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Free Willy
- Jason James Richter

Overview - Jesse, a homeless orphan who spends his days evading the police, finally gets caught spray painting a whale tank at a local park. Because he distrusts adults intensely, Jesse's not too happy when authorities place him in a foster home and sentence him to clean up the tank he vandalized.  Read more...

 
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Overview

Jesse, a homeless orphan who spends his days evading the police, finally gets caught spray painting a whale tank at a local park. Because he distrusts adults intensely, Jesse's not too happy when authorities place him in a foster home and sentence him to clean up the tank he vandalized. Unexpectedly, Willy, the whale who inhabits the tank, takes a liking to Jesse, and the animal and child develop a bond -- a bond that also helps Jesse open up to the adults in his life, including his new parents and the whale's caretakers. But then Jesse learns that Dial, who owns the park, only wants to keep Willy if he can be trained to perform for an audience. Can the boy find a way to save his beloved whale before Dial plays some dirty tricks of his own?

Cast List

Jason James Richter - American Child Actor
Simon Wincer - TV/Film Director/Producer
Jayne Atkinson - American Actress/"Free Willy"
Lori Petty - American Actress
August Schellenberg - Actor/"Black Robe"
Michael Madsen - Actor, RESEVOIR DOGS/KILL BILL VOL. 2

 
Details
    DVD Format
  • Format: DVD
  • Run Time: 112
  • Color Format: Color
  • UPC: 883929084715
  • Genre: Family
  • Rating: PG (MPAA)
  • Release Date: September 2010

Related Categories:
Movies > Dramas

Related Keywords:
Friends
Family Interaction
Kids Adventure
Animal Heroes
Recommended
Theatrical Release
Family (General)

 
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More Details

Synopsis:
Jesse, a homeless orphan who spends his days evading the police, finally gets caught spray painting a whale tank at a local park. Because he distrusts adults intensely, Jesse's not too happy when authorities place him in a foster home and sentence him to clean up the tank he vandalized. Unexpectedly, Willy, the whale who inhabits the tank, takes a liking to Jesse, and the animal and child develop a bond -- a bond that also helps Jesse open up to the adults in his life, including his new parents and the whale's caretakers. But then Jesse learns that Dial, who owns the park, only wants to keep Willy if he can be trained to perform for an audience. Can the boy find a way to save his beloved whale before Dial plays some dirty tricks of his own?

Notes:
Shot in Technicolor and Panavision. The Whale Effects Supervisor was Walt Conti. Edge Innovations created the animatronic whales. Active Environments was in charge of Whale Behavior Supervision. Scott Sharpe was the Supervising Whale Trainer; other whale trainers were Susanna Paloma-Estrada and Armando Rojo. Rated BBFC U by the British Board of Film Classification. Ironically, Keiko, the whale who played Willy in the film, actually has some real-life problems similar to those dramatized in "Free Willy." He had grown too large for his tank, and his health was suffering as a consequence. Many of the people involved with the film (and many who just saw it) tried to find a new home for him, but Keiko's owners refused to let him go: he is a big tourist attraction at their park.

Reviews:
"...Sweet-natured....Nicely acted by [Richter] and by his older associates..." - 07/16/1993 New York Times, p.C12


"...An exhilarating drama....An astute, intelligent family picture, the film is a potent reminder that you can have your heart in the right place and still produce a gripping, satisfying entertainment..." - 07/19/1993 Variety

 
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