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Parents' Guide to

Free Willy 3: The Rescue

By Charles Cassady Jr., Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 6+

For devoted -- and young -- Willy fans only.

Movie PG 2005 86 minutes
Free Willy 3: The Rescue Poster Image

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Kids say (3 ):

This is the most lyrical and pretty-looking of the Willy adventures. As with the last two films in this series, there are painless rivulets of whale (and whaler) trivia streaming through the plot. Environmentalism also continues to be an issue. Free Willy 3: The Rescue is also the most brazen in pushing its animal-rights agenda on impressionable viewers. Parents should decide how they want to present animal-rights issues to their children before acquiring this video.

There is some balance, however. The marauding whaleboat crew are not demonized as kill-crazy monsters, but proud men carrying on a long heritage. Given the tone of these movies, that's as even-handed as you can get, even with the cliched finale in which Willy's good deeds raise the issue of whale sainthood. Not even fearsome spearguns and a heated saloon fight (between the whalers and Jesse's old pal Randolph) can boil a mist of niceness off the material. This softness will work better for the under 12s. Older viewers may yearn for a bit more edge.

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