Theatrical Release: 9/23/2011
Video Release: 12/20/2011
Reviewer: Edwin L. Carpenter
Writer: Karen Janszen & Noam Dromi
Producer: Richard Ingber
Director: Charles Martin Smith
Runtime: 113 min.
MPAA Rating: PG
Starring: Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, Nathan Gamble, Kris Kristofferson, Harry Connick Jr.,
"Dolphin Tale" is inspired by the true story of a dolphin named Winter who was rescued off the Florida coast and taken in by the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.
The movie version centers on a boy who befriends an injured dolphin who lost her tail in a crab trap. Through their bond and friendship, the boy motivates everyone around him to help save the dolphin by creating a prosthetic appendage to replace the dolphin's tail. The marine mammal's strong survival instincts become an inspiration to people with special needs throughout the world.
This is the perfect family movie! I haven't seen one this perfect for the entire family in a while. The movie is based on a true story, about an injured dolphin that loses his tail and the subsequent prosthetic one he is fitted with. The film features some terrific actors including Morgan Freeman, dramatic moments and humorous scenes, and several great shots of dolphins, all in 3D. What's not to like?
Don't let the wholesomeness of this movie fool you into thinking it is dull. The story is good, the cinematography is nice, the kids likable, and all this without one swear word being uttered! Sawyer Nelson (Nathan Gamble) takes an instant liking to the injured fish and Sawyer becomes fast friends with Hazel Haskett (Cozi Zuehlsdorff), Dr. Clay Haskett's daughter. Dr. Haskett (Harry Connick Jr.) treats the dolphin, named Winter, and encourages the kids' friendship with Winter when he sees how she responds. When it's determined that the way she is compensating for her loss of the tail, wagging what's left from side to side, could paralyze or even kill her, the entire entourage gets behind replacing her tail. Enter Dr. Cameron McCarthy (Morgan Freeman), who says only someone out of his mind would attempt to replace the dolphin's tail but fortunately, he considers himself out of his mind!
This great picture will inspire your spirit to soar, and you will leave the theater believing that, if this could happen, and it did, just what other miracle might be hiding around the next corner? The real-life footage added at the end of the movie is a nice touch as well. We HAVE to award this movie five Doves, and that's as good as it gets. See it with your family soon. It's one the entire family can share and talk about.
Violence: We see an injured dolphin with some blood; off-screen the dolphin's tale is amputated; a strong hurricane causes some damage.
Drugs: A few people appear to be drinking mixed drinks but no one is inebriated.
Nudity: Several males wear swimming shorts, Speedo-like shorts; shirtless guys; cleavage.
Other: We learn a character was a child when his parents divorced; a man loses the use of his leg from an injury; sorrow over the bad news regarding a relative; a boy talks back to his mother who corrects him.