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Free Willy (1993)

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0:17 | Trailer
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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Popularity
2,251 ( 38)
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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Details

Country:

USA | France | 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

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

All stunts with Keiko the Orca were performed by the young Orca trainer Justin Sherbert (Known additionally by his stage name, Justin Sherman). See more »

Goofs

When Randolph asked Jesse if he had ever looked into Willy's eyes, he said, about orcas, "Those eyes discovered the stars long before man was even a whisper on this Earth", but later when telling Jesse the Haida story about Natselane, he said "Natselane was a Haida who lived long before there were orca whales". See more »

Quotes

Rae: You like whales?
Jesse: I like him.
Rae: Well, he doesn't like anybody, so stay away from him. You see, Willy's a case. A very special case.
Jesse: So? Who isn't?
See more »

Alternate Versions

The 1993 VHS release shows the variant of the Warner Bros. Family Entertainment logo where Bugs Bunny spins the banner around the WB shield before stepping to the left from under the shield for his pose while other pre-2015 printings show the variant that just shows Bugs stepping to the left for his pose starts after the WB shield is posed against the sky. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode II (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

How Can You Leave Me Now
Written by Paul Frazier
Performed by Funky Poets
Courtesy of Epic Records
See more »

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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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