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Mighty Joe Young (1998)

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0:41 | Trailer
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.

Director:

Ron Underwood

Writers:

Merian C. Cooper (story), Ruth Rose (earlier screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Charlize Theron ... Jill Young
Bill Paxton ... Gregg O'Hara
Rade Serbedzija ... Strasser
Peter Firth ... Garth
David Paymer ... Harry Ruben
Regina King ... Cecily Banks
Robert Wisdom ... Kweli
Naveen Andrews ... Pindi
Lawrence Pressman ... Dr. Baker
Linda Purl ... Dr. Ruth Young
Mika Boorem ... Young Jill Young
Geoffrey Blake ... Vern
Christian Clemenson ... Jack
Cory Buck Cory Buck ... Jason
Liz Georges 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 »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Swahili

Release Date:

25 December 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mighty Joe Young See more »

Filming Locations:

Hawaii, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$90,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,602,042, 27 December 1998

Gross USA:

$50,632,037

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$50,632,037
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Terry Moore, Ray Harryhausen: The star of the original Mighty Joe Young (1949), and the legendary stop-motion animator (who did most of the animation on the 1949 film) appear as an elderly couple at the gala. Looking at Jill Young, Moore states, "She reminds me of somebody, but I can't think who." Harryhausen replies, "You, when we first met." See more »

Goofs

Part of the film is set in California. In Los Angeles and at the carnival near the beach, there are police cars with their colored lights on. All the police cars are missing a steady red light in the front. By the California vehicle code, all emergency and law enforcement vehicles are required to have a steady red light facing forward. See more »

Quotes

[At Strasser's estate in Africa, watching a news report on Joe, recently moved to a conservatory in California]
Andrei Strasser: My God... Pindi was right.
[Garth enters the room]
Andrei Strasser: He's beautiful. The most beautiful animal I ever seen.
Garth: And the most valuable, that's for sure.
[sits down, watches as Jill appears on screen]
Garth: Isn't that the...?
Andrei Strasser: Wait! Be quiet!
[Both men's expressions are of recognition as Jill is identified as the daughter of the primatologist they had killed twelve years earlier]
Garth: Bloody hell! That's him...
[...]
See more »

Alternate Versions

German video and DVD versions are edited for violence (capturing of the gorilla, transport of the gorilla in the city, escape of the gorilla, explosion of the ferris wheel) to get a more family friendly "Not under 6" rating. The uncut version (rated "Not under 12") was shown several times on pay-TV channel Premiere World (now Sky Germany). See more »


Soundtracks

Windsong
Written by James Horner and Will Jennings
Choir Direction/Arrangement by Lebo M.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Joe and the effects steal the show!!!
11 November 2009 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

I wasn't sure whether I would like Mighty Joe Young. I did see it once with my family beforehand and didn't think much of it. When I did decide to give it a chance again, I am glad I did. I wasn't expecting a perfect family movie, and while this movie is very dark, it also manages to be quite sweet too. I will admit that the beginning is very dark and intense even for a family movie. I will also admit that the plot is very formulaic and that the villains are rather cartoony.

What made this movie though for me was Joe. He was designed superbly and acted very convincingly. Even for an ape, I found him quite adorable, after seeing films like Congo where they scared me so much. Other pluses are the superb special effects and the splendid scenery. Not to mention the lovely music score. The acting was a mixed bag; Charlize Theron was gorgeous as Jill, and Bill Paxton was very good as Gregg. The supporting actors ranged from good to so-so. The relationship between Joe and Jill was very very convincing and sweet, well to me it was. And I know the ending was more King Kong with a happy ending, but I will confess I cried. Maybe it was because I loved Joe so much, I have a habit of empathising with characters that I grow to love.

Overall, it is a decent family movie. It mayn't appeal to you first time, but if given the chance as it did with me, it may grow on you. 7/10 Bethany Cox


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