Free Willy

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Free Willy ★★½ 1993 (PG)

Sentimental story about a 12-year-old runaway (Richter) who befriends a whale. Should appeal to children for its heartwarming story and delightful sea acrobatics. An electronically operated standin whale was used for far-off shots; a domesticated performing whale named Keiko for the closeups. Director Wincer was known to grumble about the temperamental Keiko during shooting. Suggested viewing for students of animal behavior. Proof that family films can make money, “Free Willy” placed tenth for total boxoffice receipts in 1993. 112m/C VHS, DVD . Jason James Richter, Lori Petty, Jayne Atkinson, August Schellenberg, Michael Madsen; D: Simon Wincer; W: Keith A. Walker, Corey Blechman; C: Robbie Greenberg; M: Basil Poledouris. MTV Movie Awards ‘94: Song (“Will You Be There”).