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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
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...
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Garth
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Harry Ruben
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Kweli
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Pindi
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Dr. Baker
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Dr. Ruth Young
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Young Jill Young
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Vern
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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 »

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Details

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Release Date:

25 December 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Store Joe Young  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$90,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

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

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

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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

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 »

Quotes

Jill Young: [Gregg is holding out his hand to shake on their deal that Jill is in charge of Joe if they go with him to L.A] That's not how we make deals around here. You have to get bitten by a Mahooky Spider, you'll get a fever and delusions. You'll start to say things. Then if you're intensions prove true... we trust you.
Greg O'Hara: [pausing] If I get bit and prove true, you'll come with me?
Jill Young: Yep. What do you think?
Greg O'Hara: [staring at her] I think that's the biggest load of crap I've ever heard.
Jill Young: [smiles] maybe you're not such ...
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Connections

References Wagon Master (1950) See more »

Soundtracks

Calliope Music
Written and Performed by Richard Gibbs
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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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