutesy sci-fi projects, one about a robot and the other about an alien. Unfortunately PSO [Producers Sales Organization] encountered severe money troubles and the company was declared bankrupt before the film 'FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR' was released, which is when the Disney Organisation stepped in to pick up the pieces and to finally distribute the film.
‘FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR' opens with a Frisbee Dog Contest on the Fourth of July, 1978. An ordinary 12-year-old boy named David Scott Freeman [Joey Cramer] is there with his family. David Scott Freeman has got a mother, a father, a pesky younger brother, and a lovely dog named Bruiser. That night, David Scott Freeman goes to find his brother for the holiday celebrations. Wandering in the woods, he falls quite a distance into a ravine. When he gets up, it appears to be just a moment later. But, as he learns, it is actually eight years later. David Scott Freeman hasn't changed in any way, but the rest of the world has.
Now it is 1986. An old couple now lives in his house, his younger brother is now his older brother Jeff Freeman [Matt Adler], and the TV series ‘Starsky and Hutch’ is off the air! David Scott Freeman has no knowledge of where has he been. It is a total mystery that fascinates the scientific specialists who are trying to unravel.
Enter Dr. Louis Faraday [Howard Hesseman], who makes it clear to David Scott Freeman and his family that the top-of-the-line resources of NASA are the best shot at figuring out what has happened. So, David Scott Freeman agrees to spend 48 hours at a NASA base, letting the best men in the field pry his mind in a search for answers. Simultaneously, Dr. Louis Faraday and the other NASA specialists are mulling over the discovery of an unusual body which appears to be a spaceship. To reach a sufficient understanding, they decide that David Scott Freeman will need to stay longer for tests.
With the help of Carolyn McAdams [Sarah Jessica Parker], a friendly young intern at the base, David Scott Freeman seeks to escape. His breakout quickly takes him to the spaceship, where he begins to make sense of the some of the strange dreams and voices he has been experiencing. The ship is commanded by a robot of a higher intelligence [voiced by Paul Reubens], who David Scott Freeman names Max. But Max needs help from David Scott Freeman, specifically his young mind. David Scott Freeman wants answers from Max and a departure from the curious scientists. So David Scott Freeman and Max decide take off on a unique and thrilling journey through space and time.
'FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR' is a totally brilliant astonishing film and has all of its elements that seem to work just right. It's extremely clever premise is played to perfection, thanks to skilful crafting. The film starts out strong with a highly intriguing set-up, and sets a fast and flawless pace that it never departs from. In the lead role, Joey Cramer has just the right amount of curiosity and charisma to make the protagonist fully likable. Supporting performances from the family members all seem to hit the right notes. The robotic character, MAX, is a great deal of fun. Once he acquires some personality from a mind-transfer procedure, he begins to sound a bit like the comedian Pee Wee Herman [Paul Reubens], in the best possible way of course. The script and direction deserves its highest praise, especially with a great sense of humour that really helps to distinguish the film 'FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR' from other strong science fiction films of the late 1970s and early 1980s and I do not understand why did not receive any recognition or some kind of Award? While its time-travel tale is a serious one, it rightly uses comedy to enhance the adventure and crank up the entertainment value. In many ways, the film calls to mind the perfect blend of laughter and entertainment that the film ‘Back To The Future’ brought us.
‘FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR' is essentially your classic schoolyard sci-fi fantasy ripped from the pages of your favourite comic book series, with Randal Kleiser capable of making flying around in a spaceship with a wise-cracking, phallic alien oculus seem like the most fun a 12-year-old child could possibly have.
FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR MUSIC TRACK LIST
LOSE YOUR LOVE (Written by Neil Arthur and Stephen Luscombe) [Performed by Blancmange]
COUNT ON ME (Written by Jesse Barish) [Performed by Jesse Barish]
LOVEFIRE (Written by Bob Esty and Michelle Aller) [Performed by Bob Esty and Michelle Aller]
TRAPPED IN MY MIND (Written by David Kitay, Charles Valentino and Stephanie Tyrell) [Performed by David Kitay]
BLAME IT ON THE BOSSA NOVA (Written by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil) [Performed by Hollie Denei Hewitt]
WALK WHILE IN MY BLUES (Written by Will Jennings) [Performed by Steve Tyrell]
YOU’RE THE ONE THAT I WANT (Written by John Farrar)
I GET AROUND (Written by Brian Wilson) [Performed by The Beach Boys]
Blu-ray Image Quality – 'FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR' has a brilliant and spectacular 1080p image presentation and also shown in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio, which is a very nice. The opening scenes of the film looked slightly grainy, but you need not fear, this only reveals the technical shortcomings of the optical credits sequences and lasts for about 2 minutes and 50 seconds, but eventually of course the image quality improves 100% for the rest of the film. Colours are very vibrant and very solid; also the flesh tones seemed extremely natural and again overall the image quality is consistently clean and crisp. Without a doubt, this transfer offers a totally significant and massive improvements over any other home video release of the film and is a total revelation compared to the disastrous inferior DVD release and also the previous Blu-ray release, which literally used a cropped VHS copy as its source, so well done Second Sight Films for a very excellent job overall.
Blu-ray Audio Quality – 'FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR' has a really nice 2.0 LPCM Stereo Audio presentation that was also very satisfactory, but what a shame it could not of been upgraded to 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. The film features a prominent and powerful film music score by Alan Silvestri, like he did for the film 'Back To The Future,' and effectively hits and underlines the film's adventure and suspense. Dialogue is very crisp and always intelligible and it certainly gives you the desired effect, and I did not notice anything about the audio which detracted from the overall audio experience. This is a very solid audio presentation, and especially the wonderful and melodic composed music by the maestro Alan Silvestri who has done a brilliant and very memorable music film score and is put to good use throughout the film.
Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:
Brand New Second Sight Films 4K Scan and Restoration supervised by Director Randal Kleiser.
Special Feature: Directing the Navigator: Interview with Randal Kleiser  [1080p] [1.78:1 / 1.37:1] [6:38] Here Randal Kleiser goes into great depth in directing the film ‘FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR’ and talks about how the film ‘E.T.’ was very popular in the 1980s and says there were elements of ‘E.T.’ in his film and was always keen to do a Sci-Fi film, and had a very close business friendship with Jonathan Sanger [Executive Producer] and was 100% supportive in the concept scenario of this Sci-Fi film, and Jonathan Sanger has worked on films like ‘The Elephant Man’ , ‘Vanilla Sky’  and ‘The Producers’ . We also get to see the original Screen test of the very young actor Joey Cramer [David Scott Freeman] and Randal Kleiser really he stood out from the hundreds of the other young actors who auditioned for the part. They also tested for the voice of the spaceship alien “Max” and after so many electronic audio tests, decided a human voice was far more superior and again after a few auditions, they were keen to hire Paul Reubens and in doing so sent him the script for the voice of “Max,” but on the credits he wanted to be known as Paul Mall. Randal Kleiser talks about the actress Veronica Cartwright who of course played Helen Freeman, because Randal Kleiser loved her in the film ‘ALIEN’ and felt Veronica Cartwright would be perfect as the Mother, and has a face that can be young and also older with some make-up. Randal Kleiser talks about the actor Cliff De Young, who plays Bill Freeman, who could also look young, but also look older with a few alterations. Next Randal Kleiser talks about Sarah Jessica parker, who was Carolyn McAdams in the film, and was just started out in her acting career and this was her first major film, and came to the audition and Randal Kleiser found her very bubbly and hired right away, and also had great chemistry with Joey Cramer. Because they found out that in Norway via one of the Producers, that in that country they have a scheme called “Black Funds” and so with the help of this money they did all the interior shots of the alien spaceship in a massive warehouse just outside of Oslo. Randal Kleiser talks about the critics review of the film when released and they were very not very enthusiastic about the film and felt the Walt Disney Organisation did not really push enough to promote the film, and of course eventually it was first released on the VHS tape format, it then started to become a very popular film and then eventually it was released onto the DVD format and then started to become a cult classic film and gaining more fans and followers of the film, really is pleased the film is giving people a great deal of pleasure and when the public finally meet Randal Kleiser who are in their 30’s, and say to him that it is one of their all-time favourite film. At the end of this feature we are at Randal Kleiser’s home and he gets to show us the model of the alien spaceship, which was of course used for doing the CGI special effects of the alien spaceship in flight. So all in all, this was a really nice littles special feature and well worth viewing.
