When a boy learns that a beloved killer whale is to be killed by the aquarium owners, the boy risks everything to free the whale.

Director:

Simon Wincer

Writers:

Keith Walker (story) (as Keith A. Walker), Keith Walker (screenplay) (as Keith A. Walker) | 1 more credit »
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4,160 ( 67)
7 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jason James Richter ... Jesse
Lori Petty ... Rae Lindley
Jayne Atkinson ... Annie Greenwood
August Schellenberg ... Randolph Johnson
Michael Madsen ... Glen Greenwood
Michael Ironside ... Dial
Richard Riehle ... Wade
Mykelti Williamson ... Dwight Mercer
Michael Bacall ... Perry
Danielle Harris ... Gwenie
Isaiah Malone Isaiah Malone ... Vector
Betsy Toll Betsy Toll ... Passerby #1
Rob Sample Rob Sample ... Passerby #2
Merrilyn Jones Merrilyn Jones ... Passerby #3
Mickey Gaines Mickey Gaines ... Waiter
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Storyline

Fishermen separate a young orca whale (Willy) from his parents and he ends up in a fish bowl at a marina. Meanwhile, a street kid runs afoul of the law and gets caught vandalising the marina, but his social worker gets him off the hook (so to speak) provided he cleans up his mess at the marina. While there, he befriends the whale and teaches him tricks, something the trainer hasn't been able to do. But when Willy is a dud in front of the audience, the marina owner plans some bad things, and the boy and his friends must try to (*** MAJOR SPOILERS ***) free Willy. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

How far would you go for a friend? See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some mild language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Mykelti Williamson, Danielle Harris and Richard Riehle appeared on Psych (2006). See more »

Goofs

When Randolph is using the crane to lift Willy out of the tank you can see the reflection of a man in the crane window. See more »

Quotes

[Dial receives a disturbing call from Wade who just discovered someone got to Willy before them]
Mr. Dial: Nobody steals a whale.
Wade: [voice] But I'm telling you the whale is gone, the trailer is out of there, the forklift has been moved. That big mouth trainer and Indian must've done it.
Mr. Dial: [dissapointed] Eh, this is a disaster.
Wade: [voice] Why?
Mr. Dial: [angrily] Because we don't have theft insurance on the whale, that's why.
[...]
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Crazy Credits

The end credits begin with the Earth Island Institute hotline to save whales. See more »

Alternate Versions

The first Warner Bros. Family Entertainment fanfare featuring Bugs Bunny spinning the banner appears exclusively in the VHS and 1990's HBO airing. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Roundhouse: Feminism (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

How Can You Leave Me Now
Written by Paul Frazier
Performed by Funky Poets
Courtesy of Epic Records
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User Reviews

 
Underrated movie of a charming childhood adventure
5 November 2005 | by Andreas_NSee all my reviews

Oh, this one is underrated here. The story of Jason James Richter's character trying to escape from a life of crime and missing prospects is way beyond the average. The growing affection for Willy is not even stereotyped or clichéd. It's a genuine bond that focuses on two outcast characters who slowly but surely come to experience true friendship and the value of trust. Jason's performance really appealed to me when I saw this movie as a kid. It is a sincere depiction of friendship, of a way out, of fighting for your values against all odds and of never giving up. Right, I'm grown up now, but this is one of the movies of my childhood I'd like to watch again, and I'm sure I'd enjoy it almost as much as back then. Jason James had very few acting appearances, but the Free Willy series assured him his place in movie history. His entire performance in here is sincere and straight, he doesn't laugh nor smile if it wasn't just natural in the specific sequences. His facial expressions and body language fit into the total frame as well. The story has some profoundly human themes to it. I can't help it, I think this one is both entertaining and deep, dealing with emotions and prospects of life, with integrity and courage in the face of danger.


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Details

Country:

USA | Mexico

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 July 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Free Willy See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,868,829, 18 July 1993

Gross USA:

$77,698,625

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$153,698,625
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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