Watch This Orca Do a Free Willy Impression With a Heroic Deep Sea Jump

Written by Angie Menjivar
Published: November 17, 2022
© Tory Kallman/
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Continue Reading To See This Amazing Video

Free Willy is a 1993 family drama film. It centers around a young boy named Jesse. He is an orphan who gets himself into some trouble after he vandalizes a theme park. To make amends, he works for the theme park. That’s where he meets a young orca whale named Willy. The two form a bond.

Apex predator: Killer whales
Orcas can travel fast, up to 33 miles per hour. With that kind of speed, they can certainly shoot out of the water and stay suspended in the air for a few seconds.


Was Willy a Killer Whale?

The classic image of Willy is a memory for many who enjoyed this movie in the 90s. It’s a shot of Willy, the orca, jumping over a rock bridge with Jesse celebrating his release back into the wild just under him. You may not know this, but orcas are the largest members of the dolphin family. This can be confusing because some call them killer whales.

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They can travel fast, up to 33 miles per hour. Certainly, with that kind of speed, they can shoot out of the water and stay suspended in the air for a few seconds. In the movie, Jesse helps Willy escape back into the wild. After being held in captivity, the greedy theme park owner plans to take Willy’s life to cash in on the insurance funds.

If you haven’t seen the film, it’s incredibly heartwarming, telling the tale of interspecies friendship and love so immense, it knows how to let go. This clip is short but just as inspiring as that pivotal moment in the movie.

An Orca Breaching the Sea

The person taking the video is already out on the open water. Within seconds, you see what appears to be a dolphin jumping out of the water. The dolphin is moving quickly aside and back into the water as a giant killer whale jumps out, white splashes of ocean water surrounding it.

It travels high into the air, completely coming out of the water. The video is in slow motion with fast music. It allows you to fully appreciate just how high the orca gets in the air before diving back down into the ocean. It is exactly the type of jump Willy the whale completes in the movie. Sky high with a beautiful arch mid-air before a beautiful dive back into the sea.

It’s an incredible experience to witness firsthand. There are several boats out on the water, likely whale watching. This is certainly a scene they’ll never forget.

Watch this larger than life orca fly into the air and dive back in gracefully.

Up Next, a Few More Orca Videos for Good Measure:

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The Featured Image

Killer Whale (Orcinus orca) breaching.
Orca, or Killer Whale (Orcinus orca), breaching the water.
© Tory Kallman/

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About the Author

Angie is a writer with over 10 years of experience developing content for product and brand reviews, focusing much of her time on animals of all types. A cat owner herself, she enjoys writing articles on beloved pets that both inform and entertain her audience.

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