Inspired by a true story, the cunningly titled ‘Dolphin Tale’ is directed by Charles Martin Smith (of ‘Air Bud’ fame). It also stars the very dolphin on which the story is based – Winter.
When a boy named Sawyer Nelson (Nathan Gamble) stumbles upon an injured bottlenose dolphin at the beach, he soon forms an unlikely bond. Taken to Clearwater Marine Hospital, he learns that his aquatic buddy has lost her tail due to an infection. Winter isn’t predicated to last long in this condition. As luck would have it however, Morgan Freeman gets on the case, playing an inventive prosthetics designer.
Like many family films (The Muppets, Hannah Montana), there also features a fundraising sub-plot where the marine hospital is at risk of closure. We’ll let this one off though, because it actually happened.
‘Dolphin Tale’ includes a great supporting cast, including Ashley Judd as Sawyer’s mum, Harry Connick Jr as Dr. Clay Haskett, and Cozi Zuehlsdorff as Sawyer’s friend. Of course, it’s Morgan Freeman that steals the show as he tries to save the day.
Move over Flipper, as a new star is born in Winter, who has the added advantage of being real. In fact, you can even visit her at SeeWinter.com. ‘Dolphin Tale’ is a warrm hearted and inspirational story, suitable for kids of all ages.
Extras include a gag reel, deleted scenes, and a variety of featurettes.
Review by: Mark O'Connell
Date: 13th February 2012
Rating out of 5: