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It was bound to happen. With all the remakes someone was going to hit on it eventually. I’ve dodge the bullet till now, but this time it’s my turn. Disney has set it sights on destroying my childhood by remaking the one movie which most defined me as a kid. Get ready to watch The Rock take a giant shit on Flight of the Navigator.
Sure they haven’t cast The Rock yet, but you know it’s only a matter of time. THR reports that Brad Copeland is currently writing the remake for Disney and John Hyde, who produced the original 1986 film is also producing the second one. Unless they can find also find a time machine to de-age Sarah Jessica Parker, I’m not sure that Hyde’s presence really does much to make me feel all that better.
The original movie was a dream come true for any science fiction obsessed 80s kid. The story follows a 12-year-old boy who in 9178 runs away from home, falls in a ditch, gets knocked out, and wakes up eight years later. Everyone he knew has grown older and moved on, but he’s still twelve. What he can’t remember is that he’s spent the last 8 years exploring the universe aboard a robo-controlled alien space ship, a space ship which has since been captured by NASA and needs his help to get home.
If you have kids, especially boys, make it a point to run out and pick up the original before Disney ruins it with the bad special effects and hamfisted writing which have become the hallmark of any awful family movie remake. Maybe they’ll even find a way to work in, shudder, singing and dancing. More likely they’ll probably turn it into some meaningless, mindless adventure movie, but Flight of the Navigator was smart and maybe even a little challenging. PeeWee Herman voiced the ship’s computer Max, racing across the planet in some of the most exuberant flight sequences ever on screen; back when PeeWee was still a family entertainment idol, long before he was unfairly labeled as a pederast and shipped off to the Saturday morning hall of shame. It also had Sarah Jessica Parker with rockin pink hair, which, for one brief summer in 1986, made her the ultimate dream girl of every kid under the age of 16. They just don’t make them like Flight of the Navigator anymore.
I was only 9, but I still remember sitting in the area's only, run down movie theater watching it. On my head was a beat-up Bigfoot trucker hat (at the time I was really into monster trucks) and with me was my best friend Terry and some other kid whose parents had made us take him in with us. We walked out of that theater changed forever. The monster truck hat went in the closet never to return and from then on it was space ships and robots and girls with pink hair. After the travesties they've committed on their other live-action classics like The Absent Minded Professor and Escape from Witch Mountain, there's no reason to believe that modern Disney, or for that matter anyone set on remaking something that's already been done perfectly, will ever be able to duplicate that kind of moviegoing experience. So thanks in advance Disney, for ruining my memories.