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All I can remember is that a young boy enters a science lab and finds a time machine with a capsule, and travels through time and ends up in the past in a forest, where he stumbles across an old man. The old man looks at the control panel and sees what looks to me like a car odometer, but is slowly going backwards like a countdown. It's been programmed to return automatically. I think the boy goes on an adventure or something, and barely makes it back in time when the time capsule returns to the base part in its own time. The movie was made in the 70's or early 80's, I do believe. Does this ring a bell with anyone else?

3

Long shot, but are you thinking of The Blue Yonder?

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Details which fit:

  • The movie is from 1985
  • Protagonist is a young boy
  • Time machine countdown is preset to automatically return
  • Time machine countdown looks like an odometer

Looks like the whole movie is on YouTube.

| improve this answer | |
  • whatever became of hucklberry fox? – releseabe Dec 17 '19 at 21:56

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