Special Feature: Producing the Navigator: Interview with Dimitri Villard  [1.78:1 / 1.37:1] [13:34] When people find out that Dimitri Villard produced the film 'FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR' their reaction is overwhelming, and they also inform him it is their all-time favourite film and that it influenced their lives, and is very humbled when hear these remarks and was very honoured to be part of being involved with the film. Dimitri Villard goes into the history of the film, and talks about his now departed work partner and producer Robert Wald who discovered the screenplay for the film ‘FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR’ and was the persons first one and felt the scenario was totally captivating, but unfortunately was not very well written, and so they decided to call in another screenwriter to do a whole new rewrite, but did not have any money to pay him, so they went to a financial investor named David Joseph to put up the money to develop the screenplay, who was also a Rock & Roll Producer who then became a Co-producer of the film and who also became a very active supporter of the project, and gave all the money they required to get the go ahead in making the film. So from that situation, they then went to Richard L. Berger, who was at the time a film and television executive that created the Touchstone label for Walt Disney Pictures and really loved the project, but unfortunately Richard L. Berger had a short contract and Michael Eisner was waiting to take over his job and eventually became the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company. But at the time of the film project, Richard L. Berger went to the Executives at Walt Disney Pictures to get approval of the film, but was told instead to go to Production Sales Organization [1977 – 1986] and they agreed to the project and in cooperation with Walt Disney Pictures and eventually sold the film all over the world. So when filming started, they started contacting different directors, but none did not seem suitable or were on other projects, but out of the blue the filmmaker Randal Kleiser was available and went and hired him immediately, as they liked his previous films he directed and was totally committed to the film and was totally understandable what the film should look and of course the work and the film speaks for itself, to become a worldwide classic favourite film. But before the project could proceed, they brought in American filmmaker Phil Joanou who was a director of film, music videos, and television programmes to a new draft for the screenplay, but wanted to be known on the credits as Matt MacManus and that is how the film became a reality and helped also to allow the film to be made in what we view today. We find out that to do the CGI effects for the alien spaceship, they had to rent time on the CRAY-2 supercomputer with four vector processors made by the Cray Research, Inc. Company and in 1985 it cost them $1 Million Dollars to create the special effects, which today could be all done on a mobile phone. On top of all that, when the film was about to be released, the promotion of the film was very bland and not very well promoted and when the film was finally released in the cinemas across America, it did reasonably well, but sadly was not a big box office success, but eventually it was broadcast of the Disney Channel, and that is when it started to gain a cult status following and especially for young children, who would watch if about 10 times whenever it was broadcast. Dimitri Villard mentions one anecdote he liked to tell us about, and that was one night he was invited to a dinner party, and sat next to him was a woman and told him that her son had adopted the character of David Scott Freeman and kept up this character for a very long time and no matter how many times the Parents objected, he stood his ground and of course Dimitri Villard realised there and then what an influence the film had on the general public, especially with children and felt ‘FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR’ was by far the most popular Sci-Fi film he had ever been involved with. Once again, this was a really a very nice feature and well worth viewing.
