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Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home

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Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home

Current Status:
In Season
Francis Capra Jr., Jason James Richter, Michael Madsen, Mary Kate Schellhardt
Dwight H. Little
Kids and Family

We gave it a B-

The lessons learned from this smoothly constructed sequel to the 1993 wildlife-as-playmates story about a boy, his harmonica, and his best friend of a killer whale: (1) families and Native Americans with a very special relationship to Mother Nature are good; (2) hard-hearted oil tanker captains and greedy young capitalists who talk on cellular telephones are bad; and (3) a wispy Michael Jackson song about his lost childhood inserted into the middle of a whale movie is very, very bad. Willy, the orca with the cute, man-eating teeth, is back, this time with a brother, a sister, and a mom. And Jesse (Jason James Richter) is also back, this time with a noodgy younger half brother and a dead mom. The concept that boys and whales both function best when surrounded by family is easy to digest. It’s the relentlessly dire message that contemporary industrial life is mucking up all of nature, all the time, that feels like propagandistic overkill, especially since the most fun in Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home is the good old-fashioned, ideologically neutral danger-and-heroism-and-rescue episode that wraps up this particular chapter of victory at sea. B