5.9/10
65,214
75 user 26 critic

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
1,616 ( 110)
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:

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:

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

Jack Nicholson turned down the role of the villain Dial, balking at the low pay offered. See more »

Goofs

When Willy is being brought out of the tank the water level is shown at 8 ft. But in the next shot you see Jessie and Rae getting Willy in the net, the water level is marked off at 11 ft. See more »

Quotes

Jesse: Let's free Willy!
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

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: The Day After Halloween (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

Didn't Mean to Hurt You
Written by Taj Jackson, Taryll Jackson, and T.J. Jackson
Performed by 3T
Courtesy of Epic Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Whale-shaped place in my heart
8 March 2008 | by staceyvzSee all my reviews

5.2 is shameful. I loved this movie. It has all of the elements of a great film; compelling characters, plot, and an end lesson. I think that most family movies these days lack a lot of moral posturing that made films like this one so memorable. I know that I wanted to "Save the Whales" after I saw this movie. Heck, I wanted to be a whale. I don't care how many stars it got, this movie is a childhood treasure for me and I think of it every time I hear the Michael Jackson song, "Will You Be There?" I wish that my younger siblings remembered this movie or the amount of joy it brought us slightly older kids in my family. The sequel certainly left something to be desired, but not the original. Yep, it will hold a special whale-shaped place in my heart.


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