Special Feature: Playing The Navigator: An interview with Joey Cramer  [1080p] [1.78:1 / 1.37:1] [22:11] Here we get to meet the then young actor who played David Scott Freeman and of course you forget people get older and get a bit of awakening when you see what they look like today. Here Joey Cramer explains how he got into acting, which started when he was 8 years old and his Mother use to work at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver in Canada and raised Joey Cramer on Musicals and would take him to the theatre mainly for musicals, but would also take him to see plays, and when the opportunity came for him to appear in a play his Mother would encourage him to appear in plays, and from then on got an agent, and eventually started to do TV commercials and when he was Ten years old got to appear in his first feature film like ‘Runaway’ . After that he appeared in a small part in the film ‘Clan Of The Cave Bear’ , and also appeared in the ‘I-Man’  a Fantasy/Action film. After that, got the audition for the film ‘FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR’ at the age of 12, and was flown to Los Angeles to meet the director Randal Kleiser and really it off, and of course and learned later on after he got the part, that there had been hundreds of other young actors who did auditions and felt really honoured to be offered the part and especially as it was such a cool story, especially when it involved an alien spaceship, an alien and also being able to fly the alien spaceship. Joey Cramer really like appearing in the film especially with Sarah Jessica parker and felt she was super cool and super fun, especially when Sarah Jessica Parker called him “cute” in the film. Joey Cramer also feels looking back and thought wow, what a thing to go through as a child and there were definitely parts in the film that makes him cry whenever he watches it and really felt totally connected to the film, and especially working with the two adult actors who were his Parents in the film and at the time it felt like a real family, and when he watches the film, he still feels connected. Also working with Matt Adler, the older brother and how he was very protective he was towards David, especially scenes in the hospital. On top of all that, there was no CGI at the time and filming in Florida was at the time of Hurricane Kate that hit the Gulf of Mexico and then went onto the Florida Straits. One of the coolest locations for Joey Cramer was on Burt Reynolds Ranch & Film Studios at Jupiter in Florida, where the alien spaceship lands at Al’s Gator City gas station, and Joey Cramer was there for a week’s long film schedule and stayed at Burt’s Treehouse which was real cool, because they had all kinds of wild animals, especially young deer. But of course Joey Cramer had to go to Norway to a large warehouse near Oslo to film all the interior shots of the alien spaceship, which he found very cool, especially to interact with everything, and when he was at the alien spaceship controls viewing when they were flying about, and in front of him was a giant projector screen, which of course they projected a film of what he was viewing on that big screen so he could react to what was being projected on the big screen. Joey Cramer informs us that they filmed a different ending, where Max’s alien superiors wanted to destroy his spaceship because he helped David to go back in time to his family and there was a countdown clock on the ceiling of the spaceship and of course would have had a massive dramatic ending and David demanded Max’s alien superiors to leave him alone, but of course, and rightly so, that ending was abandoned. When Joey Cramer and his family went to New York for the première of ‘FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR,’ afterwards Paul Reubens Pee Wee Herman aka Paul Mall and the voice of “Max” invited Joey Cramer to the CBS Saturday-morning children's TV programme “Pee-wee's Playhouse.” On top of all that, because Joey Cramer was away in Norway for four months, he started to miss his close friends, so without telling him, they flew his closet friend called Jason and his Father over to Norway to be reunited and they spent a whole two weeks together. After ‘FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR,’ got offered several film parts and TV projects, but in the end he just wanted a normal life and be just a young child growing up. Again, after ‘FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR, Joey Cramer got massive amount of fan mail and would reply to all of them with a standard correspondence, but added a few extra words to make it look that letter was specifically for that fan and was also sent loads of drawings. But overall, the experience he had with ‘FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR,’ and will live with himself forever and was also glad he got the part of David Scott Freeman which was a totally magical film. Once again, this special feature is really very moving and should not be missed and definitely gets a five star rating from me.
