Mighty Joe Young

December 25th, 1998


Mighty Joe Young

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Mighty Joe YoungStill of Ron Underwood in Mighty Joe YoungStill of Charlize Theron in Mighty Joe YoungStill of Bill Paxton, Charlize Theron and Ron Underwood in Mighty Joe YoungStill of Ron Underwood in Mighty Joe YoungStill of Bill Paxton and Charlize Theron in Mighty Joe Young

After Mighty Joe Young is brought to America for safety reasons, he escapes and rampages through Hollywood, spurred by tormentors out for revenge.

Release Year: 1998

Rating: 5.4/10 (12,112 voted)

Director: Ron Underwood

Stars: Bill Paxton, Charlize Theron, Rade Serbedzija

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!

Writers: Merian C. Cooper, Ruth Rose

Charlize Theron - Jill Young
Bill Paxton - Professor Gregory 'Gregg' O'Hara
Rade Serbedzija - Andrei Strasser
Peter Firth - Garth
David Paymer - Harry Ruben
Regina King - Cecily Banks
Robert Wisdom - Kweli
Naveen Andrews - Pindi
Lawrence Pressman - Dr. Elliot Baker
Linda Purl - Dr. Ruth Young
Mika Boorem - Young Jill Young
Geoffrey Blake - Vern
Christian Clemenson - Jack
Cory Buck - Jason
Liz Georges - Jason's Mother

Taglines: Survival is an instinct.

Release Date: 25 December 1998

Filming Locations: Hawaii, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $90,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $10,602,042 (USA) (27 December 1998) (2502 Screens)

Gross: $50,632,037 (USA)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Cameo: [Ray Harryhausen] he did most of the stop-motion animated effects in the original movie in 1947.

Factual errors: A fully grown male gorilla is not strong enough in relation to his weight to climb a tree, (or a girder) - yet at 2.5 times normal size, Joe's muscles are only 6.3 times stronger than a real gorilla's, while his body would be 15.6 times heavier.

Jill Young: [sees Greg coming out of the infirmary] He's walking already? Joe should have dropped him harder.

User Review

Grouse Gorilla


Mighty Joe Young is a big, big gorilla who gets time in L.A. escaping poachers who are after him in his home hill in Africa. This is a remake of a remake of King Kong (1933), which was made in 1949 as the original Mighty Joe Young.

This latest version is a remarkable computer and animatronic invention, justly nominated for this year's Academy Awards. He really is whiz bang and totally believable as a creature on the screen.

His best friends are Jill played by the very attractive Charlize Theron and Gregg played by Bill Paxton in a pretty light weight film for him considering some of his previous films (One False Move, A Simple Plan).

But take note too of Naveen Andrews who plays the screwball jungle tour guide. He was remarkable in The English Patient and Kama Sutra. Oh well. The bills have to be paid.

Mighty Joe Young is a Disney film aimed squarely at the fairly young, complete with the fairly gruesome bits that today's TV bred ankle biters demand. So what's in it for the oldies.

Well there's Charlize Theron who's pretty gorgeous. And then there's a truly spectacular scene when big Joe climbs up a burning (yes burning!) Ferris Wheel at a L.A. amusement park at night and rescues a little boy.

But my favourite bit was Joe violently wrecking a car bit by bit because the car alarm is sounding. His self satisfied grin as he sat on the quietened nuisance was one that made me wish that I could also rock Ms Theron to sleep.


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