Wednesday, 25 January 2012

"Free Willy" and the unnecessary detour

So I'm going back in time a little bit, to a movie that personally touched my life. Big time. To the point that for about 12 years, I wanted to be a whale trainer. Then I saw one fateful episode of "When Animals Attack" and I decided I didn't want to be a chew toy for a whale.

"Free Willy" was a movie produced in the early 90s, starring a killer whale with the super creative name of Willy. The actual whale (Keiko) was originally sold to Marineland, then eventually to an amusement park in Mexico. His return to the wild was very publicized and included the construction of a huge rehabilitation center for him before they set him free. He would later pass away from pneumonia (an illness I personally thought was a  strictly human problem), which broke my little childhood heart. And thus was the end of the most popular whale since Moby Dick.

The Movie
The plot of the movie Free Willy is actually very similar to the events that happened in real life. Willy hated his life because he lived in something that would be the equivalent of a human living in a shoe box. He missed his family, and bonded with a boy named Jesse, who shared his sense of loneliness due to the fact that he had been abandoned by his mother in foster care. So, with the help of some sympathetic adults, Jesse makes it his mission to free Willy from captivity, and reunite him with his family out in the ocean. It's actually a really cute movie, and when you love animals like I did when I was a child, it just makes you want to move to SeaWorld and swim with whales.

What Doesn't Make Sense
So, watch that trailer again, and take a look in the background at the :55 mark of the video.

Notice that large body of water that resembles the ocean?

Well, apparently Jesse and the rest of the adults didn't. Because instead of driving the whale down the street to the water that is literally right there, they instead take what seems like a two day journey through back roads and basically the most inconvenient route ever to find the ocean.... which was RIGHT THERE!

Oh well, I guess the torture of animals for the sake of childhood entertainment is a reasonable excuse. Right? I mean, why else would they take that insane route? Aside from filling the plot of a 90s children's movie.

...and for the record, as I write this, I feel a piece of my childhood dying because of this sad revelation.

(P.S. What I would have given to be ^ this kid ^ when I was 6!)


  1. I love this movie, but I never noticed that before. I guess the race to the ocean through the back roads was to add to the climax/suspense of the movie. After all it is a movie and characters never seem to do the "easy" thing ... they always chose the most complicated or dramatic ways to get things done.

    Ps. Love your blog. If you run out of ideas, Jurassic Park would be a good movie tackle!

  2. I just love Michael Jackson's song for this movie. Rest in Peace my sweet sweet Michael.
    Did you just re-watch this movie? Definitely a flick that I forgot about, thanks for the reminder.