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)


$50,628,009 (USA) (9 April 1999)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Released on the big screen with the Disney cartoon short "Goofy's Extreme Sports: Skating the Half Pipe" in front of it. See more »


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 »


Jill Young: So, this is L.A., huh? Everything looks the same. How do you know where you are?
Greg O'Hara: It's easy. The ocean's that way, the mountains are that way, Mexico's that way, and Canada's thataway. You don't have to worry about the rest; you'll never see it through the smog.
See more »


Remake of Mighty Joe Young (1949) See more »


Calliope Music
Written and Performed by Richard Gibbs
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User Reviews

Great adaptation of the classic 1947 film
7 July 1999 | by (Barry, Texas USA) – See all my reviews

Mighty Joe Young is terrific family fare, and one of the better movies of 1998. It is based on the immortal classic from 1947 of the same name about a young woman and her faithful 20-foot tall, 2,000-pound gorilla named Joe.

Great special effects featuring Joe are the real highlight of the film, especially the animatronics and CGI which truly bring Joe to life.

There are also good performances, especially from Charlize Theron as the young woman, Jill, and Bill Paxton, fresh from Titanic, as the scientist who loves her.

But, the real star is the title character, the Mighty Joe, who brings a wonderfully gentle screen presence, and is the true hero of the film.

Highly recommended for children of all ages.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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