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Everything Action Theater: Free Willy: The Series

Following the massive success of Free Willy in 1993, Warner Bros. quickly looked into turning the movie into a franchise, with the sequel, Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home coming out in 1995 and, in between the two films, a truly insane animated series that aired on ABC.  Picking up from the end of the first movie, Jesse (voiced by Zachary Bennett) lives with his adopted family, the Greenwoods, in Seattle at the Misty Island Oceanic Reserve, where Willy has also taken up residence.  In the first episode, Jesse discovers that he has the ability to speak to animals and his Native American friend Randolph (Michael Fletcher) says that this means Jesse is a Truth Talker.  With his newfound ability, he can now communicate Willy (Paul Haddad), who can talk back, along with Einstein, a dolphin, and Lucille, a sea lion.  Things get even crazier as there’s a main villain threatening Jesse and Willy in the form of a cyborg(!) oil baron named Rockland Stone aka The Machine (Gary Krawford).  Rockland is obsessed with getting revenge on Willy as he believes Willy is responsible for his disfigurement and loss of an arm and he launches plots like creating giant squids, and deadly pathogens and he’s even able to make slimy genetically engineered henchmen called the Amphonids.  It’s truly one of the wildest leaps between original movie and cartoon.  The show lasted for two seasons and 21 episodes total and you can watch the show’s first episode, “Truth Talker” below.

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