The most famous Killer Whale movie of all time? Well, that would have Free Willy which was came out in 1993. Despite the fact that the film's name had British audiences chuckling, given that Willy is a slang name for male "bits", this family drama starring Jason James Richter as a boy who becomes friends with a killer whale held in captivity.
Scene From Free Willy The Movie
The movie was a blockbuster hit, and it was followed up by Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home, Free Willy 3: The Rescue, and Free Willy: Escape from Pirate's Cove. There was also a spin off TV series. The killer whale who featured in the film also became famous: Keiko was eventually released back into the wild.
The action starts with a pod of killer whales off the Northwest of the US, where a study of the effect of shiiping noise on orcas has recently been carried out. An Orca (Willy) is caught in some nets and whisked off to a local amusement park.
Next we meet Jesse (Jason James Richter), a twelve year old boy from Oregon who was abandoned by his mum 6 years previously, and had become disruptive. He is arrested by the police for stealing food and vandalism at a theme park. He is sent to a foster home - a supportive family. Annie is his foster mum and Glen is his foster Dad. Jesse continues to rebel.
While he is at the amusement park, cleaning his graffiti, Jesse meets Willy, the orca and befriends him, along with his keeper Randolph Johnson.
Jesse is able to do what no one else has managed - her gets Willy to perform tricks and he eventually becomes one of the team on the payroll at the amusement park. Jesse makes great progress with his foster parents too, and for once in his life he is happy and settled.
The owner of the park, Dial spots the bond between Jesse and Willy plans out a special show featuring them both, so that he can make a return on his investment in Willy. But the orca hates the sound of the kids rapping on the windows of the underwater observation deck and goes on strike. Will smashes the tank and Jesse runs off upset and plans to run away from the town. The owner plots to kill Willy to get the insurance money back on him by slowly draining his tank.
Jesse, Randolph, and Rae club together to free Willy. They load him onto a trailer, and steal a truck to take Willy to a marina via the back roads, getting stuck in mud. The owner of the park begins his search for the lost whale.
Willy is finally lowered into the water, but the adventure is not over yet. The park owner tries to net him with whaling ships before he can leave the marina and Jesse leads him along the sea wall away from the boats. He encourages him to make the biggest jump of his life over the edge of the wall. Willy makes the jump and is finally free.
A real feel good story...