Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home

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Free Willy 2:
The Adventure Home
Free willy two the adventure home.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byDwight Little
Written byKaren Janszen
Corey Blechman
John Mattson
Based onCharacters
by Keith A. Walker
Produced byLauren Shuler Donner
Jennie Lew Tugend
CinematographyLászló Kovács
Edited byRobert Brown
Dallas Puett
Music byBasil Poledouris
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date
  • July 19, 1995 (1995-07-19)
Running time
98 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$31 million[1]
Box office$68 million[2]

Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home is a 1995 American family adventure drama film and the sequel to the 1993 film Free Willy as well as the second installment in the Free Willy film series distributed by Warner Bros. under their Warner Bros. Family Entertainment label. It is directed by Dwight Little from a screenplay by Karen Janszen, Corey Blechman and John Mattson. Jason James Richter, Jayne Atkinson, August Schellenberg, Mykelti Williamson and Michael Madsen reprise their roles from the first film. New cast members include Jon Tenney and Elizabeth Peña. Unlike the previous film where Keiko played Willy, a robotic double created by Edge Innovations was used to play the eponymous whale while the Free Willy Keiko Foundation devised a plan to bring Keiko to the Oregon Coast Aquarium where he would be rehabilitated from poor health.

Filming commenced in Astoria, Oregon and the San Juan Islands between April and August 1994 with additional filming taking place in California.

The film opened to mixed reviews from critics. Despite underperforming at the box office, a third film Free Willy 3: The Rescue was subsequently released in 1997.


It's been two years since Jesse freed his orca friend, Willy. The Greenwoods were preparing to go to the San Juan Islands to visit Randolph while camping at Camp Nor'wester until plans hit a roadblock when Dwight informs Glen and Annie that Jesse's mother was found dead in New York City and left behind another son. Jesse is devastated after many attempts at finding her, but comes to terms after talking his feelings out with Glen. When Jesse's half-brother Elvis arrives, he is morose, overly talkative and mischievous, and he is also prone to telling lies and easily gets on Jesse's nerves. He is invited so that the boys get to know each other.

At the environmental institute, Jesse reunites with Randolph, quickly becomes smitten with his attractive and kindly goddaughter, Nadine, and is introduced to members of Willy's family. Jesse tracks and later reunites with Willy that night.

As the Greenwoods enjoy their trip, the Dakar runs aground on lawson reef and spills oil due to an engine malfunction, trapping Willy, Luna and Littlespot at the campsite. When word gets out and Luna is dying from the oil in her lungs having swum through it, Benbrook Oil CEO John Milner arrives and announces a plan to move the whales into captivity until further notice. Jesse challenges this, making Milner promise to do whatever he can to get them safely back to their mom or else he'll be blamed for Luna's death, to which Milner seemingly agrees.

Despite receiving treatment from Kate Haley, Luna's condition worsens the next day. But Randolph and Jesse eventually use an old Indian remedy that helped her recover. With the oil spill reaching dangerous proximity to the cove, Benbrook Oil and the whalers boom it off despite Jesse, Randolph and Nadine's objections and begin extracting the whales. Elvis, who ran away after Annie broke a promise to allow him to help, overhears Milner and whaler Bill Wilcox discussing their real plan to sell the whales to a marine mammal park and rushes back to camp in time to warn Jesse, and they and Nadine confront Milner which led to him and his assistant getting knocked into the water for breaking Jesse's promise. Willy manages to rescue Littlespot by tipping Wilcox's boat.

With time running out before the oil reaches the cove, the kids hijack the Little Dipper to lead the whales to safety. On Jesse's signal, Willy is able to break the boom and leads his siblings out of the cove. Unfortunately, the Dakar explodes due to fuel vapors igniting after engineers tried to start the generator, resulting in crude oil to catch fire. Despite the danger, the whales are able to swim under the flaming oil to safety. Having followed them to ensure they got safely past the oil, the kids fall into danger when they head into another cove, but the fogginess from the smoke causes Jesse to hit a rock and Little Dipper begins to sink while the flames seal off the cove.

Glen and Annie, who just spotted Elvis after spending all night last night searching for him, hop aboard the Natselane as Randolph sends a distress signal. A search and rescue helicopter locates them, and Elvis and Nadine are retracted to safety. However, the Little Dipper then submerges completely, leaving Jesse struggling in the oily water, and unable to secure himself sufficiently in the harness. He ultimately slips out and falls back into the ocean, just inches away from the helicopter and, due to smoke choking the engine, it is forced to leave him behind. Jesse nearly drowns, but is rescued by Willy who returns for his friend and is able to carry him safely under the fire. Though Jesse was curious as to why Willy won't leave, Randolph reveals the signal must be performed. Jesse does it, and he, Glen and Annie say goodbye to Willy before he departs.

