So I asked a similar question to this awhile ago and was told I was thinking of "Arena".

I watched Arena yesterday and it brought me much joy but sadly it was not Arena that I was trying to remember.

Some points to mention though: arena has a similar synth instrumentation especially in the opening to this film.

It also involved goofy full sized semi-realistic alien puppets like Arena did.

I also don't 100% know if this was:

  • A TVShow
  • A Movie

Or, the worst option:

  • A Fever Dream

Here's the deal, I'm autistic and have SPOOKY GOOD long-term memory.

my media intake background needs explaining

When I was a tott, we'd watch old VHS films, many of which were DVR recordings from before I was born.

I grew up on a version of starwars that had lots of TV fuzz but didn't have crappy CGI ( and I'm pretty sure Han shot first!!! ).

I had access to like 3 prerecorded cartoon tapes, approximately one of a speedy gonzales featurette collection, one involving daphy duck skits, and Who In The World Framed Roger Rabbit.

I also had the attention span of a gnat, and would pause and rewind scenes that I thought looked cool.

So even though I then had access to some really really appreciated pop culture, I did not yet appreciate it fully.

So it disheartens me to say that due to life stuff, they all got thrown in the dumpster eventually in the 2000s.

Somwhere between 2005 & 2011, no hard feelings.

So now that you know the background we're working with, please forgive vague or discongruent details as I was between the ages of 2 - 4 when I actually saw this.

It starts with the kids whom are the main characters solving problems in a robot arena with the help of their parents? I think, in a pit where over the top robot fighting is occuring and their doing pretty good for themselves, something generic goes wrong with some circuitry and they fix it in some clever according to the plot exposition way, so, we're supposed to root for them; and this is on earth I think, somewhere between 1980s - 1990s I think.

Then either some space junk crashes and they investigate before it is retrived by the aliens while they are still on board- or they just get abducted by aliens while they're out riding bikes together or something...


...either way one or more of them winds up on the alien spaceship which is a sprawling and intimidating space with lots of verticality.

At some point shortly after the main protagonist kid, winds up falling down a chute with a large robot spider thing, which design wise I kindof remember as looking kindof like the "arachnorb" enemy from the pikmin games, but in size it was approximately the size of a shopping kart/trolley or larger.

(I think the spider bot started out broken but then the kid fixed it and it was like a security drone or something buuuut all I know for sure is that I remember it started crumpled up and then became a momentary antagonist once it uncrumpled)

At this point ear-torture synth music starts playing as it barrels towards the kid and the audience, I remember whenever I watched this at the time! this scene used to scare the crap out of me! XD

But then it's revealed to be a fake-out at the last second, and they get rescued by a trap door and sent down another hatch, to meet with this really goofy looking green bug-eyed alien puppet/animatronic/suit-actor thing, which I remembered looked kindof like a lower budget attempt at making one of those Dinosaur sitcom characters but like space themed and clearly lower budget.

This alien is parked in front of a cartoonishly oversized CRT watching old black&white looney tunes.

It's revealed that the alien we're first introduced to is "a child", and then the parents show up, I remember a bit more special effects budget went into making theie costumes and it was kindof an obvious incongruency, and then I think after an "oh, the translater isn't working" fake-out-scare where they were talking in a fricken terrifying fake alien language, they were all like...

"oh no, it's fine, we're just appreciating earth culture"

Not exactly that, but it was too that effect.

Then they deliver plot exposition in front of a screen, and then the actual recording I was watching which was just this old DVR recording of crap, would fade to fuzz and some other random crap I no interest in would be on there, so we'd take it out, and put something else on, and I'd be frustrated uaually but then forget and just watch a Disney movie or something.

Likewise this is some crazy half remembered BS and I did watch Dinosaurs and Flight Of The Navigator and Short Circuit and Batteries Not Included and did have access to black and white looney tunes at that time via the aformentioned Daffy Duck skit collection VHS:

...so did I just have a really vivid dream that I thought was cool and hung onto?

At this point I don't know.