Special Feature: Mother of The Navigator: Interview with Veronica Cartwright:  [1080p] [1.78:1] [11:30] Here we get to meet a much older Veronica Cartwright who of course played the Mother Helen Freeman and is interviewed in her home. Veronica Cartwright talks about Sci-Fi films, but also mentions that she appeared in the film ‘The Birds’  that of course was directed by the legendary director Alfred Hitchcock and had a brilliant time and found Alfred Hitchcock was very nice to her and taught how to cook. Amazingly, Veronica Cartwright was originally born in in Bristol in England. Veronica Cartwright also appeared in the film ‘The Children’s Hour’  which starred Audrey Hepburn, Shirley MacLaine, and James Garner. Veronica went onto appear in the American TV Series ‘The Eleventh Hour’  and also did several episodes of the American TV Series ‘The Twighlight Zone.’ But of course, Veronica’s biggest break was appearing in the film ‘ALIEN,’ then next appeared in the film ‘FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR,’ and found the whole experience very charming, and especially the story of David being taken away from his family for eight years and eventually being taken back in time in 1978 to be reunited with his family, where the event happened. Veronica also felt what was wonderful about the film, was working with the director Randal Kleiser, because he knew what he wanted, and especial the actors and was also very cool guy, as he was also cool calm and collective and also made the whole experience a really wonderful time that was had by all. Veronica eventually went onto appear in the virtual reality series entitled ‘DEFROST’ that takes place in the year 2045, when liquid nitrogen is now commonly used to freeze patients until remedies for their illnesses are developed and there were 12 episodes made. Veronica was very impressed with the alien spaceship in ‘FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR,’ and also felt it was very clever scenario and how it would change shape, and also loved the shiny interior of the alien spaceship. Veronica thought Joey Cramer was really wonderful and thought he was also a wonderful actor. Veronica talks about the actress Sarah Jessica Parker, and tells us that this was her first film, and thought she was adorable and especially having that wild purple hair and also felt the whole cast was wonderful. Veronica talks in-depth about fellow actor Cliff De Young who of course played Bill Freeman and also appeared with him in ‘Robert Kennedy and His Times’  which was an American television miniseries directed by Marvin J. Chomsky, based on the 1978 Robert F. Kennedy biography of the same name by Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. for CBS Studios. Veronica talks about Paul Reubens who was the voice of “Max” and did not know he was going to be the voice of the alien, and when Veronica went to do the voice looping, there was Paul Reubens laughing, but of course in the credits was known as Paul Mall and felt he was very creative. Next veronica talks about Matt Adler, who was of course is the older brother Jeff Freeman, and when Veronica had moved house and settled in, the next night was Halloween and of course children would come around and knock on people’s door for Trick or Treat and who should knock on her door was Matt Adler, who only lived a few blocks from her and was shocked when Veronica opened her door. Again, veronica praises the director Randal Kleiser and really liked the strange aliens animals in the alien spaceship, and that the film appealed to all age groups and Veronica has been to several conventions, where people come up to her and tell her 'FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR' that it is their all-time favourite film. Because they grew up with the film and also showing it to their children, because Veronica feels so much is crammed into a film that is only 89 minutes long and is also a darling of a film. This again, despite being a very short special feature, was a great joy to watch.
Special Feature: Brother of The Navigator: Interview with Matt Adler:  [1080p] [1.78:1] [9:24] Here we get to an in-depth interview with the much older Matta Adler who of course played the older brother Jeff Freeman at 16 years old, and of course it is always shocking how nature has not been kind to Matt Adler. In his early days he was studying acting at his local High School and was not taking it very seriously, and did not know what he wanted out of life or whether to take acting seriously, but despite this, he really liked it a lot in the end. Then later on went to Lee Strasbourg Theatre Company in Los Angeles and eventually got an agent, who sent Matt on auditions in 1983. The first film he appeared in was ‘Teen Wolf’  and then got a part in the film ‘White Water Summer’  and then finally got the part in the film 'FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR.' Matt Adler really liked the director Randal Kleiser, who was always cool, calm and collective, but matt always wanted feedback on what he should be doing in a certain scene in the film, especially the one with the scenes with Joey Cramer and the director Randal Kleiser always assured him he was doing his scenes fine. Matt Adler talks about Joey Cramer, who he felt was like a lie a magical elf, and he also felt the director felt the same about this young actor, and Matt also felt acting with Joey Cramer was really great. Matt really like the actor Cliff De Young, and felt he was a super cool dude, especially as he was a singer and could play the guitar, but was also a joy to work with, and even better when working with the whole shooting environment and was also a very warm positive lovely experience. Matt also enjoyed working with Veronica cartwright and felt she was very good at the character she had to play and matt also enjoyed the stories Veronica told and wish he had appreciated them much more at the time and was very super to be around Veronica. Matt goes onto to talking about Sarah Jessica Parker, who of course played Carolyn McAdams, and felt Sarah was fantastic, and they use to hang out a lot on the days they were not needed for filming and Sarah Jessica Parker introduced him to Public Radio and felt this was the greatest gift Matt found out about. Matt feels certain films bond people, and he feels the film 'FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR' was one of them, and of course lasts a lifetime with this particular film, because it is a film for all generations, and felt it was a very cool film he appeared in, and of course when Matt meets the general public, they of course tell him it is one of their all-time favourite film and then feels he was a very lucky person to appear in that film. Despite being a very short special feature, it was still a joy to watch.
