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Free Willy (1993)

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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.



(story) (as Keith A. Walker), (screenplay) (as Keith A. Walker) | 1 more credit »
3,658 ( 93)
7 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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


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


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:






Release Date:

16 July 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Liberen a Willy  »


Box Office


$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,868,829, 18 July 1993

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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Did You Know?


When the film was broadcast with a Mexican dub in the United States, it was titled "Libren a Willy," which is grammatically incorrect. The correct Spanish title would have been "Liberen a Willy," or "Liberad a Willy" which is the title used in Spain. See more »


In the beginning when Jesse and the other street kids find out they haven't gathered enough money to buy food, Perry says "Shoot, I'm hungry!" But his lips mouth "shit" instead of "shoot". See more »


Glenn: I've always been a better rule breaker than rule maker, myself.
See more »


Referenced in Celebrity Splash! Australia: Heat 2 (2013) See more »


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

Sweet, meaningful movie
31 January 2005 | by See all my reviews

It might not be the Shawshank Redemption or an equally provocative and important movie. But it's touching. As a child it was my favorite movie and I'd watch it every day for a period of about 3 months. It made me cry, but it meant a lot to me. It might have it's corny moments, but kids like it, and my parents liked it too. Compared to a lot of the movies kids force their parents to watch, this one isn't so bad.

It's really sweet, and it puts out a good message. It allows you to feel and care about things that go on it the world. I dug this out today and watched it again and it was still pretty magical to me, although I'm much older now. I don't see why this is rated a 5.2. I guess I wouldn't tell every adult to go out and watch it, but if you have kids, or just love animals, then give this a shot. It's a good film.

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