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Joaquin Phoenix, Leaf Phoenix


Ethan Hawke

Joe Dante

Eric Luke


Jason Presson


Amanda Peterson


Dick Miller

Robert Picardo

Edward S. Feldman

David Bombyk

Star Trek

The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction Movies

C.J. Henderson

The Arial Submarine

Blue Planet

Jerry Goldsmith

Dana Ivey

Meshach Taylor

Mary Kay Place

William Shatner

Chuck Jones

Citizen Kane

Eclipsed By Death: River Phoenix
Rio's Attic: Celebrating the Life and Times of a Dearly Missed River Phoenix
American EnglishEn Français

The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction Movies

by C.J. Henderson
First published in 2001

ISBN 0-8160-4567-4 (Paperback, 528 Pages)

Kids were not assembling spaceships in their own backyards, at least not in the early years of the last century. The 1910 movie The Arial Submarine, for example, was about exactly that - a flying submarine, something that must have looked equally bizarre and out of place as the Thunder Road spaceship does in Explorers.

Extending from 2000 to as far back as 1897, it's difficult to find a science fiction movie from anywhere in the world that's not listed in here. Joaquin Phoenix's SpaceCamp is present and even Blue Planet, a documentary movie filmed using the monstrously large IMAX format with footage that was shot directly in space, is also included. River's 1985 movie Explorers is also present and correct, except perhaps for the small spelling mistake that appears to have crept in when crediting the film's screen-writer.


Producers: David Bombyk and Edward S. Feldman; Director Joe Dante; Screenplay: Erick Luke; Music: Jerry Goldsmith; Cast: Ethan Hawke, River Phoenix, Jason Presson, Amanda Peterson, Dick Miller, Robert Picardo, Dana Ivey, Meshach Taylor, Mary Kay Place

Three kids (Hawke, Phoenix, Presson) figure out a way to travel into space. They build their own spaceship out of an old carnival ride car, old monitors, and spare parts, and then set off as Explorers.

The characterization, the story of how these three kids come together as friends, and their family backgrounds make for a well-told and compelling flight of fantasy. The acting and story telling are on a par with the inventive props and special effects.

This reference book is introduced by Star Trek legend William Shatner who reflects on his earliest years growing up in Canada and the time he spent eagerly visiting his local movie house to watch with fascination many of the films featured in this book. More than 1300 movies are documented altogether, from the earliest silent black-and-white classics through to the multi-million dollar effects-laden blockbusters of today. A list of credits, production notes and a synopsis of the story of each movie makes this book a valuable and highly useful resource for any science-fiction fan.

Those who watch this movie should keep their eyes open for the following gags: The school is named not for a president or a war hero but for animator Chuck Jones; the sled, Rosebud from Citizen Kane, is clearly highlighted in the junkyard sequence; and there is a newspaper headline that reads: "Kingston Falls Mystery Still Unsolved," referring to Joe Dante's previous film, the 1984 release, GREMLINS.

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