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Mighty Joe Young (1998)

PG  |   |  Action, Adventure, Family  |  25 December 1998 (USA)
5.5
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Ratings: 5.5/10 from 21,231 users  
Reviews: 88 user | 34 critic

A legendary fifteen-foot tall mountain gorilla named Joe is taken to an animal sanctuary in California by a zoologist and a young woman whom he grew up with. A poacher from the past returns to seek vengeance on him.

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Title: Mighty Joe Young (1998)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Garth
...
Harry Ruben
...
...
Kweli
...
Pindi
...
Dr. Baker
...
Dr. Ruth Young
...
Young Jill Young
...
Vern
...
Jack
Cory Buck ...
Jason
Liz Georges ...
Jason's Mother
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Storyline

The baby gorilla left in her care grows up to become a hugely tall and broad specimen by the name of Joe, living in the mountains as a mostly unseen legend among people who live there. Along comes an eco-minded emissary from a California sanctuary, who talks the jungle girl into providing safe haven for Joe at the L.A. facility. The transition is not without discomfort, but everything is aggravated via a conspiracy of poachers to get Joe into their own greedy hands! Written by Anthony Pereyra <hypersonic91@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Survival is an instinct.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some menacing action violence and mild language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

25 December 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Store Joe Young  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$90,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$10,602,042 (USA) (25 December 1998)

Gross:

£4,307,343 (UK) (18 June 1999)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Like most films during the 1990's that features creature effects, Joe was created through the mixture of practical and digital effects. For the majority of the film, Joe was portrayed by creature suit performer ('John Alexander') who wore a radio-controlled animatronic gorilla suit created by special makeup effects artist (Rick Baker) and his crew at Cinovation Studios. In order to achieve those scenes, Alexander would often act on miniature sets that were surrounded by blue screen in which visual effects house DreamQuest Images would composite him into footage that was shot before. While in the beginning of the film when Joe was an infant he was performed by (Verne Troyer). For certain scenes, the filmmakers used three full-sized animatronics (one in quadraped, one sitting down, and one in a dead position) also created by Baker's crew. For the scenes where the digital Joe was used, visual effects houses DreamQuest Images and Industrial, Light, & Magic would work on different scenes using the same model provided by Baker. Many of these performances were achieved by key-frame animation, but when the digital Joe was running and jumping was motion capture data that they captured from an infant chimpanzee. See more »

Goofs

In Gregg's first appearance he refers briefly to a map, then orients himself with a magnetic compass, while resting the same arm on the steel hood of his Humvee. See more »

Quotes

[At Strasser's estate in Africa, watching a news report on Joe, recently moved to a conservatory in California]
Andrei Strasser: My God... Pindi was right.
[Garth enters the room]
Andrei Strasser: He's beautiful. The most beautiful animal I ever seen.
Garth: And the most valuable, that's for sure.
[sits down, watches as Jill appears on screen]
Garth: Isn't that the...?
Andrei Strasser: Wait! Be quiet!
[Both men's expressions are of recognition as Jill is identified as the daughter of the primatologist they had killed twelve years earlier]
Garth: Bloody hell! That's him...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Edited into Scorcher (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Calliope Music
Written and Performed by Richard Gibbs
See more »

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User Reviews

Grouse Gorilla
5 April 1999 | by (Cairns Australia) – See all my reviews

Mighty Joe Young is a big, big gorilla who gets time in L.A. escaping poachers who are after him in his home hill in Africa. This is a remake of a remake of King Kong (1933), which was made in 1949 as the original Mighty Joe Young.

This latest version is a remarkable computer and animatronic invention, justly nominated for this year's Academy Awards. He really is whiz bang and totally believable as a creature on the screen.

His best friends are Jill played by the very attractive Charlize Theron and Gregg played by Bill Paxton in a pretty light weight film for him considering some of his previous films (One False Move, A Simple Plan).

But take note too of Naveen Andrews who plays the screwball jungle tour guide. He was remarkable in The English Patient and Kama Sutra. Oh well. The bills have to be paid.

Mighty Joe Young is a Disney film aimed squarely at the fairly young, complete with the fairly gruesome bits that today's TV bred ankle biters demand. So what's in it for the oldies.

Well there's Charlize Theron who's pretty gorgeous. And then there's a truly spectacular scene when big Joe climbs up a burning (yes burning!) Ferris Wheel at a L.A. amusement park at night and rescues a little boy.

But my favourite bit was Joe violently wrecking a car bit by bit because the car alarm is sounding. His self satisfied grin as he sat on the quietened nuisance was one that made me wish that I could also rock Ms Theron to sleep.


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