Little Buddha (1993)

PG  |   |  Drama  |  25 May 1994 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 11,857 users  
Reviews: 75 user | 29 critic

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 »


(story), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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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?


For the scene in the forest with the ascetics where Siddartha becomes emaciated from lack of food, Keanu Reeves went on a crash diet of oranges and water. See more »


Early in the movie, when Kenpo and the 3 other Tibetan monks are driving north on the top level of WA-99 the movie cuts to a separate shot of the same group now traveling north on Interstate-5 and then again south on the lower level of the WA-99 viaduct. However, as the scene continues, the group ends up atop the Queen Anne neighborhood, which is a northern part of Seattle. 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 Perché Buddha? (1993) See more »

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User Reviews

worth watching...
13 February 2000 | by (Sunnyvale) – See all my reviews

This was a very enjoyable movie. If for nothing else, it is worth watching for the beautiful scenes. I was fascinated watching Keanu as Siddhartha. He really seemed to lose himself in the role. I would really recommend this movie when you are in the mood for something gentle, beautiful to look at and at the same time, providing an interesting insight into the Buddhist world.

26 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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