Special Feature: From Concept to Creation: The Special Effects of 'FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR'  [1080p] [1.78:1 / 1.37:1] [17:31] Once again we meet the director Randal Kleiser and informs us that when he was 12 years old, would make an 8mm animated films and was hoping to show it to Walt Disney himself, but the guard at the gate and asked if Randal had an appointment and of course he informed the guard that he did not have an appointment, so of course he would not allow Randal to see Walt Disney personally, so unfortunately was not able to show his 8mm film to Walt Disney personally, so in the end gave up on that idea of doing any more animated films. Randal Kleiser was so excited to be working on the special effects for the film ‘FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR,’ because Randal loves special effects and especially the ones when he viewed in the film ‘The Ten Commandments where the sea parts when he was younger and vowed that he was determined to do special effects when hopefully working in the film industry later on in life, and of course his dream came true when asked to direct the film ‘FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR.’ So Randal Kleiser started to experiment in filming mock ups of alien spaceships, but when he spoke to his brother Jeff Kleiser, who told Randal it could be easily done digitally, because his brother Jeff Kleiser had worked on special effects with the film ‘TRON’  which was the first CGI film and there was only one company that could do this CDI work at the time in putting high resolution onto film and that was MAGI or MAGI/Synthavision which was an early computer technology company founded in 1966 by Dr. Philip Mittelman and located in Elmsford, New York, and ‘TRON’ was a totally ground-breaking film that revolutionized computer generated images, and of course ‘FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR’ CGI was in its infancy at the time and was not an easy process and of course it was all trial and error, and we see Jeff Kleiser at his computer, showing us how the alien spaceship was initially designed and with trial and determination worked very hard to make it look real. We then get to hear from Edward Eyth who informs us that at the time of making the film ‘FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR,’ had just graduated from the ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California and studied industrial design and he was awarded a scholarship for outstanding academic achievement and graduated with distinction. But then started work at a Consulting Firm in Los Angeles and at the same time was doing illustrations of spaceships in the hope of getting some kind of work in the film industry and dropped of his sketch book at the building entitled Van Nuys, California, and since 2005 it has been based at the Letterman Digital Arts Center in the Presidio of San Francisco, who were involved with the ‘Star Wars’ project and with a bit of luck bumped into Randal Kleiser and showed him his sketch book and was really impressed with what he had drawn and invited him to design the alien spaceship, and of course Edward Eyth was very excited to be involved with the project and loved the concept of the film. So Randal Kleiser put Edward Eyth the task of designing an alien spaceship that had not been seen before in any Sci-Fi film, so Edward Eyth did loads of different designs and eventually came up with a concept design that Randal Kleiser thought was perfect, but before that Randal was slightly perturbed by the fact he found out that Edward Eyth had first shown his approved designs to Stephen Spielberg and George Lucas to bounce ideas to see if they felt it needed to refine the design of the alien spaceship, and approved what he had done. Edward Eyth also did sketches for the alien creatures that were on the alien spaceship and had a lot of fun coming up with lots of weird designs for aliens until Randal approved of some of the ones he really liked. We once again we get to see two models of the alien spaceship that the director Randal Kleiser has displayed at his home, which were used to transfer the model into a computer generated image, which was extremely time consuming putting the alien spaceship into the computer to make it look realistic in the film, and the actual computer process at the time was that it took 20 minutes to 30 minutes to calculate one frame for the alien spaceship onto a 35mm film frame, and a 10 second sequence would take a 10 days solid work to process, and over the length of the film you realise what a mammoth task they had on their hands. Once again Randal Kleiser informs us that every time he meets the general public and find out he was the director of ‘FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR,’ they always inform him it is one of their all-time favourite film and especially coming from the older generation who viewed the film when they were 12 years of age and when the film was released to the general public. Also Jeff Kleiser and Edward Eyth also get to inform us that it is also one of their favourite film, especially working on it personally, and on top of all that, Edward Eyth did not realise what a massive impact the film had on the general public when it was released in the cinema, and also comments and shows what a great tribute it was towards the film and also a great deal of effort went towards the film, despite all the problems and also what a great honour it was to have worked on this totally magical film. By the way, this particular special feature is totally brilliant and equally very impressive and very informative and it is a definite must view and definitely gets a five star rating from me. Contributors include: Randal Kleiser (Director), Jeff Kleiser (Digital Effects Artist) and Edward Eyth (Conceptual Artist)
