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A Few Points about Captive Orca and Michael Jackson

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Kanduke, a male captured from T pod in British Columbia, Canada in August 1975, often fought with a younger Icelandic male named Kotar. The aggression became increasingly serious, leading to an incident in which Kotar bit Kanduke’s penis and caused an infection. It is not known if such serious aggression and injury would occur in the open seas.[70]

That’s from Wikipedia’s article on captive orca. My interest was sparked after Tilikum, a captive killer whale, killed its trainer by dragging her underwater. Not only that, but there were two previous instances of Tilikum attacking his trainers.

That’s really sad and it’s very troubling to me. There has been much criticism of the treatment of how orcas are raised in captivity (now common knowledge thanks to Free Willy, Free Willy 2: The Return, Free Willy 3: The Rescue), and yet  it’s not as if the trainer is this horrible person. I have a dog, and I love her a lot: I imagine trainers often feel the same sort of affection toward the whales they work with.

Will You Be There” by Michael Jackson was the theme song for the original. You can listen to it here:

Michael Jackson was actually sued twice over this song. First, Sony sued him because he didn’t credit the Beethoven introduction. Not sure if Sony thinks they own the rights to the music of the long-dead romantic composer, or if they just own the performance Jackson sampled. This one was settled out of court.

The second time, he was sued by Italian composer Albano Carrisi, who claimed that Jackson had stolen the song from his “I Cigni de Balaka” (“The Swans of Balaka”):

However, a judge eventually ruled that they were actually both inspired by a song called Bless You (For Being An Angel). Here are two versions I found online:

The theme-song to Free Willy 2: The Return was also by Michael Jackson, but he didn’t get sued for this one. It was called “Childhood.” Read this excerpt and tell me if you think the song has absolutely anything to do with freeing Willy:

Before you judge me, try hard to love me,
Look within your heart then ask,
Have you seen my childhood?
People say I’m strange that way
‘Cause I love such elementary things,
It’s been my fate to compensate,
For the childhood I’ve never known…

Before I end, I just wanted to announce that, coming soon to a video store near you (and presumably Netflix, if they’re smart), the fourth installment in the franchise you love:

FREE WILLY 4: ESCAPE FROM PIRATE COVE!

Which made me super-excited because I expected Willy to be fighting pirates! Alas, the trailer dashed my hopes:

It’s not a real pirate cove, it’s an amusement park ride run by Beau Bridges (perhaps giving Jeff a run for Oscar gold?). And it’s the feature film debut of Bindi Irwin, Steve Irwin’s daughter. Probably no Michael Jackson song though.

Honesty, though, I was expecting it to be called Free Willy 4: The Revenge, where Willy tracks down the owners of the park that originally enslaved him.

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7 Responses

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  1. […] Toxic is from a Bollywood Movie On the heels of yesterday’s rambling post about captive orca and Michael Jackson, I wanted to post this clip that makes a pretty good case that the smash-hit Toxic, supposedly […]

  2. […] and “Smells Like Teen Spirit” Use the Same Riff Wow, I’m really on a roll. This one is courtesy the Malcolm Gladwell article Something Borrowed, which is about […]

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