Free Willy
  • Free Willy
  • Free Willy

Free Willy

4.6 6
Director: Simon Wincer

Cast: Jason James Richter, Jayne Atkinson, Lori Petty

     
 

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The touching story of a boy and his killer whale made this family drama a surprise box office hit. Jesse (Jason James Richter) is a kid without parents who has bounced from one foster home to another and is living on the streets. One night, he's caught spraying graffiti with his friend Perry (Michael Bacall) in a theme park. Jesse and Perry are caught red handed by… See more details below

Overview

The touching story of a boy and his killer whale made this family drama a surprise box office hit. Jesse (Jason James Richter) is a kid without parents who has bounced from one foster home to another and is living on the streets. One night, he's caught spraying graffiti with his friend Perry (Michael Bacall) in a theme park. Jesse and Perry are caught red handed by Dwight (Mykel T. Williamson), a policeman who thinks that Jesse needs a more stable and disciplined environment. Dwight arranges for Jesse to stay with a new foster family, Glen and Annie Greenwood (Michael Madsen and Jayne Atkinson), with whom Jesse has an initially stormy relationship. Part of Jesse's punishment involves cleaning up the damage he caused at the park, where the new attraction is Willy, a killer whale who is being trained to do tricks. However, Willy was traumatized when he was stolen from his family by mercenary fisherman and does not respond well to the genuine concern of his trainers, Rae (Lori Petty) and Randolph (August Schellenberg). Jesse and Willy, both stranded without families in a place where they don't fit in, develop a close emotional bond, and with Jesse's help, Willy begins to display aptitude as a performer. Thanks to his friendship with Willy, Jesse develops a new sense of responsibility and a healthier relationship with the Greenwoods. However, Dial (Michael Ironside), the owner of the park, doesn't much care for animals and isn't happy with the slower-than-expected progress of Willy's training; having insured the whale for $1 million dollars, he figures that Willy is worth more dead than alive, and Jesse, Rae, and Randolph have to rescue their aquatic friend and return him to the ocean when Dial seems ready to live up to his threats. Free Willy, which featured a star performance by a killer whale named Keiko (who is doubled in some scenes by animatronic models) included the theme song "Will You Be There," a top-ten hit for Michael Jackson, and spawned two sequels.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Donald Liebenson
This tenth anniversary edition of one of the most popular family films of the last decade is sure to make a big splash with a new generation. Jason James Richter stars as 12-year-old Jesse, a rebellious foster child who finds a kindred misfit spirit in Willy (played by the magnificent Keiko), an orca whale who is the featured attraction at the dilapidated local theme park. Encouraged by the sympathetic trainer (Lori Petty) and the park's handyman (August Schellenberg), Jesse and Willy form a bond, and Jesse becomes the whale's trainer. But when the greedy park owner (Michael Ironside) decides that Willy, like George Bailey, is worth more dead than alive, Jesse races against time to rescue his newfound friend and return him to the ocean. A whale of a tale, this film launched a real-life "Free Willy" crusade for Keiko, who was rescued from his own deplorable living conditions in captivity.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/08/2009
UPC:
0883929084715
Original Release:
1993
Rating:
PG
Source:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Time:
1:52:00
Sales rank:
6,855

Special Features

Closed Caption; Digital transer; Michael Jackson Will You be There? music video ; A whale's tale; Whale ballet montage; A conversation with wildlife cinematographer Bob Talbot ; Help free Willy with the Escape the Nets adventure; Trailers of all 3 Free Willy movies

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jason James Richter Jesse
Jayne Atkinson Annie Greenwood
Lori Petty Rae Lindley
August Schellenberg Randolph Johnson
Michael Madsen Glen Greenwood
Michael Ironside Dial
Richard Riehle Wade
Mykelti Williamson Dwight Mercer
Michael Bacall Perry
Danielle Harris Gwenie
Lynda Gordon Actor
Judy Taylor Actor
Tom Lasswell Brody
Keiko the Killer Whale Willy
Betsy Toll Passerby 1

Technical Credits
Simon Wincer Director
Tom Benedek Screenwriter
Corey Blechman Screenwriter
O. Nicholas Brown Editor
Charles Butcher Art Director
Mark Cotone Asst. Director
Richard Donner Executive Producer
April Ferry Costumes/Costume Designer
Penelope L. Foster Co-producer
Harold L. Fuhrman Set Decoration/Design
Robbie Greenberg Cinematographer
Doug Merrifield Associate Producer
Arnon Milchan Executive Producer
Basil Poledouris Score Composer
Pete Romano Cinematographer
Charles Rosen Production Designer
Lauren Shuler-Donner Producer
Charles Skouras Production Designer
Richard Solomon Co-producer
Jennie Lew Tugend Producer
Harry Tugend Producer
Jim Van Wyck Asst. Director,Co-producer
Keith A. Walker Original Story,Screenwriter
Tom Ward Special Effects
Pamela Westmore Makeup
Diane Yates Art Director

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Free Willy
1. Whale Ballet [2:32]
2. Willy's Capture [2:48]
3. Scavengers [3:16]
4. Jesse's Capture [2:44]
5. A Few Changes [2:04]
6. The Greenwoods [3:41]
7. Randolph [2:34]
8. Special Cases [4:24]
9. Rules [2:38]
10. Music Hath Charms [3:46]
11. You Saved My Life [2:29]
12. "Maybe he Sees You" [2:54]
13. Botched Exam [2:42]
14. Perry Soulmates [6:36]
15. Partnered with Rae [3:13]
16. Tale of Natsaclane [3:03]
17. Growing Friendship [:01]
18. Missed Connection [3:53]
19. Bye to Major Stuff [4:55]
20. Audition for Dial [2:45]
21. Stage Fright [3:49]
22. Alone [6:11]
23. Unpredictable [2:30]
24. Family Ties [1:23]
25. "Let's Free Willy" [3:27]
26. Out of the Tank [2:53]
27. Transport [3:37]
28. Old Forest Road [2:35]
29. Help from Gleen [2:27]
30. Nice Whale [3:36]
31. At Water's Edge [1:11]
32. Cornered Again [2:59]
33. "I Believe You" [1:38]
34. Families Head Home [2:59]
35. End Credits [1:19]

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