Audio Commentary with Director Randal Kleiser and Executive Producer Jonathan Sanger: Here we are personally welcomed to this audio commentary by Randal Kleiser and Jonathan Sanger for the film ‘FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR,’ and unfortunately it was recorded for the DVD release of the film, which really annoys me, as why can’t they not be so lazy and re-edit it and mention that they are watching the Blu-ray disc? At the time of the audio commentary, they mention that it is the first time they have seen the film, since it was released over 30 years ago and they specifically made the film for children, but of course since then they have found out that adults also love the film. When the film starts, they wanted to give a lot of suspense, and then later on in the film they wanted the film to be a lot of fun, especially for a Disney film, and they also say that they wanted to tease the audience as you get into the film, and each time you think you are viewing a flying saucer, but turns out to be something that is seen in general, like the blimp and the water tower. When we see the start of the film, again they wanted to think you are viewing an alien spaceship, but of course turns out we are viewing a Frisbee Contest, and it was specifically put for the filmmakers, and they were looking for dogs that can catch Frisbees and they comment that the dogs sure sis a good job. Originally they had to start filming in the month of November and originally were going to be filmed in Los Angeles, but they wanted blue skies, so finally they had to settle on filming in Miami. They auditioned a great deal of young boy actors, but found Joey Cramer was the ideal candidate for the part in the film. The scene where Joey Cramer walks across the railway track to get to the woods was up near Fort Lauderdale and was lucky to find the cliff like edge, where Joey Cramer falls into. They give great praise to the cinematographer James Glennon in getting the right spooky atmosphere. They say over the years that fans of the film have come up to them and inform that it is one of their all-time favourite film and at one time they were at a special showing of the film and about 150 turned up, and after the showing they brought out a model of the alien spaceship and the whole audience gasped. When we first see the alien spaceship that had crashed into the electric pylon we are told that the person who designed it was a graduate student from California Institute of the Arts, and when they asked him to come up with some designs, he produced over 300 designs, but eventually came up with the finally design of the alien spaceship you see in the film. They talk about how they went about perfecting the aliens voice and they tried all types of experimenting with different types of recording, like using a voice box that attaches to the neck, and in the end they brought in the actor Paul Reubens, who of course is best known for his character Pee-wee Herman, and did not want his name revealed. When we first meet Sarah Jessica Parker, they said that Sarah was very easy to work with and at the time of filming was dating Robert Downey Jr. When Joey Cramer comes face to face with the alien spacecraft, and the steps appear and of course people wondered how the steps were achieved without any support and we find out that this was achieved and we find out that it was Gene Warren (1916 – 1997) came up with the idea, and to get the effect of the steps floating was solved by Doug Henning a Canadian magician and again was solved by having a steel bar welded under the steps and of course the metal bar was of course digitally removed to give the impression the steps were floating. As we get near to the end of the film, they say that Mark H. Baker came up with the original storyline for the film and they are hoping to work with him again on another film, but we are not divulged what that project is. They also both say they thoroughly enjoyed working on the film and one of them says, “See you later alligators out there.” This audio commentary featuring Randal Kleiser and Jonathan Sanger seem to have an obvious kinship and their chat features some interesting insights, although there are some gaps in their audio commentary. Director Randal Kleiser and Executive Producer Jonathan Sanger have recorded this audio commentary track exclusively for this release. It is a very warm and welcoming audio commentary track that is full of anecdotes and fond production remembrances, and while it would have been nice to have a few vintage special features, but despite this, the very nice and informative audio commentary goes a fair way towards compensating for the relative lack of bonus special feature material and is well worth a listen, especially with the very interesting anecdotes.
