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
4,287 ( 224)
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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Lori Petty, Michael Ironside, Richard Riehle and Danielle Harris guest starred on ER (1994). See more »

Goofs

When Willy and Jesse are pulled out of the tank, both are soaked. But as they put Willy onto the trailer, he is still wet, but Jesse is completely dry. See more »

Quotes

Homeless Man: Nice whale.
Randolph: Thanks.
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Crazy Credits

The last scene from the movie is shown again after the credits. See more »

Alternate Versions

The March 2021 TV airing on 9Go! France plasters Warner Bros. Family Entertainment with the 2021 Warner Bros. Pictures fanfare. See more »

Connections

Referenced in A Ticket to Space (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Will You Be There
(Theme from "Free Willy")
Written and Produced by Michael Jackson
Co-Produced by Bruce Swedien
Performed by Michael Jackson
Courtesy of Epic Records
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User Reviews

 
Underrated movie of a charming childhood adventure
5 November 2005 | by Andreas_NSee 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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Details

Country:

USA | 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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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