What do you get when you combine a life-destroying journey across space and time with the fun-filled tale of a wise-cracking kid and his wacky robot friend? The answer: Disney's "Flight of the Navigator" (1986), a strange but mostly loveable combination of eerie sci-fi film and "a boy and his dog" story (except that the dog's a robot).
Fun is threaded throughout this film, starting with the opening scene of a dog frisbee-catching contest that keeps teasing the audience with faux spaceship sightings. (As Sarah quips, "We open the movie with the Fort Lauderdale championship for 'Who's a Good Boy?'") The movie also features middle-class families with boats and huge houses on the water, a spaceship that operates on Muppet logic, Chekov's fireworks, and a 12-year-old who -- according to Raf -- acts like a bitter Boomer.
Unlike 1982's "E.T.," "Flight of the Navigator" did not terrify Sarah as a child, who watched it multiple times with family friends and still considers it to be Sarah Jessica Parker's greatest performance (after "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun"). In a slightly emotional turn, she gets a little nostalgic at the end of the episode, thinking about the recent loss of her mother and remembering "the joy of going to a movie together with my family and seeing something that we all genuinely enjoyed." But sometimes, it's okay to be nostalgic and love a movie for its memories more than its content -- especially, as Sarah notes, when we're still "trying to read our own star charts to plot our own way home."