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Free Willy
(1993)
Album Cover Art
Composed, Conducted, and Produced by:

Orchestrated by:
Greig McRitchie
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LABEL & RELEASE DATE
Epic Soundtrax
(July 13th, 1993)
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ALBUM AVAILABILITY
Regular U.S. release, but out of print.
Awards
AWARDS
None.
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you value Basil Poledouris' scores for Wind and The Hunt for Red October and seek an intelligent and upbeat merging of those sounds for a children's film with equal aquatic ambience.

Avoid it... if the hopelessly optimistic nature of Poledouris' writing for light character dramas negatively outweighs his satisfying blend of synthetic and symphonic elements.
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EDITORIAL REVIEW
FILMTRACKS TRAFFIC RANK: #351
WRITTEN 8/29/99, REVISED 1/6/08
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Poledouris
Poledouris
Free Willy: (Basil Poledouris) In Hollywood's long history of films about a child's personal redemption in his unlikely relationship with an animal, Free Willy was about as popular an entry as the genre could yield. A young boy without a family and resorting to criminal behavior strikes up a friendship with a killer whale and eventually, in the process of enacting what the ridiculous and sexually suggestive title of the film entails, finds a new home for himself as well. While its script is on the level of any television Hallmark production, Free Willy excelled in its photography and music, leading to two direct, theatrical sequels over the following four years. Most of the attention paid to the soundtrack at the time anchored by an obnoxious Michael Jackson song, with two versions bookending the album. The fact that the album refers to this song as the "Theme from Free Willy" is both inaccurate and disrespectful to the memorable and thematically rich score written for the film by Basil Poledouris. The composer's own love of the sea made Free Willy a labor of love for Poledouris, and being that the score is much better than average children's adventure score, it remains as one of the most vibrant hidden gems in his career. If you look through Poledouris' two decades of major production, it's difficult to find any score as infectiously positive and friendly as Free Willy, and it is this consistently upbeat attitude that has caused some film music collectors to slam the score, referring to it as "yawn-inducing" or "overzealous childsplay." If you're looking for Conan the Barbarian or Starship Troopers in each of your Poledouris scores, then this makes sense. But for the first two Free Willy films, Poledouris composed a wealth of sensitive and imaginative blends of orchestral and electronic music, paving the way for Cliff Eidelman's similarly impressive score to the third film. If you take the rhythmic action sequences from Wind and The Hunt for Red October and merge them with the innocence of Poledouris' light character dramas, then Free Willy results. It is very much of a "family-friendly version" of his equally aquatic music for the aforementioned adventure films on the high seas.



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VIEWER RATINGS
1,003 TOTAL VOTES
Average: 3.57 Stars
***** 300 5 Stars
**** 269 4 Stars
*** 240 3 Stars
** 98 2 Stars
* 96 1 Stars
  (View results for all titles)

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COMMENTS
2 TOTAL COMMENTS
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Es la mejor!!
Ivonne - May 25, 2003, at 2:02 p.m.
1 comment  (2606 views)
One of the Best Soundtracks ever...   Expand >>
Ashley Michelle Poteete - November 2, 2001, at 5:39 p.m.
1 comment  (4968 views)
More...


Track Listings Icon
TRACK LISTINGS AND AUDIO
Audio Samples   ▼
Total Time: 59:30
• 1. Will You Be There - performed by Michael Jackson (5:53)
• 2. Keep on Smilin' - performed by New Kids on the Block (4:36)
• 3. Didn't Mean to Hurt You - performed by 3T (5:47)
• 4. Right Here (Human Nature Remix) - performed by Sisters With Voices (3:50)
• 5. How Can You Leave Me Now - performed by Funky Poets (5:44)
• 6. Main Title (5:06)
• 7. Connection (1:44)
• 8. The Gifts (5:19)
• 9. Friends Montage (3:40)
• 10. Audition (2:04)
• 11. Farewell Suite: Jessie Says Goodbye/Let's Free Willy!/Return to Freedom (12:02)
• 12. Will You Be There (Reprise) - performed by Michael Jackson (3:40)

Notes Icon
NOTES AND QUOTES
The insert includes extensive credits, but no information about the score or film.
Copyright © 1999-2017, Filmtracks Publications. All rights reserved.
The reviews and other textual content contained on the filmtracks.com site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from Free Willy are Copyright © 1993, Epic Soundtrax and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 8/29/99 and last updated 1/6/08.
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