Movie Review: ‘Dolphin Tale’

by on October 6, 2011

in Entertainment, movie reviews

This is a guest-post movie review from Jennifer, who, after hitting up the movie theater with her kids, was gracious enough to send me her perspective on Dolphin Tale! (Yes, I accept decently written items from site visitors, if so inclined!)

Dolphin Tale cast includes Harry Connick Jr., Ashley Judd, Nathan Gamble, Kris Kristofferson, Cozi Zuehlsdorff and Morgan Freeman.  It was directed by actor/director Charles Martin Smith (Stone of Destiny, The Snow Walker).  (And Winter is played by Winter!)

'Dolphin Tale' movie poster

Jen’s Movie Review

Dolphin Tale is based on the true story of Winter, a dolphin who was rescued off a beach in Clearwater, Florida, whose tail had to be removed after it had been caught in a crab trap.

Among the first to discover her was Sawyer (Gamble), a quiet, isolated, young boy who cuts her loose from the trap, and then later tracks her down after she was taken to a marine hospital.  Once there he meets Hazel (Zuehlsdorff), an outgoing, spunky girl and daughter of the marine doctor (Connick Jr.), who takes him to see the injured dolphin.

Nathan Gamble and Winter in 'Dolphin Tale'

It seems that Winter is not doing well, refusing to eat and swim.  Sawyer is allowed to get close to her, and soon discovers they share a powerful bond, which plays an integral part in her return to health.

Sawyer spends more and more time at the marine hospital, and Winter regains strength and learns to swim without her tale, something quite rare for dolphins.  Her recovery is not as smooth as it seems, however, when they learn the new muscle it takes for Winter to swim in a “side to side” motion is actually slowly crushing her spine, and will eventually kill her.

Morgan Freeman, Harry Connick Jr., Nathan Gamble, Austin Highsmith and Cozi Zuehlsdorff in 'Dolphin Tale'

Sawyer turns to Dr. Cameron McCarthy (Freeman) for help in constructing a prosthetic tail.  Meanwhile, financial troubles at the marine hospital threaten to close its doors forever, leaving Winter facing certain death if no one can be found to take her.

The story of Dolphin Tale is sweet, predictable, and a bit drawn out, as Sawyer and Hazel fight to keep both the marine hospital open and fit Winter with an acceptable prosthetic tail that she won’t reject.  There are several touching scenes that display the love between Sawyer and Winter, and an overall heartwarming message about the power of perseverance in the face of incredible odds.

But most importantly, Dolphin Tale is a great film for the entire family.

Winter as herself in 'Dolphin Tale'

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

kim November 9, 2011 at 10:23 am

i like to dolph eds kim coll

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