MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 130 this week

Whale Rider (2002)

PG-13  |   |  Drama, Family  |  30 January 2003 (New Zealand)
7.7
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.7/10 from 32,413 users   Metascore: 79/100
Reviews: 343 user | 145 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

IMDb Picks: April

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in April.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 22 titles
created 13 May 2011
 
a list of 41 titles
created 04 Jan 2012
 
a list of 39 titles
created 25 Apr 2012
 
a list of 30 titles
created 31 Oct 2012
 
a list of 28 titles
created 10 Feb 2013
 

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 & 32 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Vicky Haughton ...
Nanny Flowers
...
Grant Roa ...
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:

30 January 2003 (New Zealand)  »

Also Known As:

A Domadora de Baleias  »

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

The East Coast shirt worn by Uncle Rawiri refers to his home town, Whangara, being at the eastern tip of New Zealand's North Island. 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 Awkward.: Bonfire of the Vanities (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Voice / Percussion Loop
Hirini Melbourne and Richard Nunns
From Te Ku Te Whe
Courtesy of Rattle Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

What a Find!
30 January 2003 | by (Park City) – See all my reviews

Whale Rider is a story of the quest for the new leader of an indigenous Maori tribe living on an island off the coast of New Zealand. Often this type of film ends up making a caricature of the people, accentuating their quaint customs and idiosyncratic behaviors and causing us to smile condescendingly at their ignorance and stunted development. Whale Rider does nothing of the kind. Director Niki Caro treats her subject matter with profound respect, genuine curiosity and effortless grace, while refusing to ignore the signs of cultural disintegration. It is as if we are invited into the Whangara community, and are free to observe comfortably, without fear or embellishment. The 11-year-old first-time actor Keisha Castle-Hughes gives the most astonishing performance by a child that I have ever witnessed, and lifts the movie from being just plain good to a profoundly moving experience. Whale Rider is a tale of the evolution of a culture, wrapped in humor and hope. It is a story of an indomitable spirit. It is a movie about love and change, about the grim realities of life and the marvelous miracles of faith. If you have a chance to see this film, do not miss it!


32 of 37 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:
?