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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.

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
3,823 ( 246)
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:

Liberen a 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

Most close-up shots involving limited movement by Willy such as when Willy is in the trailer and the sequences involving Willy swimming in the open water was an animatronic whale,Walt Conti who supervised the effects of the orca estimated that half of the shots of the orca used animatronic stand-ins.Conti stated that the smaller movements of a real orca made things difficult in some ways for him and his crew., they had to concentrate on smaller nuances in order to make the characters seem alive. See more »

Goofs

When Jesse is riding Willy, first he is completely wet and then suddenly his hair is dry while the rest of him is wet. See more »

Quotes

Dwight Mercer: When are you gonna get it, huh? When are you gonna get it? Your mother isn't coming back. Forget about the day she dropped you on our doorstep? Forgot about that! Well I remember. She turned around and drove away! Didn't look around, didn't slow down, didn't even look in the rearview mirror! Does that sound like somebody's mama to you? You've got two people here who wanna be your friend. That's more than your mother ever was, and you could use a friend right now, son.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The 2015 Blu-ray release plasters the Warner Bros. Family Entertainment logo with the 2003 variant of the 1998 Warner Bros. Pictures logo. See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Keep on Smilin'
Written by Narada Michael Walden, Sylvester Jackson, and Sally Jo Dakota
Performed by New Kids on the Block (as NKOTB)
Courtesy of Columbia Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Glorious Motion Picture; exciting, thrilling, and safe for the entire family!
3 June 2005 | by twisterchaser3See all my reviews

I absolutely adore Free Willy. It ranks well above any movie about whales or dolphins, even Flipper. Free Willy provides an exciting story about a troubled boy who befriends an orca whose situation is much like his own. And of course, we all love the star of the show, Keiko! Keiko had a life filled with traveling from one theme park to the other, and in a lot of ways he experienced much more that Willy did. Keiko played the part of the whale terrifically! James did a great job too acting as Jesse, and gave the perfect image of a young boy who has lived on the streets. Some people call it the best friendship movie since ET. This movie rocks over ET!, and shows us the true meaning of friendship. We all should learn that caring for another person or animal goes a long way.


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