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.

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(story) (as Keith A. Walker), (screenplay) (as Keith A. Walker) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Gwenie
Isaiah Malone ...
Vector
Betsy Toll ...
Passerby #1
Rob Sample ...
Passerby #2
Merrilyn Jones ...
Passerby #3
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:

A 12 year old street kid. A 3 ton orca whale. A friendship you could never imagine. An adventure you'll never forget. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some mild language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

16 July 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Liberen a Willy  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£4,030,138 (UK) (4 March 1994)

Gross:

£5,343,231 (UK) (15 April 1994)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Keiko, the killer whale used in the film, died on Friday 12 December 2003 after the sudden onset of pneumonia in the Taknes Fjord in Norway. The whale was 27 years old. See more »

Goofs

The park owner loses his bag of popcorn as he runs to investigate Willy banging the side of his tank. See more »

Quotes

Glenn: Let me get this straight, you snuck out of the house in the middle of the night to clean up graffiti? That's an amazing story.
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Connections

Referenced in Nostalgia Critic: The NeverEnding Story III (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Right Here (Human Nature Remix)
Written by Brian Alexander Morgan (as Brian Morgan), John Bettis, and Steve Porcaro
Performed by S.W.V.
Courtesy of The RCA Records Label of BMG Music
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User Reviews

 
Underrated movie of a charming childhood adventure
5 November 2005 | by (Klagenfurt, Austria) – See 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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