- Actors: Keisha Castle-Hughes, Rawiri Paratene, Vicky Haughton, Cliff Curtis, Grant Roa
- Directors: Niki Caro
- Producers: John Barnett, Frank Hübner, Tim Sanders
- Format: DVD-Video, PAL
- Language: English
- Subtitles: English
- Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
- Number of discs: 1
- Classification: PG
- Studio: Icon Home Entertainment
- DVD Release Date: 11 Aug. 2008
- Run Time: 105 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
- ASIN: B001BFH4N4
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,099 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
Whale Rider [DVD]
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A young mother dies in childbirth along with her newborn male son, who was supposed to be the Whangara tribe's next leader. His twin sister, Pai (Keisha Castle-Hughes), manages to survive and is brought up by her grandparents. She enlists the help of her uncle to teach herself the art of chiefdom and it appears that she possesses a natural leadership ability.
One of the most charming and critically acclaimed films of 2003, the New Zealand hit Whale Rider effectively combines Maori tribal tradition with the timely "girl power" of a vibrant new millennium. Despite the discouragement of her gruff and disapproving grandfather (Rawiri Paratene), who nearly disowns her because she is female and therefore traditionally disqualified from tribal leadership, 12-year-old Pai (Keisha Castle-Hughes) is convinced that she is a tribal leader and sets out to prove it.
Rather than inflate this story (from a novel by Witi Ihimaera) with artificial sentiment, writer-director Niki Caro develops very real and turbulent family relationships, intimate and yet torn by a collision between stubborn tradition and changing attitudes. The mythic whale rider--the ultimate symbol of Maori connection to nature--is also the harbinger of Pai's destiny, and the appealing Castle-Hughes gives a luminous, astonishingly powerful performance that won't leave a dry eye in the house. With its fresh take on a familiar tale, Whale Rider is definitely one from the heart. --Jeff Shannon
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Top Customer Reviews
This is one of those movies that draws you into its world completely with its honesty. The 12-year old star, Keisha Castle-Hughes is so genuine and charismatic, it is no wonder she has been nominated for a Best Actress Oscar. She is a natural talent, beautiful, inspiring, and delightful to watch.
Whale Rider has the art-house feel to it, because it deals almost exclusively with emotions. Village life and underwater scenes of whales are lovingly photographed and accompanied by a haunting score. There is a lot of Maori culture in it, but the desire for acceptance and respect are universally understood. If you like character-driven stories with heartwarming elements of the supernatural, you'll enjoy Whale Rider.
The film is set on the eastern coast of New Zealand, which is inhabited by an ancient people, the Whangara. The narrator is a wonderfully expressive young actress, Keisha Castle-Hughes. She gives a riveting performance as Paikea, (called Pai), a twelve year-old Maori girl with the blood of royalty in her veins and the heart of a warrior in her chest. The movie opens with Pai narrating a Whangara myth. Legend has it that the native people came to New Zealand following their leader, Paikea, (who Pai is named for), a boy who heroically rode on the back of a whale. Traditionally, tribal leadership has always gone to the direct descendants of that first leader and always to the first born male of the noble line. Tragedy occurs, however, when fraternal twins are born into that line, a boy and a girl. The girl lives, the boy does not, and the mother perishes along with her son as a result of a difficult birthing. The chain of leadership is broken with their demise. Pai's father, an artist, can not come to grips with the deaths of his wife and son and so he leaves New Zealand, and Pai, who is cared for by her paternal grandparents.Read more ›
Breathtakingly emotional, beautifully heartbreaking and wonderfully funny, this outstanding film deserves much more recognition than the lone best actress Oscar nomination for Keisha Castle-Hughes. This brilliant young girl should have received the award for the speech scene alone.
Simply an excellent story by Witi Ihimaera, adapted perfectly for the screen by Niki Caro, casted with genius by Diana Rowan, acted magnificently by all the actors, completed with a hauntingly stunning score by Lisa Gerrard.
Every now and then a film comes along that makes the world a better place to live in. Whale Rider does this. Watch it now.
Paikea's difficult relationship with her grandfather, who scorns her because she is a girl and not the male heir he needs, is beautifully played here, and Keisha Castle-Hughes is a sensitive and winning actress who endows Paikea with the "strength, courage, intelligence, and leadership" which are the hallmarks of the culture. Always trying to learn the old ways so that she can win her grandfather's love, she is, instead, constantly berated for trying to break the taboo of the marai by assuming a boy's role.
The striking cinematography (Leon Narbey) captures the spirit of the land, while the underwater photography of whales, as Paikea's spirit is drawn to them throughout the film, is stunning. Maori chants and ceremonial dances convey many of the Maori cultural traditions and illustrate their similarities with those of the Hawaiians, who share a common origin.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
never seen this before, loved it. Also a nice little 'making of' on the extras, with some cast interviews. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Jenster
Very happy with service and product has been watched three times. Quality as promised. No problems. Would remind seller to others.Published 1 month ago by Connie
A chief of a village needs to select a person to follow him. His son is an artist and uninterested. He considers some local boys but his grand daughter appears to have the talents... Read morePublished 1 month ago by ellison
Just thinking about this film makes me want to go and watch it right now. It has been too long! This beautiful film is about New Zealand, heritage, culture, family, spirituality... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Sarah
This is a truly wonderful movie, and especially so for girls. Very inspirational. I think all young girls should watch this film as it illustrates the importance of following our... Read morePublished 6 months ago by S.K.
Always loved the movie and the story it tells. Amazing scenery and music.Published 6 months ago by Laura