A new relationship with animals, nature and each other.

The Movie that Launched a Revolution

The Big Business of Dolphins

Part 2 of  “Dolphins & Us

The Business of Dolphins
How they’re exploited by unscrupulous companies.

The Movie that Launched a Revolution
At SeaWorld, Free Willy has never been anyone’s favorite movie!

The Real Story: Freeing Keiko
The first orca to be returned to the wild.

Ric O’Barry: From Flipper to The Cove
Once a dolphin trainer; now their biggest protector.

Tilikum: The Slave Who Fought Back
He killed his trainer – Was it really an accident?

Life and Death at SeaWorld
How Tilikum is faring.

The Drive Hunts
Capture a few, kill the rest.

Interviews & Reports

“Don’t Buy a Ticket!”
Interview with Ric O’Barry.

More about Ric O’Barry
From the Earth Island Journal.

The “Spartacus” of Whales
Alexander Cockburn on Tilikum’s rebellion.

My Visit to SeaWorld
At “the scene of the crime.”

A Whale of a Business
The PBS special report

The Cove
The Oscar-winning movie

NEXT: Part Three: Saving the Dolphins.

See also Part One: The Smartest of Us All?

At SeaWorld, Free Willy has never been among anyone’s Top Ten favorite movies! But as soon as it was released in 1993, Free Willy became a surprise hit around the world, especially with children.

The story begins with a family of orcas (these so-called killer whales are actually the largest species of dolphin) being hunted down in the Pacific Ocean. One of the orcas is caught in a net and sold to an amusement park.

A young orphan boy, Jesse, befriends Willy, as the dolphin is now known, and gets a job at the amusement park. Soon, Jesse learns of the management’s secret plan to kill Willy and collect the insurance money. So he hatches a plan to load his friend onto a truck one night, take him to the ocean, and set him free.

The amusement park owners make a last-ditch attempt to catch Willy in a net, but Jesse persuades the orca to make a final, amazing leap over the barrier, and the movie ends with Willy swimming away to be reunited with his family.

The part of Willy was played by Keiko, who was soon to become famous in his own right.

Next: The Real Story — Freeing Keiko