A lonely and friendless boy finds and untangles a hurt dolphin that is caught in a crab trap. He becomes very attached to the dolphin when the tail must be taken off to save the dolphin's life. The boy believes the dolphin would be able to swim normally if it was given a prosthetic tail. Written by
Douglas Young (the-movie-guy)
Sawyer is wearing a short sleeve blue t-shirt when he jumps into the water after the relay race at the end of the movie. Once underwater, the shirt has long black sleeves. This indicates a passage of time. See more »
This is the first review I have written, but I feel obligated as this movie was so perfect for its genre. I'm not saying it is an academy award winner, but as far as inspirational, age appropriate and inspiring family movies go, if simply won't get much better than this.
Let me start by saying that I have a child with a physical disability, and during his second surgery, his school class gave him a book about Winter. This was way before the movie, and I had never heard of Winter. My son (age 5), who loves fish and sea life, was instantly taken with the idea of a dolphin that was special like he was. We read the book many times, and even at the hospital we promised that someday he would get to meet Winter.
About six months after his surgery, we traveled to Clearwater from our home on the opposite Florida Coast (4 hour drive). When we arrived we found the aquarium there very sparse and not all that impressive. That said, they were majorly renovating due to the money that they were paid to make this movie even though it still wasn't out yet. That said, Winter was well worth the trip. She is every bit as inspirational and real as what you see in the movie. I'm only bringing this up to focus on my movie review. This is for anyone that thought the movie was over the top sappy or cheesy. I'm sorry, but that part is true and to not make it look that way would be virtually impossible. Winter gives hope to people with special needs. My son even made her a card and got to hold her special tail.
The other features of the movie like the boy finding her and probably many other aspects are creative license. She was actually found by a boat on the East coast of Florida. But, I don't think that really matters. When we went there, even with no movie, and met Winter we knew that she was a movie star.
The movie itself was well produced, well-acted (Morgan Freeman was very good), and took on difficult themes subtly for young children. I guess the best comparison to this would be Free Willy, however that story was pure fantasy and simply not as good of a movie, in any way, to Dolphin Tale.
I highly recommend this movie for any family, especially anyone with a disability. And as far as the barely believable and possibly sappy plot, sometime real life is like that and that is a good thing!
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