BONUS: An amazing limited edition 100 page soft cover book that includes CAST Listing; CREW Listing; THE MAKING OF ‘FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR' by Kevin Lyons; ORIGINAL PRODUCTION NOTES; THE DEVELOPMENT AND PRODUCTION by Dimitri Villard; Randal Kleiser’s THE ORIGINAL STORYBOARD; Rare behind- the-scenes photographs; Original Production Notes and Rare ‘FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR' Viking Film Poster.
PLUS: Reversible printed sleeve with new and Original Artwork. Two sided printed slipcase with new artwork by Rich Davies who is a Graphic Designer and Illustrator based in Wales, United Kingdom. Rich Davies specializes in Graphic Design, Illustration and Digital Art. Two sided printed poster with new and original artwork.
Finally, ‘FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR' is one of those rare nostalgic film treats that is just as much fun when I remembering the first time I viewed it on Television a very long time ago and this Blu-ray disc presentation sure takes you right back to that era of the 1980s and is an absolutely fantastic fantasy film that is well worth discovering, especially if you haven't already seen it, as it is a must viewing experience. The picture and sound quality is an experience that is pure and enjoyable. This time we have an upgrade with plethora of special features, which will give you so much more information about the history of this brilliant and classic Sci-Fi film and now I am even more extremely happy to have this Exclusive Limited Edition Box Set Blu-ray in my collection. The previous Blu-ray release had only one special feature, that of the Audio Commentary with Director Randal Kleiser and Executive Producer Jonathan Sanger, but now there is a totally wonderful and amazing plethora special features that will keep you happy for many hours of viewing enjoyment. The presentation of the film itself deserves an overall acclaim for success, especially as it has now been given a massive upgrade with a Brand New Second Sight Films 4K Scan and Restoration supervised by Director Randal Kleiser. The film itself is very cleaver, totally suspenseful, and at times very laughs out loud funny moments. ‘FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR' simply offers you as much fun as any Sci-Fi fantasy film of this calibre I have seen in a very long time. This film is one of Walt Disney Pictures best kept secret family film to come out in a very long time, and a film that widely departs from the usual Walt Disney Pictures family entertainment formula and definitely manages to bring you total joyous entertainment for a wonderful 90 minutes of sheer joy and happiness that is why it has gone pride of place in my extensive Walt Disney Blu-ray Collection, as it is one of my all-time favourite film ever and one I originally owned on a very poor substitute inferior DVD, but despite this, having it on this new upgraded Blu-ray disc is now a fantastic experience and something you should not miss out on. All in all it is a totally brilliant film, and sequences on the alien ship are both funny and very touching, as MAX and David each try to get home. The special effects are, for the most part, surprisingly fresh and believable, and the opening sequence of dogs playing Frisbee is a really enjoyable spectacular, as it is all very well done, with clever shots that make everyday objects look like they just might be from a spacecraft and very emotional scenes between David and his new, older family and Joey Cramer does a good job in his role. This is a very charming film, with enough drama and humour to please almost any viewer, so a must purchase for sure and it is a film that is a definite repeat viewing and you will never tire of its charm and ‘FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR’ fulfils its mission and makes you want to experience the same journey as David Scott Freeman and of course MAX the computer and especially in the alien spacecraft and after viewing the film, you will say to yourself, I wish this experience in the alien spacecraft would happen to me, that is the effect this film will have on you. Very Highly Recommend!
Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Aficionado
Le Cinema Paradiso