Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home
|Free Willy 2:
The Adventure Home
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Dwight Little
|Produced by||Lauren Shuler Donner
Jennie Lew Tugend
|Written by||Karen Janszen
by Keith A. Walker
|Music by||Basil Poledouris|
|Edited by||Robert Brown
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Family Entertainment|
|Box office||$30 million|
Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home is a 1995 American family film, directed by Dwight 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.
It's been two years since Jesse saved and freed his orca friend, Willy. Jesse, now a teenager, has since been adopted by his foster parents, Glen and Annie Greenwood. Jesse and his adoptive parents are preparing to go on a family camping trip to the Pacific Northwest. Glen has been trying to teach Jesse to drive their motorboat, but Jesse is more interested in women. Before they leave town, however, Dwight, Jesse's former social worker, shows up to inform them that Jesse's biological mother, who abandoned him 8 years ago when Jesse was 6, was found in New York City, and has died and left behind another son, Jesse's 8-year old half-brother named Elvis (Francis Capra). Jesse initially does not take the news well, but eventually talks out his feelings with Glen, and accepts. Elvis is morose, 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). Meanwhile, resentment and disrespect from the fretful Elvis continues to be a problem for Jesse. Jesse cautiously begins to show his interest in Nadine, 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. Elvis spies on the two, but at the same time, forms a bond with Willy's brother Little Spot.
As they continue to enjoy their camping trip, not withstanding 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, John Milner, the president of the oil company (Jon Tenney), arrives and announces a 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.
Randolph eventually uses an old Indian remedy that he administers to Luna, who recovers. Then Elvis and Jesse learn of Milner's real plan to lock up the whales, and they confront him, ruining his plans. Then, with Nadine, they 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 the tanker explodes and the crude oil in the water catches fire. While the three whales swim under the flaming oil safely, the kids' 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. Elvis begins to panic and Jesse promises to not let anything happen to him. Nadine and Elvis are lifted into a rescue helicopter summoned by Randolph's distress signals, but Jesse ends up slipping and falls back into the ocean. The helicopter is unable to go back for him due to the heavy smoke and is forced to fly away. However, Jesse is rescued by Willy, who takes him under the flames, and delivers him to Glen, Annie and Randolph. Jesse, after taking a moment to say goodbye, sends Willy off back to his family.
Shortly after, the Coast Guard brings Nadine and Elvis to Randolph's boat. Jesse and Nadine hug and then he acknowledges Elvis. Elvis gives Jesse an old picture of him and their mother and explains that he once ripped it up out of anger, but taped it back together for him. Elvis tells Jesse that their mother always talked about him and that she felt bad about abandoning him. Jesse thanks him for the picture and hugs him, finally able to put his past at rest. Elvis tells Jesse that their mother did love him. Glen and Annie decide to adopt Elvis too so the brothers can stay together.
Elvis asks where the whales have gone off to and Jesse tells him that Willy and his siblings are back with their mom. Elvis asks how he knows that and Jesse clutches the orca necklace Randolph gave him and says he knows. Jesse then recites the Haida prayer Randolph taught him in the previous movie as it fades to shots of Willy and his family, swimming and jumping in the ocean.
- Jason James Richter as Jesse Greenwood
- 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
- Keiko (orca) as Willy
- Michael Jackson continued his affiliation with the Free Willy franchise, producing and performing the song "Childhood" for this movie.
- Rebbie Jackson 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.