Box art for Free Willy: Escape from Pirate's Cove

Free Willy: Escape from Pirate's Cove

children & family, drama

A young girl locates the family of a captured baby killer whale and rebuilds her relationship with her estranged marine biologist father in the process.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

ON for kids age 6
1 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
1 out of 5
Educational value
1 out of 5
0 out of 5
Positive messages
2 out of 5
Positive role models
3 out of 5
Sexy Stuff
0 out of 5
Violence & scariness
1 out of 5

Mild orca-tainment with adorable Bindi Irwin.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this is no direct continuation of the Free Willy movies, but another orca tale with different characters and another animal who just happens to be named Willy. There is some mild fist-fighting among adults, a threat of whale poisoning, a father injured and in the hospital, a mention of the heroine's deceased mother, and some adult beer drinking.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about holding exotic marine animals like orcas in captivity for entertainment or study. Do you think this is right? Younger viewers/Bindi Irwin fans new to the Free Willy-verse might want background on the late Keiko, the real, live orca used in older Willy flicks, who -- thanks to pressure from the Hollywood producers -- did become subject of a controversial attempted re-release into the wild.
  • Besides the Free Willy movies, what other movies or books deal with this sensitive issue?
  • Use this as an opportunity to introduce the fine family films made by the South African filmmaker Jamie Uys, such as The Gods Must Be Crazy, The Gods Must Be Crazy II, and Animals Are Beautiful People.

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Audience Reviews

4 stars

This is a good movie but I still don't like that the original Free Willy wasn't in and I don't think they should have give this whale his name but I guess they wouldn't have been able to call it Free Willy if they didn't. I miss they real Willy:(

- lynn89s, Friday, April 12, 2013

4 stars

As usual, truly a loveable and enjoyable movie of a little lady that takes a trip to South Africa against her wishes to see her down and out Grandfather. Miles away from her normal terrain, she becomes friends with a "killer" whale that too is miles away and lost from his family. The two of them form an alliance that will eave a lasting memory in your mind of the importance being a part of family happiness.

- Fascade518, Thursday, May 5, 2011

2 stars

I didn't like this, but I'm not the target audience. I thought it had good production values and decent performances, but sort of a weak story, strained relationships and uneven motivations for the characters.

- gumnerf, Sunday, May 30, 2010