Wikia

The Disney Wiki

Mighty Joe Young

38,890pages on
this wiki
Comment1
Mighty Joe Young is a 1998 Disney family film starring Bill Paxton and Charlize Theron and directed by Ron Underwood. It is based on the 1949 RKO Radio Pictures film of the same name. In this version, the ape is much larger than in the original.

Plot

Charlize Theron plays Jill Young who as a child has witnessed the death of her mother, Ruth Young (Linda Purl), and the mother of Joe, a baby gorilla, at the hands of poachers led by Andrei Strasser (Rade Šerbedžija). Strasser loses his right thumb and trigger finger to Joe, and swears revenge on Joe for the damage. Before she dies, Ruth tells Jill to take care of Joe, to which Jill agrees. Twelve years later, Jill has raised Joe (who, because of a rare genetic anomaly, has grown to the size of 15-feet (5 meters) and weighs 2000 pounds (1000 kilograms); as a result, the other gorillas won't accept him) and both are living in relative peace until a wildlife refuge director, Gregg O'Hara (Bill Paxton), convinces Jill that they would be safer from poachers if they relocate to the United States.

The trio go to Hollywood in Los Angeles, California (just like in the original film) and win the hearts of the refuge staff. There, Jill is approached by Strasser -- now running a fake animal preserve while really selling the animal organs off on the black market -- who has seen a news report about Joe and wants revenge because of the damage done to his hand 12 years ago. Jill fails to recognize Strasser as the poacher who killed both her mother and Joe's, since Strasser hid his right hand in his coat pocket. Strasser tries to persuade Jill that Joe would be better off in his wildlife refuge back in Africa. Later, during a gala, Strasser's henchman, Garth, uses a poacher's noisemaker to scare Joe into a frenzy. Joe trashes the gala, recognizes Strasser and tries to attack him. Joe is tranquilized and placed in a concrete bunker. Before their departure, Gregg has fallen in love with Jill and he kisses her goodbye.

When Jill learns that Joe may be euthanized she decides to take Strasser's offer. She and the refuge staff smuggle Joe out in a truck. On the way to the airport, Jill notices Strasser's missing fingers. It makes her realize that he is the poacher who killed both her mother and Joe's. She briefly fights with Strasser and Garth, then jumps from the truck and into the street. Joe sees her and topples the truck over on its side and escapes. Meanwhile, Gregg has realized that Strasser is a poacher and goes after both Jill and Joe. He finds Jill, who reveals to Gregg that Strasser killed her mother and plans to kill Joe. They locate Joe at a carnival where he is playfully wreaking havoc. Strasser arrives and attempts to shoot Jill. But Garth pushes Strasser's gun away from Jill, causing him to fire at a spotlight, which starts a fire and causes the Ferris wheel to break down. Realizing how ruthless Strasser truly is, Garth says that he quits, but Strasser knocks Garth unconscious with his gun. Strasser eventually confronts Jill and attempts to kill her, but Joe sneaks up behind them and tosses Strasser onto some electrical wires where he is killed by electrocution. In a poignant scene at the Santa Monica Pier, while saving a child, Joe falls from the collapsing Ferris wheel (the scene is reminiscent of King Kong falling from the Empire State Building). Joe survives the fall and is shipped back to Africa to run free on his own refuge funded by donations from the various people who witnessed his heroism at the wheel.

Cast

Reception

Mighty Joe Young had a better critical reception than the other big monster remake of the year, Godzilla; however it was ultimately judged a disaster by some critics as being typically 'Disney' in plot and outcome. The movie holds a rating of 51% from Rotten Tomatoes. The movie grossed $50,632,037 with a production budget of $90 million thus a box office bomb.

Mighty Joe Young received an Academy Award nomination for Best Visual Effects, losing to What Dreams May Come.

Smallwikipedialogo
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The article or pieces of the original article was at Mighty Joe Young. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Disney Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.


Mighty-Joe-Young-Logo

Media: Mighty Joe Young

Characters: Mighty Joe Young | Jill Young | Professor Gregory "Gregg" O'Hara | Andrei Strasser | Garth | Jason | Cecily Banks | Pindi | Harry Ruben | Kweli | Jack | Vern | Doctor Elliot Baker | Doctor Ruth Young | Jason's Mother

Locations: Los Angeles | Africa | Jungle

Around Wikia's network

Random Wiki