A Whale of a Tale

Free Willy: Escape from Pirate’s Cove has nothing to do with the original trilogy. It’s a direct-to-video reboot made 13 years later. Aside from name recognition, there’s no reason to call it Free Willy. I think it was only made to be a starring vehicle for Bindi Irwin, daughter of beloved Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin. Escape from Pirate’s Cove is filled with animals other than the titular killer whale.

Willy is now a baby orca who gets separated from his pod. The movie once again sticks to animatronics and lower quality CGI. Kirra is an Australian girl sent to live with her grandpa in South Africa. Normally I’d be against movies like this, but Bindi is as much of a star as her late father. Kirra’s bond with Willy feels like the best way to carry on his legacy. Of course it helps to have veteran actor Beau Bridges in it.

I can respect the reboot for not just repeating what made the original movie so good. Willy becomes the star attraction at a pirate themed amusement park and a competing park owner is the greedy businessman. Kirra enlists the help of her reluctant grandpa, his park assistant, and an African boy to free Willy. There’s no big jump, just Willy being returned to his pod. Though I’m not sure the sentiment works as well after the failure to rehabilitate Keiko. Free Willy: Escape from Pirate’s Cove kept a family tradition alive.

Free Willy Escape form Pirate's Cove

Kirra says goodbye to Willy

Reboot of: Free Willy

2 thoughts on “A Whale of a Tale

  1. I know I’ve never heard of this one, and that’s OK as it feels like just an all right Direct to Video. I have a lot of respect for Bindi Irwin, she’s just as passionate and caring about wildlife as her late father Steve, minus his sometimes dangerous theatrics of course.

    Liked by 1 person

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