MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 222 this week

Whale Rider (2002)

 -  Drama | Family  -  4 July 2003 (USA)
7.7
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.7/10 from 30,782 users   Metascore: 79/100
Reviews: 343 user | 151 critic | 31 from Metacritic.com

A contemporary story of love, rejection and triumph as a young Maori girl fights to fulfill a destiny her grandfather refuses to recognize.

Director:

Writers:

, (book)
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 30 titles
created 27 Sep 2010
 
list image
a list of 24 images
created 09 Aug 2011
 
a list of 42 titles
created 05 Oct 2011
 
a list of 36 titles
created 23 Mar 2013
 
a list of 21 titles
created 1 month ago
 

Search for "Whale Rider" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Whale Rider (2002)

Whale Rider (2002) on IMDb 7.7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Whale Rider.

User Polls

Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 29 wins & 28 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Oliver Twist (2005)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An adaptation of the classic Dickens tale, where an orphan meets a pickpocket on the streets of London. From there, he joins a household of boys who are trained to steal for their master.

Director: Roman Polanski
Stars: Barney Clark, Ben Kingsley, Jeremy Swift
Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A drama based on the true story of a college professor's bond with the abandoned dog he takes into his home.

Director: Lasse Hallström
Stars: Richard Gere, Joan Allen, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa
Martian Child (2007)
Comedy | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A science-fiction writer, recently widowed, considers whether to adopt a hyper-imaginative 6-year-old abandoned and socially rejected boy who says he's really from Mars.

Director: Menno Meyjes
Stars: John Cusack, Amanda Peet, Bobby Coleman
Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Mohammad, a boy at Tehran's institute for the blind, waits for his dad to pick him up for summer vacation. While waiting, he realizes a baby bird has fallen from its nest: he chases away a ... See full summary »

Director: Majid Majidi
Stars: Hossein Mahjoub, Mohsen Ramezani, Salameh Feyzi
Summer Hours (2008)
Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Two brothers and a sister witness the disappearance of their childhood memories when they must relinquish the family belongings to ensure their deceased mother's succession.

Director: Olivier Assayas
Stars: Juliette Binoche, Charles Berling, Jérémie Renier
Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A drama that focuses on the period in Mary and Joseph's life where they journeyed to Bethlehem for the birth of Jesus.

Director: Catherine Hardwicke
Stars: Keisha Castle-Hughes, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Oscar Isaac
Biography | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The story of J.M. Barrie's friendship with a family who inspired him to create Peter Pan.

Director: Marc Forster
Stars: Johnny Depp, Kate Winslet, Julie Christie
October Sky (1999)
Biography | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The true story of Homer Hickam, a coal miner's son who was inspired by the first Sputnik launch to take up rocketry against his father's wishes.

Director: Joe Johnston
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Cooper, Laura Dern
Comedy | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A coming-of-age story about a shy, young boy sent by his irresponsible mother to spend the summer with his wealthy, eccentric uncles in Texas.

Director: Tim McCanlies
Stars: Haley Joel Osment, Michael Caine, Robert Duvall
Drama | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A young girl is relegated to servitude at a boarding school when her father goes missing and is presumed dead.

Director: Alfonso Cuarón
Stars: Liesel Matthews, Eleanor Bron, Liam Cunningham
Son of Rambow (2007)
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

During a long English summer in the early 1980s, two schoolboys from differing backgrounds set out to make a film inspired by First Blood (1982).

Director: Garth Jennings
Stars: Bill Milner, Will Poulter, Jessica Hynes
Drama | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

10-year-old Fiona is sent to live with her grandparents in a small fishing village in Donegal, Ireland. She soon learns the local legend that an ancestor of hers married a Selkie - a seal ... See full summary »

Director: John Sayles
Stars: Jeni Courtney, Eileen Colgan, Mick Lally
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Vicky Haughton ...
Nanny Flowers
...
...
Uncle Rawiri
Mana Taumaunu ...
Hemi
Rachel House ...
Shilo
Taungaroa Emile ...
Willie
Tammy Davis ...
Dog
Mabel Wharekawa ...
Maka (as Mabel Wharekawa-Burt)
Rawinia Clarke ...
Miro
Tahei Simpson ...
Miss Parata
Roi Taimana ...
Hemi's Dad (as Roimata Taimana)
Elizabeth Skeen ...
Rehua
Tyronne White ...
Jake (as Tyrone White)
Edit

