Whale Rider

Whale Rider (2003)

In the ways of the ancients she found a hope for the future.

  • Genre: Drama, Family
  • Release Date: 2003-01-30
  • User Rating: 7.0/10 from 378 ratings
  • Runtime: 1h 41min
  • Language: English
  • Production Company: South Pacific Pictures
  • Production Country: Germany, New Zealand
  • Director: Niki Caro
star 7.1/10
From 378 Ratings


On the east coast of New Zealand, the Whangara people believe their presence there dates back a thousand years or more to a single ancestor, Paikea, who escaped death when his canoe capsized by riding to shore on the back of a whale. From then on, Whangara chiefs, always the first-born, always male, have been considered Paikea's direct descendants. Pai, an 11-year-old girl in a patriarchal New Zealand tribe, believes she is destined to be the new chief. But her grandfather Koro is bound by tradition to pick a male leader. Pai loves Koro more than anyone in the world, but she must fight him and a thousand years of tradition to fulfill her destiny.

Whale Rider Trailer

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  • Keisha Castle-Hughes

    as Paikea Apirana
  • Rawiri Paratene

    as Koro
  • Vicky Haughton

    as Nanny Flowers
  • Cliff Curtis

    as Porourangi
  • Grant Roa

    as Uncle Rawiri
  • Mana Taumaunu

    as Hemi
  • Rachel House

    as Shilo
  • Taungaroa Emile

    as Willie
  • Tammy Davis

    as Dog
  • Mabel Wharekawa

    as Maka
  • Rawinia Clarke

    as Miro
  • Tahei Simpson

    as Miss Parata
  • Roi Taimana

    as Hemi's Dad
  • Elizabeth Skeen

    as Rehua
  • Rutene Spooner

    as Parekura
  • John Sumner

    as Obstetrician
  • Jane O'Kane

    as Anne
Editing David Coulson Editor
Writing Witi Ihimaera Author
Writing Niki Caro Screenplay
Production Tim Sanders Producer
Camera Leon Narbey Director of Photography
Directing Niki Caro Director
Sound Lisa Gerrard Original Music Composer
Production Frank Hübner Producer
Production John Barnett Producer
Production Linda Goldstein Knowlton Executive Producer
Production Reinhard Brundig Co-Producer
Production Witi Ihimaera Associate Producer
Art Grant Major Production Design
Costume & Make-Up Kirsty Cameron Costume Design
Production Diana Rowan Casting
Costume & Make-Up Denise Kum Makeup Supervisor
Camera Sigmund Spath Underwater Director of Photography
Sound David Madigan Sound Recordist
Writing Joan Scheckel Script Consultant
Writing Gavin Strawhan Script Consultant
Production Riwia Fox Casting Assistant
Production Christina Asher Casting
Production Stuart Turner Casting
Crew Mark Harris Stunt Coordinator
Visual Effects George Maihoefer Visual Effects Supervisor
Art James Mok Title Designer
Sound Stephan Colli Sound Designer
Sound Josef Steinbüchel Sound Designer
Sound Mirko Reinhard Sound Designer
Sound André Zimmermann Sound Designer
Sound Wilmont Schulze Foley Artist
Sound Stefan Korte Sound Re-Recording Mixer