Whales don't feel they aren't people their just fish.
~ John Wesley to his son Max.

John Wesley is the main antagonist of the of the 1997 Film Free Willy 3: The Rescue. He is the father of Max and a ruthless whaler disguised as a fisherman, who has no remorse for his crime and his job at whaling is to harvest the meat for the Japanese to eat.

He is portrayed by Patrick Kilpatrick.


A pod of killer whales are being speared by whalers.(who is the probability of john.) The next Day, John invites his son on his whaling ship, the Botany Bay and introduces him to his henchmen. during the hunt, John and his men spot willy and his pod, killing one of them and shooting willy in the tail, the young killer whale charges towards the ship and causes it to starboard, throwing max overboard and the whalers son comes face to face with willy, max is retrieved by his father and the hunt ends. The Next Night, Max encounters willy and he gestures him to go away before his dad and the men kill him but John spots the whale and asks max to get him his spear gun. Max grabs it but falls on purpose causing John to miss his shot and the whale swims away unharmed.

One of Johns henchmen picks up an unknown noise in the water (which is the harmonica that Jesse used to bring willy) and john gets suspicious of what the noise is.

On their second hunt, they spot the whales and john teaches max how to use the harpoon by telling him to aim where the target's going to be, not where it is at, Max misfires on purpose and misses the whales, he plans to get rid of the second harpoon but is stopped by one of his henchmen and right when is about to kill willy, max spots a ship in the distance (the NOAH) and puts away the harpoon. Jesse spots willy viciously splashing at john and his men and suspects that they are whalers and alerts the captain about this but does not believe him unless he receives proof. after realizing that the noise they pick up is coming from the ship and that the whales are drawn to it, they plan to broadcast it to themselves to lure the whales into a trap. john tells a story to max that whaling is god's work and that whale oil is used for Japanese lanterns.

After docking the next night, Jesse manages to sneak on board the Botany Bay to steal a sample of the spear guns that are used to shoot the whales and discovers that the whalers are heading back out to go after Willy and his pod, Jesse heads towards Randolph and drew, showing the captain the proof they need but the captain exclaims that he's not gonna damage another 2000 dollars of equipment. despite the captains rules, Jesse, Randolph, and Drew steal the boat and go after the Whalers. Max asks his dad if whales are like people and he replies that they are not and that their just fish, Max replies "you're wrong" which enrages john and exclaims that he has been wrong all his life, John's henchmen chimes in and shows him max's necklace that he found in the engine room and john suspects that is was Max that sabotaged the engines. (Jesse is actually the one who did this).

John locks Max in a bunker and proceeds to go after willy himself, Max manages to escape using his dad's knife and jumps off the boat to buy enough time for Jesse and his team to catch up with them but he is retrieved, Jesse, Randolph and Drew use a flare gun and their boat's P.A. system to try to bluff the whalers into stopping, but when it does not work, Jesse rams the Botany Bay with the Noah just as they fire a harpoon, the jolt causing the harpoon to miss Willy and knocking John into the water. John and Willy engage in an underwater fight, John tries to stab him with a knife but the killer whale overpowers the whaler and prepares to kill him but max screeches the ship's railing to get willy's attention and convince him to spare john. *Max's father then gets trapped under a net and nearly drowns as the net drags him down and ultimately comes face to face with Willy himself. This time, Willy, instead of killing him, saves him by pushing him to the surface and holding him there long enough for Jesse and Randolph to rescue him. The Marine Patrol arrive, having been summoned on the radio by Jesse before he rammed the Botany Bay, and catch the whalers (who are stunned by Willy rescuing their boss) in the act and arrest them. Being saved by Willy causes John to realize that he was wrong about the whales and he apologizes to Max. John is not sure where to go from here as his whole life has been about whaling, but Max tells him he is his father and forgives him.


Like many hunters are who obsessive with deer or elk, John Wesley can be ruthless and repulsive to anyone who tries to get in his way, even to his only son Max, who accused him of sabotaging the engine room after one of his men found the necklace that he gave to max earlier in the film. Despite his cruel nature as a whaler, John loves his son and wife and will do anything to keep them out of danger. since his grandfather was a whaler, he became obsessive with whaling and is smart enough to pose as a fisherman in order from being caught, because of his history of whaling, he has many pictures of whaling in his house and his wife knows about this and even intends to keep him out of trouble as well.


  • Although whaling in the United States of America has been banned, it is still used by the Japanese and it is unclear where John got the harpoon from. probably the Japanese had offered it to him for his whaling skills.


           WBLogo Animation Villains

Animated Features

Live Action Films

John Wesley



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