Critic Reviews



Based on 20 critic reviews provided by
Mighty Joe Young is not meek and harmless; it's a full-blooded action picture, all right, but with a certain warmth and humor instead of a scorched-earth approach. You feel good at the end, instead of merely relieved.
Joe is a masterpiece of special effects wizardry, looking more real than any giant primate ever to walk across the silver screen. By combining animatronics, computer-generated images, and a man in a costume, Mighty Joe Young creates a compelling illusion.
Mighty Joe Young is a mighty fun movie. The trick? They didn't try to out-monster those bloated King Kong and Godzilla franchises. But it's still a hoot of an adventure about an overgrown ape having trouble adjusting to life in California.
Mighty Joe Young is wholesome, well-crafted family fare like Hollywood used to make.
Mighty Joe Young may be the season's most appealing family bet. Certainly, it has an appealing cast.
It's all a little silly, and silly in a way that's less fun than the original—due in part to an obvious subplot involving a poacher played by a hammy Peter Firth—but its kid-friendly B-movie charm and the peerless Mr. Young make it worthwhile, undemanding entertainment.
Neat as Joe looks, you do wish that someone had bothered to give him a personality.
Mighty Joe Young, directed by Ron Underwood from a screenplay by Mark Rosenthal and Lawrence Konner, is saddled with dialogue so wooden that Mr. Paxton and Ms. Theron almost seem animatronic themselves. Little children won't notice. In Joe, they can identify with the biggest, cuddliest simian toy a 6-year-old could ever hope to own.
Tampa Bay Times
Disney's remake of Mighty Joe Young has little to recommend except more realistic special effects than the 1949 original and a handful of kid-sized thrills. The movie feels designed only to pass some time in a theater, without much attention to anything except building the perfect cuddly beast. [25 Dec 1998, p.8]
Paxton, as always, is thoroughly engaging, and Theron is coming into her own as an actress, but the bottom line here is that the film lacks the original's goofy good humor. Less effects and more humanity are in order before this remake can even get within spitting distance of the original.

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