Free Willy (franchise)
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Free Willy is a film franchise 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 (released March 2010), was directed by Will Geiger and distributed by Warner Premiere.
|Directed by||Simon Wincer (Free Willy)|
Dwight H. Little (The Adventure Home)
Sam Pillsbury (The Rescue)
Will Geiger (Escape from Pirate's Cove)
|Produced by||Lauren Shuler Donner (1 – 2)|
|Written by||Keith A. Walker (1)|
Corey Blechman (1-2)
Karen Janszen (2)
John Mattson (2-3)
Will Geiger (4)
|Music by||Basil Poledouris|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. (1993-1997) |
Warner Premiere (2010)
|1993 (Free Willy)|
1995 (Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home)
1997 (Free Willy 3: The Rescue)
2010 (Free Willy: Escape From Pirate's Cove)
|over 6.5 hours total (as of 2010)|
|Box office||$153,698,625 (1)|
Alongside the films, an animated series also entitled Free Willy debuted in 1994.
Free Willy (1993)Edit
Free Willy is a 1993 American family drama film 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 killer whale, the film's eponymous "Willy." Directed by Simon Wincer, it was shot mainly in Mexico City and Portland, Oregon.
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.
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, also starring Jason James Richter and August Schellenberg.
The film has protagonist Jesse (Jason James Richter) reunite with Willy three years after the whale's jump to freedom, as the teenager tries to rescue killer whales from an oil spill.
Free Willy 3: The Rescue was subsequently released in 1997, making a trilogy. Keiko 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.
Free Willy 3: The Rescue (1997)Edit
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 Free Willy. The film is also the last with Keiko before he died of pneumonia in 2003.
The film features a teenaged Jesse (Richter) and old friend Randolph trying to foil an illegal whaler threatening Willy and his pregnant mate.
Free Willy: Escape from Pirate's Cove, the fourth film in 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, this film stars Bindi Irwin as Kirra, who discovers a baby killer whale stranded in the lagoon near her grandfather's rundown seaside amusement park. She embarks on a quest to lead Willy back to his pod.
Free Willy (1994)Edit
Cast and crewEdit
|Characters||Original films||Animated series||Remake film|
|Free Willy||Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home||Free Willy 3: The Rescue||Free Willy||Free Willy:|
Escape from Pirate's Cove
|Jesse Greenwood||Jason James Richter||Zachary Bennett|
|Willy||Keiko||Animatronic Orca||Paul Haddad||CGI Orca|
|Randolph Johnson||August Schellenberg||Michael Fletcher|
|Glen Greenwood||Michael Madsen||Ron Len|
|Annie Greenwood||Jayne Atkinson||Sheila McCarthy|
|Dwight Mercer||Mykelti Williamson|
|Rae Lindey||Lori Petty|
|Elvis Greenwood||Francis Capra|
|John Milner||Jon Tenney|
|Nadine||Mary Kate Schellhardt|
|Dr. Kate Haley||Elizabeth Peña|
|Drew Halbert||Annie Corley|
|Max Wesley||Vincent Berry|
|John Wesley||Patrick Kilpatrick|
|Mary Wesley||Tasha Simms|
|Rockland Stone / The Machine||Gary Krawford|
|Kirra Cooper||Bindi Irwin|
|Gus Grisby||Beau Bridges|
|Rolf Woods||Stephen Jennings|
|Dr. Sam Cooper||Kevin Otto|
|Free Willy||Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home||Free Willy 3: The Rescue||Free Willy:|
Escape from Pirate's Cove
|Director||Simon Wincer||Dwight H. Little
|Sam Pillsbury||Will Geiger|
|Producers||Lauren Shuler Donner
Jennie Lew Tugend
|Jennie Lew Tugend||David Wicht|
|Writers||Keith A. Walker
|John Mattson||Will Geiger|
|Composer||Basil Poledouris||Cliff Eidelman||Enis Rotthoff|
|Cinematography||Robbie Greenberg||László Kovács||Tobias A. Schliessler||Robert Malpage|
Public and critical responseEdit
|Free Willy||57% (23 reviews)||79 (14 reviews)|
|Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home||36% (14 reviews)||-|
|Free Willy 3: The Rescue||44% (16 reviews)||-|
|Free Willy: Escape from Pirate's Cove||33% (3 reviews)|
- "Free Willy". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved April 4, 2010.
- "Free Willy". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved March 9, 2014.
- "Free Willy". Metacritic. CNET Networks. Retrieved March 9, 2014.
- "Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved March 9, 2014.
- "Free Willy 3: The Rescue". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved March 9, 2014.
- "Free Willy 4: Escape From Pirate's Cove".