MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 310 this week

Whale Rider (2002)

7.7
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.7/10 from 31,439 users   Metascore: 79/100
Reviews: 342 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

Editors' Spotlight

Fall TV Premiere Week

Many of your favorite shows are coming back, along with plenty of series premieres. Here's a list of the shows premiering between Sunday, September 21 and Friday, September 26.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 37 titles
created 16 Mar 2011
 
a list of 30 titles
created 18 Sep 2011
 
a list of 30 titles
created 26 Oct 2012
 
a list of 48 titles
created 24 May 2013
 
a list of 30 titles
created 5 days ago
 

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

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
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
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
Martian Child (2007)
Comedy | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 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
Comedy | Family | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

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

Plot Keywords:

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

Taglines:

In the ways of the Ancients, she found a hope for 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 girl has been crying and the grandfather is comforting her, he wipes the tears from her face. In some shots, you can see where he wiped the tear, in other shots, you see a tear that has tricked down to her chin, and in some shots, she has a tear that hasn't traveled so far. 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 Death Valley: Assault on Precinct UTF (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Bar One
(International Observer)
Loaded Sounds
Performed by International Observer
Courtesy of IO Audio
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Emotional Powerhouse!
30 June 2003 | by (Washington, DC) – See all my reviews

A present day New Zealand community of Maori tribe people is waiting for the sign of a new chief to be born and lead the village and it's community to greatness. Many have been born, but for the village elder all have been disappointments. The beginning of the movie starts out with the birth of 2 fraternal twins, with the grandfather patiently awaiting the birth of the son. Unfortunately the boy dies while the girl lives, and resentful is the elder who blames the girl for the sons death since he was the last recent hope for the village to gain a chief.

Then something happens as the film flashes forward 12 years. The girl "Pai" (pie), is discovering that her community needs her, and all the signs point that she must lead her people. There is only one problem. The chief must be a man.

It's at this point the film literally becomes a simple story, as a young girl goes about trying to convince her awful grandfather that she is to lead the village. Many obligatory scenes are set up, and we all see the pre-destination, but it is the transformation that the viewer witnesses that is so powerful, and a payoff that can only be described as awe-inspiring.

Incredibly touching, deeply moving, wonderfuly acted, and beautiful cinematography, it's not small surprise why this film is a winner. Pai is a complete scene stealer, and it's finally nice to see Cliff Curtis show off some true acting skills. For Cliff who has played everything from a tattoed Hispanic gang leader in Training Day, to a Arab villan in the Majestic, it's pleasing to see him in a character that mirror's his true national identity since he is actually a New Zealander and not a Hispanic or Arab person. He must be incredibly proud to be part of this special film. The actors who played the grand parents are exceptional particularly the stubborn grandfather who's demands Pai keep away from all male activities (The grandfather's insistence to teach a young group of boys in a special school how to be chiefs, and Pai's insistence to learn without her gradfather's knowledge provides most of the light humour in the film).

Amazing film easily one of the best of the year

Rating 9 out of 10.


45 of 56 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:
?