Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home
|Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Dwight H. Little|
|Produced by||Jennie Lew Tugend
Lauren Shuler Donner
|Written by||Karen Janszen
|Starring||Jason James Richter
|Music by||Basil Poledouris|
|Editing by||Robert Brown
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Family Entertainment|
|Running time||95 min|
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. Free Willy 3: The Rescue, was subsequently released in 1997, making a trilogy. A fourth nonconsecutive film, Free Willy: Escape from Pirate's Cove was released on DVD in Spring 2010. *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.
||This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (January 2013)|
It's been two years since Jesse saved and freed his orca friend, Willy and has since been adopted by his foster parents, Glen and Annie Greenwood. Jesse, now a hardy and responsible teenager, has an eye for girls, and he and his parents are preparing to go on a family camping trip to the Pacific Northwest. Before they leave town, however, Dwight, Jesse's former social worker, shows up to inform them that Jesse's birth mother, who abandoned him 8 years ago, was found in New York City, but has died and that she has left behind her other son, Jesse's 8 year-old half-brother named Elvis (Francis Capra). Elvis is sulky, overly talkative, and mischievous, and he is also prone to telling lies and easily gets on Jesse's nerves. He is invited on their trip to San Juan Island so that he and Jesse might get to know one another.
At the environmental institute there, Jesse reunites with his old Native American friend Randolph Johnson (August Schellenberg) whom Jesse met at the aquatic park when he met Willy and quickly becomes smitten with Randolph's attractive and kindly goddaughter, Nadine (Mary Kate Schellhardt), but is reluctant to romantically approach her out of concern for his friendship with Randolph. Meanwhile, resentment and disrespect from the petulant Elvis continues to be a problem for him. Mindful of both frustrations, Randolph proceeds to tell Jesse the legend of Natsilane and gives him a carved orca pendant on a necklace to remind him of the power of his special connection to Willy. Jesse cautiously begins to show his interest in Nadine, also, and as the awkward teenagers grow closer, Jesse helps Nadine befriend Willy and his orca siblings, Luna and Little Spot, in part using amateur synchronized swimming.
As they continue to enjoy their camping trip, notwithstanding more angst from Elvis regarding his unhappy childhood, an oil tanker runs aground and spills oil into the ocean, trapping the three young killer whales in a small cove. When word gets out that the orcas are trapped and Luna is dying from the oil in her lungs, the president of the oil company (Jon Tenney) arrives and announces a great plan to move the orcas into captivity where they can recover from their injuries. His real plan, however, is to sell the orcas to marine mammal parks and have them perform in shows. While Luna is very sick and modern medicine doesn't work, she ultimately recovers after Jesse and Randolph secretly give her Native American medicine Randolph knows of.
Jesse, Nadine and Elvis get the orcas away from the cove by stealing the boat belonging to Glen and leading them out of the cove to safety, but then they are not able to save themselves when the tanker explodes and the crude oil in the water catches fire. Their boat hits a rock and starts to sink, while Glen, Annie, and Randolph set out to find them in Randolph's boat and radio for help. Nadine and Elvis are lifted into a rescue helicopter summoned by Randolph's distress signals, but Jesse slips out of the harness when reaching for the rescuer's hand and crashes into the water below. Nadine and Elvis scream for Jesse and beg the helicopter to go back down, but the thick black smoke billowing up from the flaming oil begins to choke the chopper's engine, forcing the pilot to fly the chopper away. Jesse surfaces as the chopper leaves, but is unable to stay above water. He goes back underwater and sees Willy swimming towards him. Jesse grabs onto Willy's dorsal fin and Willy brings Jesse back up to the surface. Although they are trapped in the middle of the flames, Willy dives deep and is able to swim underneath, taking Jesse with him.
Once they surface, they come upon Randolph's boat. Glen and Annie pull Jesse aboard and they thank Willy for saving his life. Willy does not want to leave, but Jesse tells him he's okay so he can go. Willy still does not budge and Jesse looks to Randolph for help who gives him a signal. Jesse understands what it means and pets Willy one last time before giving him a signal to swim away. Willy does and is later reunited with his family again. Later, the rescue workers bring Nadine and Elvis to the boat where they are happy to see Jesse alive. Jesse and Nadine happily hug and then Jesse acknowledges Elvis, who hands him a battered, folded up picture of Jesse and their mother. Jesse is stunned, and Elvis tells him that he had ripped up the picture out of anger, but then later had taped it back together for him. Elvis starts to cry as he tells Jesse that their mother always felt bad about abandoning Jesse and that she always talked about him, something Jesse never knew. He thanks Elvis for the picture and for finally allowing him to put the past behind him, and hugs Elvis. As they are hugging, Elvis tells him that their mother did love him. As a result, Glen and Annie decide to adopt Elvis too so the brothers can stay together.
When they part, Elvis asks where Willy, Little Spot, and Luna are, and Jesse tells him that they are reunited with their mother again. Elvis asks him how he knows that and Jesse grasps the orca necklace Randolph gave him and tells him that he knows. Jesse, embracing the mission of Natsilane, then starts whispering the prayer Randolph taught him two years before as the screen fades in on Willy and his family swimming and jumping in the sea.
- Jason James Richter as Jesse Greenwood
- Keiko the Orca as Willy
- Francis Capra as Elvis
- August Schellenberg as Randolph Johnson
- Mary Kate Schellhardt as Nadine
- Michael Madsen as Glen Greenwood
- Jayne Atkinson as Annie Greenwood
- Jon Tenney as John Milner
- Mykelti Williamson as Dwight Mercer
- Elizabeth Peña as Dr. Kate Haley
- Paul Tuerpe as Milner's assistant
- M. Emmet Walsh as Bill Wilcox
- John Considine as Commander Blake
- Steve Kahan as Captain Nilson
- Neal Matarazzo as Helmsman Kelly
- Michael Jackson continued his affiliation with the Free Willy franchise, producing and performing the song "Childhood" for this movie.
- The Pretenders performed "Forever Young", heard in the end credits when the orcas finally are released in the ocean.
- On early UK home video promotions, the movie was titled simply "Willy 2: The Adventure Home", presumably because the film's premise, unlike its predecessor, does not involve Willy being freed.
- "Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 22 November 2011.
- Rainer, Peter (1995-07-19). "MOVIE REVIEW `Willy' Returns for More Family-Bonding". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-27.
- "Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home". Chicago Sun Times. Retrieved 2010-11-27.
- "Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home". Entertainment Weekly. 1995-08-04. Retrieved 2010-11-27.
- Klady, Leonard (1995-07-16). "Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home". Variety. Retrieved 2010-11-27.
- Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home at the Internet Movie Database
- Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home at Rotten Tomatoes