Free Willy (film series)

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Free Willy film series
Directed by Simon Wincer (1)
Dwight H. Little (2)
Sam Pillsbury (3)
Will Geiger(4)
Produced by Lauren Shuler Donner
Written by Keith A. Walker (1)
Corey Blechman (1-2)
Karen Janszen (2)
John Mattson (2-3)
Will Geiger (4)
Music by Basil Poledouris
Cliff Eidelman
Enis Rotthoff
Production
  company
Regency Enterprises
Distributed by Warner Bros. (1993-1997)
Warner Premiere (2010)
Release date(s) 1993 (Free Willy)
1995 (Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home)
1997 (Free Willy 3: The Rescue)
2010 (Free Willy: Escape From Pirate's Cove)
Running time over 6.5 hours total (as of 2010)
Country United States
South Africa
Language English
Box office $153,698,625 (1)
[1]

Free Willy is a series of family films from Warner Bros. The first installment, Free Willy, was released on July 16, 1993, the second, Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home, was released on July 19, 1995, and the third film, Free Willy 3: The Rescue was released on August 8, 1997; these first three films were produced by Lauren Shuler Donner, and distributed by Warner Bros.. The fourth installment, Free Willy: Escape from Pirate's Cove, was directed by Will Geiger, and distributed by Warner Premiere. It was a reboot of the original series and is in no way connected.

Films[edit]

Free Willy[edit]

Free Willy was directed by Simon Wincer and was shot mainly in Mexico City and Portland, Oregon.

Free Willy is a 1993 American family drama film and released by Warner Bros. under its Family Entertainment label. The film stars Jason James Richter as a delinquent boy who becomes attached to a captive orca, the film's eponymous "Willy."

Followed by three sequels Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home, Free Willy 3: The Rescue, and Free Willy: Escape from Pirate's Cove, and a short-lived animated television series, Free Willy was a financial success, eventually making a star out of its protagonist Keiko. The film's famous climax has been spoofed several times in popular culture.

Michael Jackson produced and performed "Will You Be There", the theme for the film, which can be heard during the film's credits. The song won the MTV Movie Award for "Best Song in a Movie" in 1994 and was also included in the album All Time Greatest Movie Songs, released by Sony in 1999. Jackson also performed songs for the film's first sequel.

The Adventure Home[edit]

Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home was directed by Dwight H. Little.

Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home is a 1995 family film, directed Dwight H. Little, and released by Warner Bros. under its Family Entertainment banner. It is a sequel to the 1993 film Free Willy, also starring Jason James Richter and August Schellenberg.

The film sees protagonist Jesse (Jason James Richter) reunite with Willy three years after the whale's jump to freedom as the teenager tries to rescue the killer whale and other orcas from an oil spill.

Free Willy 3: The Rescue, was subsequently released in 1997, making a trilogy. Keiko the Orca does not actually appear in this film unlike the original movie. Willy is played by a robotic double while the Free Willy Keiko Foundation devised a plan to bring him to the Oregon Coast Aquarium where he would be rehabilitated for poor health. Michael Jackson returned to perform the film's songs contributing the theme song "Childhood", which can be heard during the film's credits.

The Rescue[edit]

Free Willy 3: The Rescue was directed by Sam Pillsbury.

Free Willy 3: The Rescue is a 1997 family film directed by Sam Pillsbury, and starring Jason James Richter and August Schellenberg. Released by Warner Bros. under its Family Entertainment banner, the film is the second sequel to the 1993 film Free Willy, the first being the 1995 film Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home. The film is also the last with Keiko the orca before he died of pneumonia in 2003.

The features a teenage Jesse (Jason James Richter) and old friend Randolph try to foil an illegal whaler threatening Willy and his pregnant mate.

Escape From Pirate's Cove[edit]

Free Willy: Escape from Pirate's Cove, the final film of the series and a remake of the original, was directed by Will Geiger.

The first feature from the Free Willy film franchise for 13 years, Free Willy: Escape from Pirate's Cove stars Bindi Irwin as Kirra who discovers a baby Orca stranded in the lagoon near her grandfather's rundown seaside amusement park. She embarks on a quest to lead Willy back to his pod.

Reception[edit]

Public and critical response[edit]

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic
Free Willy 57% (23 reviews)[2] 79 (14 reviews)[3]
Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home 36% (14 reviews)[4] -
Free Willy 3: The Rescue 44% (16 reviews)[5] -
Free Willy: Escape from Pirate's Cove - 49% -
Average ratings 46.5% 19.75%

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Free Willy". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved April 4, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Free Willy". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved March 9, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Free Willy". Metacritic. CNET Networks. Retrieved March 9, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved March 9, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Free Willy 3: The Rescue". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved March 9, 2014. 

External links[edit]