films seen
average score
Alive and kicking
more info


Free Willy

1993 / 112m - USA
Free Willy poster

The one where a kid befriends a killer whale. Kids befriending animals was a bit of a thing in the late 80s/early 90s, though most series and films preferred to work with smaller animals. Willy on the other hand is a sizeable killer whale, not really man's best friend, then again realism was never this film's goal.

Read all

Jesse lives with a foster family, but he's somewhat unruly. He runs away and spray paints the local aquarium. He gets apprehended by the police, to teach him a lesson Jesse is forced to work in the aquarium. There he meets Willy, a killer whale who isn't too happy swimming around in his little prison.

A film that exemplifies USA kitsch for kids. Cheesy performances, a bland plot, dumb characters and a cringy ending make this quite the trial to sit through, not in the least because the film almost lasts two hours. I remember not liking this one as a kid either, so it's not just a matter of target audience. Kids deserve better entertainment than this, but at least it raised awareness about killer whales kept in captivity.