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Little Buddha (1993)

PG  |   |  Drama  |  25 May 1994 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 11,715 users  
Reviews: 74 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 »


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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?


Marlon Brando was approached about playing Siddartha. 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 »


Featured in Hollywood vs. Religion (1994) See more »

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User Reviews

Nothing wrong with slow.
10 January 1999 | by (Redmond, WA) – See all my reviews

I certainly disagree with the commentary that calls this movie plotless. I agree that it's slow, but what's wrong with slow? Roger Ebert put the movie down by calling it 'Buddhist Sunday School.' True, the Buddha parts are simplistic, but then so is the original Buddha story. Slow, thoughtful, peaceful, subtly stimulating, and with a plot to end all plots-- the one-ness of all individuality. I much prefer this to the more recent Kundun, which tries to tell essentially the same story. In fact, Scorsese rips this movie off dreadfully, even to the same wiping out of the sand pattern at the end.

38 of 42 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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