Disney VHS: Mighty Joe Young w/ Case Charlize Theron Full Screen Dolby Surround


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Mighty Joe Young [VHS]
Bill Paxton (Actor), Charlize Theron (Actor), Ron Underwood (Director) Rated: PG Format: VHS Tape

Charlize Theron is the latest stunning blonde to be hanging around some big ape in a Hollywood movie, this one a remake of the 1949 semi-classic with echoes of the superior King Kong. Theron plays the daugher of an American researcher killed by poachers in Africa. The baby gorilla left in her care grows up to become a hugely tall and broad specimen named Joe, living in the mountains as a mostly unseen legend among people who live there. Along comes an eco-minded emissary (Bill Paxton) 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. Director Ron Underwood (City Slickers) uses a combination of special-effects techniques to give Joe life and personality, and he succeeds quite effectively. The requisite giant-ape-goes-amok scenes are all in place–a couple of them pretty intense–as is a conclusion that finds the simian hero performing a stunning feat of escalation. Underwood attempts to give a little modern spin to some classic Hollywood conventions regarding wild hearts lost in civilization, and the results are pretty agreeable family fare.

On the tape:
Inspector Gadget Trailer
The Parent Trap Preview
The Rescuers Preview
A Bug’s Life Preview
Alice in Wonderland/Robin Hood Preview
Flik’s Musical Adventure Preview

Surprised this picture didn’t do better at the box office. After making the dreadful Hearts and Souls (with Alfre Woodard, trying to out-do GHOST) and Speechless (the romantic comedy which killed the careers of both its stars, Geena Davis and Michael Keaton) director Ron Underwood bounced back with this inventive, lively remake of an earlier 1949 movie.

It should have made Charlize Theron, who plays Jill Young, a big, big star, but instead, Charlize had to bumble on for a few more years before winning an Oscar.

James Horner’s music outdoes his heart-wrenching symphonic themes for TITANIC, BRAVEHEART, and THE ROCKETEER, with a touch of African percussion and wood and wind instruments that bring the plains of Africa into mind whenever you hear them. Charlize has a lovely song, “Wind Song,” sort of a lullaby for Mighty Joe, that should have been a hit on the scale of “MY HEART WILL GO ON.” But somehow people just weren’t interested in this picture.

This is an enchanting tale that will capture kids and adults alike, with its story of a giant gorilla that is taken to America to keep it “safe” away from poachers. But of course, things don’t go as planned and a heart warming struggle to help Joe find safety and happiness ensues. It basically is an alternative telling of the King Kong story, but it does with grace and a charm that only Disney can provide. The beautiful Charlize Theron is perfect in her jungle woman role and works superbly alongside Bill Paxton. Although the effects still aren’t perfect, they are the best gorilla effects I have seen in a movie; at least they don’t make you cringe.

What a cast! Beyond Charlize and Bill Paxton, the movie also features Naveem Andrews (who plays Sayid on ABC’s LOST) in a rather comic role, and also everyone’s favorite REGINA KING from RAY.


Case slightly squished. VHS itself is near mint. Tape is completely rewinded for your convenience. Full screen. Dolby Surround. Writing on the inside of case. Sticker residue on face of case.