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September 24, 2021

Big Miracle (Everybody Loves Whales) Trailer is Here!

This summer Anchorage was abuzz with a flurry of activity we don’t often see in these parts. In town were the cast and crew for a full-length feature film starring Drew Barrymore and Ted Danson called at the time “Everybody Loves Whales,” which has been retitled “Big Miracle.” Thanks to Senator Johnny Ellis (D), and other supportive legislators, incentives have been put in place to entice film production companies to shoot films in Alaska. What a concept! Alaskans know their turf, and it’s always frustrating to see stories that are supposed to be taking place in Alaska being filmed in Washington State, or the Rocky Mountains, or somewhere in a fishing village in Maine.

Big Miracle is based on a true story of three grey whales who were trapped under the sea ice on the north coast in Barrow in 1988. With no escape to open ocean, and only a small hole from which to breathe, the story became national as a massive rescue operation ensued that captured the imagination of the country.

The trailer is finally out, and it looks like it’s going to be a great movie. Keep an eye out for it in your local theater and when you go see it, know that you’re seeing the real deal, not a sound stage in Hollywood. I even got to watch the filming of one scene from the window of the courthouse while waiting for jury duty!

Here is about a minute of silent footage of the actual whales from 1988 from the Alaska Film Archives at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks.

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20 Responses to “Big Miracle (Everybody Loves Whales) Trailer is Here!”
  1. mikefromiowa says:

    So you got a grey whale that rode his snowmachine from who knows where,to a secluded farmer’s pond to go skinny-dipping,and the whole world shows up to watch a naked whale skinny-dip. Am I missing something here? When we skinny-dipped in Iowa,we usually waited for slightly warmer weather,to be sure.

  2. leenie17 says:

    Whenever I see ads for a movie that’s set in Alaska, the first thing I do is go to a movie website like imdb and check out the filming locations.

    Most of the time I’m disappointed – but not really surprised – to see that they were filmed elsewhere. 🙁

    I don’t remember the story when it happened, but I did see a show fairly recently about the rescue on television (PBS? Animal Planet?). LOVE whales and can’t wait to see the film!

    • GoI3ig says:

      This movie was filmed in Alaska. (primarily Anchorage) The state now offers big time kick backs to movies that are shot here. Sarah Palin jumped on the money with her screwy reality series on Discovery even though it probably shouldn’t have qualified.

      As I mentioned above, this whale story was covered locally, but we just had a lot less news coverage in those days.

      90% of “Alaska” movies are filmed in Canada. Usually around Vancouver area. However, they are getting ready to start another movie here starring Nick Cage and John Cusak about one of our more infamous serial killers, Robert Hanson. It will be interesting to see how that one comes off.

      If you’re interested in seeing an Alaska movie that was filmed here. Check out “Runaway Train” starring John Voight, Rebecca DeMornay, and Eric Roberts. It was filmed between Girdwood and Seward on the Alaska Railroad.

  3. Zyxomma says:

    For once, I’ll have something other than V-day to look forward to this coming February.

  4. Laurainnorcal says:

    This is what I want to see about AK. Thanks for the pre footage!

  5. Kath the Scrappy says:

    Excited! Just emailed my bestfriend (she who checks out the movie guides) and told her I want want want to see this. Told her if she wants to bring her nephews too – I’m buying. Looks like we have to wait til next Feb. 2012.

    Why do they tease us? I want to see this now!!!

  6. Gimme-a-break, Sarah says:

    This looks fabulous! I can hardly wait!

  7. It looks great, actually. For some reason, I don’t remember any of the story. But in 1988 our daughters were young and busy and I didn’t have much time to watch the news. I’m looking forward to seeing this one in the theater – looks like the kind that will be even better on the big screen.

    I understand your joy in having a movie about Alaska actually filmed there instead of Washington state. However, I’m still grumbling that every time a movie is supposed to be in Seattle, they only manage to flash a few images of the Space Needle and think that will fool all of us into thinking it’s Seattle, when it is usually Vancouver, BC. I used to like it when movies were made here – it’s always fun to pick out little landmarks in the background when you watch the movie.

    • GoI3ig says:

      I remember it. However, I don’t recall it getting all that much coverage. That was still prior to the Internet and the 24 hour news cycle. It would be a different matter today. Back then, it was mostly the paper, and the evening news at six.

      • Yeah, I gues that’s the difference. If it had been on the news much, I would have been watching. Whales have always fascinated me. And living near Puget Sound, I’ve always hoped I would see a whale. Well, I did see a gray whale once – he was on the other side of Colvis Passage and I have a very far away photo, but that’s it. I guess I should be glad that most of the whales that come into Puget Sound aren’t getting trapped and find their way back out safely.

  8. I See Villages From My House says:

    I can’t wait to see so many of my friends in this movie!

  9. laurie says:

    I think that looking in the eye of a magnificent creature like a whale would be a religious experience.

  10. jimzmum says:

    Here is another Alaska bit about this film. Bill Hess (wasillaalaskaby300) was in Barrow photographing the Inupiat Bowhead Hunt, which would become a book, “The Gift of the Whale.” While there, he became a part of the rescue, extensively photographing for days.

    In his book, you can read all about it, in the section titled, “Trapped.” It is fascinating, and the photographs will take your breath away.

    Flash forward to the filming of the movie. Guess whose book was used to provide perfect scenery? That’s right! You can read about Bill’s trip to the set here:

    http://tinyurl.com/25nfzka

    If you haven’t seen this book, I can highly recommend it. Beautifully done.

  11. Blooper says:

    Not to be a negative but I loved the quirky and original title “Everybody Loves Whales”. Big Miracle just sounds contrived and spoilerish (not that it is a big secret what happened in the end, but still).

    • fishingmamma says:

      I agree. “Big miracle” just doesn’t roll off the tongue the way “everybody loves whales” does. But I’ll go see it, just to see if I recognize any of the extras! I can’t wait till it opens here, that will be fun!

  12. Moose Pucky says:

    Nice historical clip. What amazing creatures!

  13. GoI3ig says:

    I can’t wait to see how much Jewel Lake in west Anchorage looks like Barrow. Ah, the magic of Hollywood.

    • GoI3ig says:

      Ok, so they Jewel Lake does look like Barrow. But Governor Haskell? lol

      • GoI3ig says:

        I guess it’s just based on a true story so they didn’t want to use Steve Cowper’s name (pronounced Cooper) as the Governor. Maybe legal reasons? I think Steve must have left the state the day after he left office. I haven’t a peep about him in the last 20 years.

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