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Mighty Joe Young (1998)

PG  |   |  Action, Adventure, Family  |  25 December 1998 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.6/10 from 22,038 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.



(story), (earlier screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Harry Ruben
Dr. Baker
Dr. Ruth Young
Young Jill Young
Cory Buck ...
Liz Georges ...
Jason's Mother


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


Survival is an instinct.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

25 December 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Store Joe Young  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$90,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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


£4,307,343 (UK) (18 June 1999)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Bill Paxton's character name is a combination of the Ben Johnson and Robert Armstrong characters from the original version. See more »


When Jill is talking to the doctor at the market, watching Gregg, she picks up a piece of fruit to eat. As she puts it to her mouth it appears untouched. In the immediate cutaway scene, the fruit is half eaten. See more »


Jill Young: [sees Greg coming out of the infirmary] He's walking already? Joe should have dropped him harder.
See more »


Featured in Hollywood's Top Ten: You're an Animal (2011) See more »


Calliope Music
Written and Performed by Richard Gibbs
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User Reviews

An underrated and heartwarming film
26 August 2006 | by (Birmingham, England) – See all my reviews

I've seen this film several times and have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it each time. The performances from from Charlize Theron and Bill Paxton are excellent and the Special Effects are tremendous. The film has a relatively straightforward plot, but also has some powerful emotional scenes as well. The film is well written and directed with it ensuring it appeals to children who will not be frightened by Joe. Moreover, this is not a horror film but rather a story of a misunderstood creature that wants to be at peace. Mighty Joe You is one of the better films out there suitable for both children and adults to enjoy and I highly recommended it.


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