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Free Willy: Escape from Pirate's Cove

4.5 out of 5 stars 84 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Free Willy: Escape from Pirate's Cove (DVD)

When eleven-year-old Kirra's widowed father is injured, she must leave Australia against her desires in order to live with her estranged grandfather at his run-down seaside theme park in South Africa. However, after a storm traps a baby orca in the park's lagoon, the park not only gets more visitors, but Kirra and the whale she names Willy develop an amazing friendship. Knowing that Willy will soon outgrow the lagoon and that her grandfather will be forced to sell the whale to his competitor, Kirra must not only locate Willy's pod, but also find a way to teach the young whale to survive and be free in the open sea.

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More a retelling of the original 1993 Free Willy film than a third sequel in the series, Free Willy: Escape from Pirate's Cove is the story of a young whale who's separated from his pod, used in a moneymaking scheme, and befriended by a young girl who ultimately makes a huge difference in the young whale's life. The film stars Bindi Irwin (daughter of the late Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin and host of the TV nature documentary series Bindi the Jungle Girl) in her first film, and she is surprisingly believable and passionate in her role as Kirra, if not entirely polished. Beau Bridges plays Kirra's grandfather, Gus, a down-on-his-luck gambler and owner of a dilapidated amusement park who's obsessed with making money. When Kirra's father is injured, Gus is unexpectedly saddled with caring for his granddaughter over the summer. Bongo Mbutuma, Siyabulela Ramba, and Stephen Jennings round out the cast. When a young orca becomes trapped in the lagoon at Gus's ocean-side amusement park in South Africa, Kirra and her grandfather clash over the whale's future. Kirra quickly dubs the whale Willy and pleads with her grandfather to set him free, but Gus wants to use Willy to boost profits. When a mammal rescue group determines that Willy's underdeveloped echolocation makes him unfit to survive alone in the wild, Kirra bristles at their suggestion to put Willy down, and she vows to rehabilitate the orca. Meanwhile, Kirra's grandfather contemplates selling Willy to a neighboring park owner at a handsome profit, in hopes that he will have the necessary funds to properly house and care for Willy. More than just a story about right versus wrong, Free Willy: Escape from Pirate's Cove is an exploration of a much more complicated ethical dilemma in which the best course of action is unclear. As the characters each struggle to choose the right path, what becomes crystal clear is the power of perseverance and the personal growth that results from love, adversity, and challenge. While the CGI graphic scenes of the orca pods swimming are admittedly poor and some other aspects of this film could have been improved, Escape from Pirate's Cove is still a good family film with a heartfelt message. Bonus features include a fairly interesting featurette about filming on location in South Africa, Bindi's first movie diary, a quick look at the film's animal costars, two deleted scenes, and one outtake. The Blu-ray also features a pop-up trivia option that runs the length of the film. --Tami Horiuchi

Special Features

On the Set of Free Willy: Greetings from South Africa
Bindi Irwin and Willy invite all to "Meet My Wild Co-Stars"
Bindi's First Movie Video Diary
Deleted scenes
Outtakes

Product Details

  • Actors: Bindi Irwin, Beau Bridges, Mike Falkow
  • Directors: Will Geiger
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: March 23, 2010
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0037RP0OO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,306 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Penny J. Barwick on March 23, 2010
Format: Amazon Video
This movie was a real surprise, our family has watched all theh Free Willy movies from the past and decided to give this one a try. Bindi Irwin is a very talented young lady and very believeable thorughout the movie. Beau Bridges is such a wonderful character actor and he plays the gruff grandfather very well. We througly enjoyed the movie and the friendship between two young children in the movie. Steve Irwin would be so proud of his little girl.
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Format: Blu-ray
The 4th movie of the Free Willy series is truly a delight. I loved every minute of it! Bindi Irwin was truly amazing as Kirra. It is so amazing how much she looks like her father, and carry's on his legacy through her knowledge of animals, and her love for them...which makes this even better, because you can tell her passion for animals is really genuine. I also thought the scenery was so beautiful, the acting by all the cast was excellent, and this movie ranks up there as being just as wonderful as the other Free Willy movies. I thought the ending was very powerful and emotional, that it made me cry. Hearing the song by Bindi Irwin while the credits were rolling were amazing, and I recoginized her voice immediately. Bindi Irwin seems so down-to-earth, like I said before a genuinly passionate person, and I hope she remains following in her father's footsteps.

I am defintely going to buy it, and on blu-ray, so I get the highest quality, and so I can see the bonus features, because the one I rented didn't have any on there.
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Format: DVD
This is the 4th in the Free Willy series, but it's not about the original Willy. It is filmed in South Africa and Jason James Richter or none of the other cast from the first 3 movies are in it, but it's based on the same story line, a Orca is caught, can't get out, an evil man wants him and in the end he reunites with his family. I won't give details but it's a great family to watch. If you are a Free Willy fan it is a must see and buy.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
How many times must Willy be freed before he's freed? I know - it sounds like a zen koan, but it's not. It's another chance to free a whale which apparently doesn't love freedom enough to stay free.
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Format: Blu-ray
I love the first two "Free Willy" movies (haven't seen the third)and I so wanted to love this movie. I have a nearly 5-year-old daughter and want her to love whales like I do, and thought that a "Willy" movie with a little girl (and who doesn't love Bindi Irwin?!) would be perfect.
Unfortunately, this movie drowns in a badly-written script, and too many slow and unnecessary scenes.
Spoiler Alert -- if you haven't yet seen the movie, I'm about to give much of it away.
The premise is predictable -- Kirra's dad is hurt and he ships her to Africa to spend some time with her grandfather while he heals. There she finds her grandfather seems a bit of a slacker. He sends someone else to the airport to pick her up because he's gambling. He owns a rundown amusement park that's getting its butt kicked by the movie's bad guy, who owns a super cool amusement park on the other side of town.
After a storm, a baby orca is stuck in the lagoon outside the amusement park. Kirra befriends it and names it Willy. I enjoyed seeing Bindi's Kirra interact with the whale -- even if it obviously was a fake whale. I think Bindi is a good actress. I hope that next time we see her, it's in a better movie than this.
The bad guy amusement park guy wants to buy the orca.
As mentioned earlier, the pacing was slow. My easily entertained daughter often was bored. At one point she said, "I hope something good happens soon." I pushed the "skip to next scene" button several times (was either that or stop watching). The new scene would begin and we'd find we hadn't missed anything important.
One big problem was that the "Kirra helping her grandfather realize and reach his potential" storyline was not fully developed.
And the CG was awful!
Read more ›
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this movie so much young Bindi Irwin reminds me of a young Natalie Wood, her acting is very close to hers. The story is all together and follows through with a great plot, by the end of the film you really love Willy and the cast members. I purchased this to enjoy again and so nice to add to my collection.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The movie was very cute and heart warming I bought it for my 7 year old daughter Lillianna who is in love with every animal there is and also I bought it because the good price and Steve irwins daughter bindi was in it
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I am eternally grateful to have found a new Free Willy movie with Bindi Irwin. Who knew that the character she acts out in the movie would stop at nothing to be sure that a helpless orca would be released from confinement? I imagine that if Steve was alive, he would be very proud of his daughter for participating in this new movie. And this movie proves that with the help of your friends or loved ones, you can do just about anything.
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