I've been through wikipedia film lists, of movies with space stations and sports, and also forgotten 1980s scifi classics, and I even vaguely but not for-sure remember this EXACT mystery film coming up as a discussion between the cast during an episode of the Youtube series: "Cinemassacre Video", or that could just be my mind playing tricks on me when I desperately search my memory for leads, but I remember it coming up AS A MYSTERY FILM, so even if this isn't a case of mistaken memory it still wasn't a helpful mention.

I suspect that if this even existed at all: it might've been in an awkward grey area where it's whole thing wasn't cheesy enough to be a so-bad-it'-good movie, but wasn't original enough to be a blockbuster hit movie, so... if it does indeed exist, it's probably been forgotten since nobody cared at the time when it was widely available if there ever was indeed such a time.

So, in conclusion sorry for my weird post.

I need to find this movie, because I've been rewatching things I remember from my childhood VHS binging, but, most of them are significantly easier to find than this mysterious anomaly in my memory.

Note: I am not immune to misremembering things, so go easy on me.

This could totally be some matrixed fever dream of Jim Henson's Dinosaurs × Flight Of The Navigator × Looney Tunes & some other random crap.

But if this is in line with anyone else's experience maybe it can be circumstantial evidence to get the ball rolling on the search for this.

Maybe it isn't a mystery but it's just so universally bad or whatever that it didn't merit mentioning.

Maybe it was one of those overly intricate commercials and I just expected it to be a movie because I was very young.

Anyways, I'm not trying to make a creepy pasta, I know "lost media" and "lost media creepy pasta" are hard to tell apart.

At worse this was a really weird fever dream!!!

weird not spooky, I remember it as being oddly wholesome if I'm remembering correctly.

  • 5
    Are you re-asking the same question you've already asked here? If that is the case, please don't do that. Instead you should merge your accounts and then you can edit your older post to include this new information and you will be able to comment on the answer to say it isn't what you are remembering.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Commented Mar 3, 2021 at 11:24
  • 4
    Welcome to SciFi.SE! This is really long and there's a lot of information here that's not really relevant to the question. Would you be able to trim this down a bit to focus only on the details of the movie that you're trying to identify? I appreciate that your autism may mean you have trouble doing that, so if not, I can take a stab at doing it for you if I have time.
    – F1Krazy
    Commented Mar 3, 2021 at 11:27
  • Sounds a lot like Explorers (1985) to me. But there may be some mix-up
    – mwarren
    Commented Mar 3, 2021 at 13:52
  • I'm at work right now so I'll make my comment an answer in a couple of hours.
    – mwarren
    Commented Mar 3, 2021 at 14:00
  • No, I had to create an account. I asked an estranged family member over a messging app, forever ago, is what I was saying. Not on stack exchange. My apology. Lack of clarity
    – user179283
    Commented Mar 7, 2021 at 2:36

1 Answer 1


The part with the robot wars seems like it is from a different movie to me. the part with the aliens on the ship seems a lot like Explorers (1985).

In Explorers (1985) three Earth boys receive strange dreams which lead them to construct a computer chip which can be used to move objects in space. Eventually they use the chip to power a homemade spaceship, go into space, and and their ship gets sucked into a giant alien spaceship and they meet strange aliens who are found of Earth culture learned from tv programs, who turn out to be wacky alien children, whose disapproving father shows up..

So one guess would probably be that the first part of the program you remember is part or all of a different program, and the second part is the ending of Explorers (1985), somehow together on a single VHS tape. Maybe someone taped his favorite parts of two different movies on a single tape.

If that is the case the characters would be different in the two parts of the tape. If you were as young as you say you might not remember whether the characters in the two parts were the same or different.

Or it could be a single tv program or movie which starts on Earth and has characters involved in robot wars who later meet aliens in space similar to the plot of Explorers (1985). I haven't seen every science fiction movie and tv show.

  • Your guess is as good as mine. I'll check out explorers. Until somebody else gets back to me with somethimg better, lets just go with that for now. ...not sure if I should've hit the checkmark yet since I'm tentatively accepting this answer until further evidence comes in one way or the other. Memory and comparison and all that
    – user179283
    Commented Mar 7, 2021 at 2:34
  • Dude!!!! I just watched this, it's 💯 Explorers. Robot spider & all. THANK YOU SO MUCH❣❣❣
    – user179283
    Commented Mar 8, 2021 at 0:33

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