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Little Buddha (1993)

PG  |   |  Drama  |  25 May 1994 (USA)
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Lama Norbu comes to Seattle in search of the reincarnation of his dead teacher, Lama Dorje. His search leads him to young Jesse Conrad, Raju, a waif from Kathmandu, and an upper class ... See full summary »


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2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ruocheng Ying ...
Lama Norbu (as Ying Ruocheng)
Alex Wiesendanger ...
Jesse Conrad
Raju Lal ...
Greishma Makar Singh ...
Sogyal Rinpoche ...
Kenpo Tenzin
Ven. Khyongla Rato Rinpoche ...
Lisa Conrad
Ven. Geshe Tsultim Gyelsen ...
Lama Dorje
Jigme Kunsang ...
Thubtem Jampa ...
Surekha Sikri ...
Sonali (as Surehka Sikri)
T.K. Lama ...


Lama Norbu comes to Seattle in search of the reincarnation of his dead teacher, Lama Dorje. His search leads him to young Jesse Conrad, Raju, a waif from Kathmandu, and an upper class Indian girl. Together, they journey to Bhutan where the three children must undergo a test to prove which is the true reincarnation. Interspersed with this, is the story of Siddharta, later known as the Buddha. It traces his spiritual journey from ignorance to true enlightenment. Written by Samantha Santa Maria <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A magical journey to a place where the past and the present meet.



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some disturbing images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| | |


Release Date:

25 May 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Lille Buddha  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$35,000,000 (estimated)


$4,858,139 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The film is dedicated to Francis Bouygues, a French industrialist who was to produce this film before he died in 1993. See more »


When Raju is playing with the Game Boy you can hear music from Tetris, but it's actually not turned on at all. See more »


[first lines]
Lama Norbu: Once upon a time, in a village in ancient India, there was a little goat and a priest. The priest wanted to sacrifice the goat to the gods. He raised him arm to cut the goat's throat, when suddenly the goat began to laugh. The priest stopped, amazed, and asked the goat, "why do you laugh? Don't you know I'm about to cut your throat?" "Oh yes," said the goat. "After 499 times dying and being reborn as a goat, I will be reborn as a human being." Then the little goat began to cry. The...
See more »

Crazy Credits

(Opening disclaimer) This film is inspired by the true life stories of several children and their extraordinary voyage of discovery. See more »


Referenced in Piers Morgan's Life Stories: Brian Blessed (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

Beautifully filmed
11 October 1999 | by (Chicago, IL USA) – See all my reviews

Outstanding for its cinematography. Bertolucci makes a clear distinction between the coolly modern Seattle (by giving it a blue tint) and the older, earthier India and Nepal (shot with an orange and red theme). Chris Isaak turns in a subtle and tender performance as the conflicted Dean Conrad.

Ruocheng Ying's performance as Lama Norbu is superb. And Keanu Reeves looks beautifully serene as Prince Siddhartha and later the Buddha.

23 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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