MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 549 this week

Whale Rider (2002)

PG-13  |   |  Drama, Family  |  29 August 2003 (USA)
7.7
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.7/10 from 32,936 users   Metascore: 79/100
Reviews: 344 user | 147 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...

Watch Now

Free at IMDb

WATCH NOW
ON DISC

Family Entertainment Guide

Check out IMDb's comprehensive Family Entertainment Guide for recommendations for movies and TV series for every age and every viewing platform.

Visit our Family Entertainment Guide

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 49 titles
created 02 Feb 2011
 
a list of 26 titles
created 21 May 2011
 
a list of 47 titles
created 23 May 2011
 
a list of 42 titles
created 09 Jan 2012
 
a list of 38 titles
created 22 Mar 2014
 

Related Items

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 31 wins & 31 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

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
Red Dog (2011)
Comedy | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Based on the legendary true story of the Red Dog who united a disparate local community while roaming the Australian outback in search of his long lost master.

Director: Kriv Stenders
Stars: Josh Lucas, Rachael Taylor, Rohan Nichol
Comedy | Family | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Lisa, a high school sophomore, has been hiding her hopeless crush on Todd, the irresistibly likable junior in her art class. Her life starts to unravel when he asks her to help him get to ... See full summary »

Director: Lionel Chew
Stars: Alicen Evans, Parker Harris, Bennet Jaffarian
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
Drama | Family | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

From the outside, Alexa has the perfect life. Her son is the high school football star, daughter a straight A student and her husband is CFO of a booming start-up company. The sudden death ... See full summary »

Director: John K.D. Graham
Stars: Bill Engvall, Lorena Segura York, Erin Ross
Action | Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

When a storm washes a canoe bearing an infant boy ashore upon a small South Pacific island, he is at first well-received as a gift from the heavens, even to the point of the tribal chief ... See full summary »

Director: Steven Ramirez
Stars: George Henare, Rawiri Paratene, Joe Folau
Babe (1995)
Comedy | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Babe, a pig raised by sheepdogs, learns to herd sheep with a little help from Farmer Hoggett.

Director: Chris Noonan
Stars: James Cromwell, Magda Szubanski, Christine Cavanaugh
Drama | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A young British girl born and raised in India loses her neglectful parents in an earthquake. She is returned to England to live at her uncle's estate. Her uncle is very distant due to the ... See full summary »

Director: Agnieszka Holland
Stars: Kate Maberly, Maggie Smith, Heydon Prowse
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
Chicken Run (2000)
Animation | Family | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

When a bird "flies" into a chicken farm, the fellow chickens see him as an opportunity to escape their evil owners.

Directors: Peter Lord, Nick Park
Stars: Mel Gibson, Julia Sawalha, Phil Daniels
Fantasia (1940)
Animation | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A collection of animated interpretations of great works of Western classical music.

Directors: Norman Ferguson, James Algar, and 9 more credits »
Stars: Leopold Stokowski, Deems Taylor, Corey Burton
Comedy | Family | Music

After winning the lottery, E, a young Maori Rapper returns home to New Zealand to find his musical and traditional roots. In the quest to find his voice he soon becomes lost as love, ... See full summary »

Director: Chris Herd
Stars: Keisha Castle-Hughes, Adam Saunders, Sarah Bishop
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

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:

29 August 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Domadora de Baleias  »

Box Office

Budget:

NZD 6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$198,471 (Australia) (2 May 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

The whales in the movie were depicted using a combination of footage of real whales, life size models (some with humans creating movement) and CGI. Keisha Castle-Hughes said the key whale riding scene took place 15-20 miles offshore and was terrifying. See more »

Goofs

When the grandfather is attempting to fix the small outboard motor, the rope he is using snaps leaving portions of the rope still attached to the motor. A moment later, the rope fragments are completely gone. 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

Dedicated to those who have gone before See more »

Connections

Referenced in Bro'Town: MorningSide Story (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

U Want Beef
(John Chong-Nee (as I. Chongnee) / Mark Sagapolutele (as M. Sagaponutele) / Demetrius Savelio (as D. Sayello) / Daniel Maoate (as D. Maoate) / David Puniani (as D. Puniani))
Dawnraid Music Publishing
Performed by Deceptikonz
Courtesy of Dawnraid Entertainment
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A beautiful film!
4 July 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

While 1994's "Once Were Warriors" was a violent look at Maori culture this is easily more upbeat and lyrical. Story starts out in a hospital where a mother has just given birth to twins and the male twin dies as does the mother. The remaining twin is a girl and the film is about her and how she thinks and wants to be the future leader of her village. The film is set in modern day and we see the girl Pai (Keisha Castle-Hughes) as a 12 year old who knows that her twin brother that died was suppose to be the future chief. Pai's father is Porourangi (Cliff Curtis) and he's an artist who has left the village for a career and Pai is raised by her grandparents Koro and Nanny (Rawiri Paratene and Vicky Haughton) and she craves the respect from Koro but he is of the old ways and is still searching for a new chief. She wants to learn the ways of being chief but Koro yells at her not to fool with the sacred ways of their people. Women are treated as second class but Pai eavesdrops on Koro's classes with the young boys and learns the ways. The film is directed by Niki Caro and its only her third film but this should definitely put her on everyones list as a great future director. The film is beautiful to look at and even though its not a big budget movie the story and images make this an unforgettable viewing experience. Caro does a wonderful job of allowing the story to tell itself without relying on plot contrivances. Even though the story is more of a fable it still comes across as relevant and believable. One scene in particular stands out and its the one where Pai is receiving an award at school and she has invited Koro to watch her but instead of him making the obligatory entrance, Koro has discovered something more important. The performances are superb and Castle-Hughes gives I think one of the best performances of the year. What makes it so amazing is that its her film debut! You would think that you were watching a seasoned actress but your not! She's incredible to look at and in some scenes she comes across as so strong willed but then in other shots she's just a fun loving young girl. Castle-Hughes conveys both sorrow and pity as she dreams of being a chief. A remarkable performance that was crucial to the film. Without her performance the film would come across as more distant emotionally. The images of Castle-Hughes on the back of the whale as it submerges are so haunting and beautiful and its these scenes that give it a lyrical quality and the emotional impact of the story is impossible to ignore. This is more than just a film its a viewing experience that everyone must see! Beautiful, haunting and a performance that you will never forget. Go see it!


25 of 29 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:
?