Storyline

On the east coast of New Zealand, the Whangara people believe their presence there dates back a thousand years or more to a single ancestor, Paikea, who escaped death when his canoe capsized by riding to shore on the back of a whale. From then on, Whangara chiefs, always the first-born, always male, have been considered Paikea's direct descendants. Pai, an 11-year-old girl in a patriarchal New Zealand tribe, believes she is destined to be the new chief. But her grandfather Koro is bound by tradition to pick a male leader. Pai loves Koro more than anyone in the world, but she must fight him and a thousand years of tradition to fulfill her destiny. Written by berkeley

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

new zealand | girl | tradition | canoe | maori | See more »

Taglines:

One young girl dared to confront the past, change the present and determine the future See more »

Genres:

Drama | Family

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief language and a momentary drug reference | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

4 July 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Whale Rider  »

Box Office

Budget:

NZD 6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$44,658 (South Africa) (25 July 2003)

Gross:

$20,772,796 (USA) (21 November 2003)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Niki Caro said during the director's commentary that Pai's crying speech scene was done in one take, but using two cameras. Unfortunately, due to technical difficulties there was a short break however, in which time Keisha Castle-Hughes's tutor and chaperon helped her to stay in character in with the same emotions. See more »

Goofs

The father and grandfather are arguing after the slide show, and the father goes to pull down the white sheet that was hung over some drapes to act as a screen. He pulls it down, along with the rod and orange drapes that the sheet was hanging from. Moments later, the drapes are back up in place and hanging perfectly straight, and there wasn't enough time for him to re-hang the drapes. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Paikea: In the old days, the land felt a great emptiness. It was waiting. Waiting to be filled up. Waiting for someone to love it. Waiting for a leader.
[child birth scene]
Paikea: And he came on the back of a whale. A man to lead a new people. Our ancestor, Paikea. But now we were waiting for the firstborn of the new generation, for the descendant of the whale rider. For the boy who would be chief.
Paikea: There was no gladness when I was born. My twin brother died, and took our mother with him.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Made by New Zealand See more »

Connections

Referenced in Outrageous Fortune: Get Thee to Bed (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Kaikoura Dub
(Michael Hodgson (as M. Hodgson) / Paddy Free (as P. Free))
Performed by Pitch Black
Courtesy of Pitch Black
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A real machismo meltdown.
20 February 2004 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

A beautifully filmed and convincingly acted treat for the entire family. Adults need NOT beware since the film respects its audience and contains levels of depth suitable for all ages. Although ultimately an upbeat movie, there are some grim plot elements that may not be appropriate for very young or overly sensitive children. However, there's no actual violence or anything truly frightening or morbid.

This is the story of a 12 year old Maori girl who knows that she is born to the destiny her grandfather believes died with her stillborn twin brother. I won't spoil the ending (which is hinted at early on) with specifics, but suffice it to say that the story's ultimate lesson is that change is sometimes as necessary a component of living traditions as repetitive ceremony. And that the Maori must ride that "whale" as bravely as their mythological ancestor rode the whale from Havaiki (a satellite island of Tahiti, NOT Hawaii) to New Zealand. Not to destroy or denigrate their culture, but to ensure its vitality and continuity in the cultural matrix of the modern world.

A great lesson in true cultural diversity without preachy slogans or "politically correct" censorship. It should be shown in all the world's classrooms. Keisha Castle-Hughes is unforgettable as the heroine, and richly deserves the Oscar for which she has been nominated.


39 of 45 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Boring jkktx
was there anybody who didn't cry?? Lauwer
And I'm a grown woman... libertess66
Why are there no girls? sgsilver
Movie v. Book ejhstevens
What is the idea behind ? dusan-saiko
Discuss Whale Rider (2002) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?