• Free Willy (1984)

Free Willy

Release Date: May 16th, 1984

DVD Release Date: November 19th, 1997

PG |1 hr 51 min

Plot Summary

When maladjusted orphan Jesse (Jason James Richter) vandalizes a theme park, he is placed with foster parents and must work at the park to make amends. There he meets Willy, a young Orca whale who has been separated from his family. Sensing kinship, they form a bond and, with the help of kindly whale trainer Rae Lindley (Lori Petty), develop a routine of tricks. However, greedy park owner Dial (Michael Ironside) soon catches wind of the duo and makes plans to profit from them.

Cast: Jason James Richter, Lori Petty, Jayne Atkinson, Michael Madsen, Michael Ironside, Richard Riehle, August Schellenberg, Mykelti Williamson

Director: Simon Wincer

Genres: Drama , Children

Production Co: Alcor Films

Distributors: Warner Bros.

Keywords: Heartwarming, Emotional, 1990s, Escape, Rescue

Ratings & Reviews

  • 88
    Roger EbertChicago Sun-Times

    The movie is sure to be appealing to younger viewers (they may find it more accessible and certainly less frightening than "Jurassic Park"), and it's smart enough to keep older viewers involved, too. show more

  • 100
    Rick GroenThe Globe and Mail (Toronto)

    Free Willy (for some strange reason, that tiny imperative just gives me the giggles) is a family picture that stays safely within the haven of a cozy formula, yet does a whole lot of inventive work in the process. show more

  • 63
    TV Guide Magazine

    Shamelessly manipulative and heavyhanded, it may be an endurance test for those not absolutely entranced by large aquatic mammals. show more

See all critic reviews on metacritic.com