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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Animals > Children > Free Willy: Escape From Pirate's Cove (2010/Warner Premiere Blu-ray w/DVD + DVD)

Free Willy: Escape From Pirate's Cove (2010/Warner Premiere Blu-ray w/DVD + DVD)


Picture: B-/C     Sound: B/B-     Extras: B     Feature: B



When Kirra's (Binidi Irwin, daughter of the late Crocodile Hunter) father gets hospitalize, Kirra is sent to live with her grandfather in South Africa for the summer.  After one stormy night, Kirra find a baby orca stranded in lagoon of her grandfathers seaside pirate amusement park.  Kirra names and befriends the baby orca Willy.  She helps feeds and raise Willy and becomes determined to find his pod and eventually return him to his family.  Unfortunately, there are others who have plans for Willy; a rival owner of a theme park wants Willy to be the new star for his theme park in Free Willy: Escape From Pirate’s Cove.


This is a fun filled (and animal filled) family fun movie for all ages.  The story of a homesick girl befriending a baby orca and helping find the family he lost.  Set in her grandfathers rundown seaside amusement park, she is appalled when her grandfather wants to turn Willy into his next money making scheme.  But time is running out for Willy when a greedy rival offers to buy Willy, Willy might become a seaside show for the rest of his life.  With money running short Kirra and her grandfather might not have a choice.
If you like animals and any of the previous Free Willy movies then this film is for you.  Unlike the 3 previous movies however this time the main character is not Jesse but a young girl, Kirra.  Also while 'Willy' is an orca, it is a baby orca, it has no relations to any of the previous Willy(s) either.  This fourth film however does go into a bit of marine biology, telling and explaining how killer whales hunt and function.  And like previous Free Willy(s) it the story about a child that befriends a whale and seeks to free him from the captivity of man.


The 1080p 1.78 X 1 image on the Blu-ray is soft throughout with more motion blur than we should have at this point, though color can be good, while the anamorphically enhanced DVD included with the Blu-ray and sold separately is very weak on all levels.  The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 mix is warm and well-recorded for a straight-to-home-video release, while the Dolby Digital 5.1 on the DVD versions is weaker and not bad but no match for the DTS.  Extras on both versions include behind the scenes making of the movie, meet the wild animals behind the movie, deleted scenes and outtakes, while the Blu-ray adds a pop-up fun track and Digital Copy for PC and PC portable devices.



-   Ricky Chiang & Nicholas Sheffo


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