Shortly after the Coastal Marine Patrol delivers Elvis and Nadine, Elvis gives Jesse an old picture of Jesse and their mother that was taped back together and also tells Jesse that she talked about him and felt bad about everything. Glen and Annie decide to keep the brothers together. When asked by Elvis about his knowledge of the whales' whereabouts, Jesse tells him that he knows.

Sometime later with the oil spill cleaned up, Willy, Luna and Littlespot reunite with Catspaw.



Free Willy 2 grossed $30 million in the United States and Canada[3] and $68 million worldwide[2] on a $31 million budget. It received mixed reviews from critics, though many were impressed with the film's subtle approach to pollution and other environmental issues, while focusing on family values.[4][5][6][7][8]

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 50% of 26 critics' reviews are positive, with an average rating of 4.9/10. The website's consensus reads, "Good-natured yet utterly unsurprising, Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home will strike all but the youngest of viewers as a poorly orca-strated sequel"[9] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A-" on an A+ to F scale.[10]


The movie was nominated for Worst Sequel and The Sequel Nobody Was Clamoring For at the 1995 Stinkers Bad Movie Awards, but lost to Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls and Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers, respectively. Willy won Favorite Animal Star at the 1996 Kids' Choice Awards.


Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by
various artists
Released1995 (1995)

Released through MJJ Music in association with 550 Music and Epic Soundtrax in 1995, the soundtrack contained most of the songs from the film plus two additional tracks from Brownstone, whose song "Sometimes Dancin'" first appeared on their debut album From the Bottom Up, and 3T. The only song not included is "My Spirit Calls Out" that Randolph performed when he treated Luna.

Basil Poledouris returned to compose new music and also incorporated several scoring elements from the previous film.

Michael Jackson continued his affiliation with the Free Willy franchise when "Childhood", a double A-side single for "Scream" from HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I, served as the main theme around Elvis while the instrumental version is played when he looks at a photo of the Greenwoods with Jesse.

An instrumental version of Nathan Cavaleri's song "Lou's Blues" was used to dub Jesse's offscreen guitar playing.

Two renditions of Bob Dylan's "Forever Young" are featured in the movie. While a version from Michael Jackson's sister Rebbie was heard inside the donut Elvis and Wilcox attended, the end credits used The Pretenders' version the band previously recorded for the film With Honors and was also included on their album Last of the Independents.

Track listing[edit]

1."Childhood (Theme from "Free Willy 2")"Michael JacksonMichael Jackson4:27
2."Forever Young"Bob DylanRebbie Jackson4:24
3."Sometimes Dancin'" (feat. Spragga Benz)
4."What Will It Take"Taryll Jackson3T5:17
5."I'll Say Goodbye for the Two of Us"Diane WarrenExposé4:47
6."Forever Young"Bob DylanPretenders5:03
7."Lou's Blues"Nathan CavaleriNathan Cavaleri Band3:14
8."Main Titles" Basil Poledouris3:30
9."Whale Swim" Basil Poledouris3:18
10."Reunion" Basil Poledouris3:38
12."Childhood (Theme from "Free Willy 2")" (Instrumental)Michael JacksonMichael Jackson4:27


  • 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's, does not involve Willy being freed.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home | PowerGrid". Archived from the original on 2015-01-03. Retrieved 2017-08-11.
  2. ^ a b Klady, Leonard (February 19, 1996). "B.O. with a vengeance: $9.1 billion worldwide". Variety. p. 1.
  3. ^ "Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 22 November 2011.
  4. ^ Rainer, Peter (1995-07-19). "MOVIE REVIEW 'Willy' Returns for More Family-Bonding". The Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 2012-11-04. Retrieved 2010-11-27.
  5. ^ Roger Ebert (1995). "Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home". Chicago Sun Times. Retrieved 2022-01-27.
  6. ^ "Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home". Entertainment Weekly. 1995-08-04. Archived from the original on 2012-10-20. Retrieved 2010-11-27.
  7. ^ Klady, Leonard (1995-07-16). "Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home". Variety. Retrieved 2010-11-27.
  8. ^ Rainer, Peter (1995-07-19). "MOVIE REVIEW 'Willy' Returns for More Family-Bonding". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2020-09-21.
  9. ^ "Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved October 6, 2021. Edit this at Wikidata
  10. ^ "Home". CinemaScore. Retrieved 2022-10-18.

External links[edit]