Reviewed by: Gary L. Parsons—first time reviewer
importance of companionship
determination / don’t give up
prosthetic body part (prosthesis)
animal rescue shelter
animals in the Bible
What is man’s responsibility to the environment? Answer
|Featuring:||Ashley Judd … Lorraine Nelson
Morgan Freeman … Dr. Cameron McCarthy
Nathan Gamble … Sawyer Nelson
Cozi Zuehlsdorff … Hazel Haskett
Harry Connick Jr. … Dr. Clay Haskett
Kris Kristofferson … Reed Haskett
Bethany Hamilton … Herself
|Director:||Charles Martin Smith—“Dolphin Tale” (2011)|
Boxing Cat Films
|Distributor:||Warner Bros. Pictures|
“Winter’s amazing true story… now has Hope.”
Prequel: “Dolphin Tale” (2011)
“Dolphin Tale 2” is one of those increasingly rare creatures, a good clean family film. A sequel to the 2011 original, director (and Disney actor) Charles Martin Smith returned the whole cast to great effect.
The main plot revolves around Winter, the stranded and injured star of the first movie. Basically, Winter’s tank companion, an elderly dolphin named Panama, dies. Winter’s reactions, and their effect on the people around them, occupy the main story line.
There are a few smaller plots as well. The human stars rescue a sea turtle that is entangled in fishing line (the ecological lesson for the movie). The turtle gets a relationship with an overly friendly pelican. Another dolphin is rescued and rehabilitated. The male lead, Sawyer, has to decide whether to stay in Clearwater or go for a free Sea Academy semester.
This is a typical, old style family film. Yes, you will have scenes of drama, sadness and suspense. Relax. This one ends in a very Disney-esque manner.
Parents will especially appreciate the very mature and respectful way in which the adults and teens talk to each other (as well as the mature topics the discuss). The adults also interact in a kind and, well, “adult” manner.
Decision-making is a major theme in the movie. Stay with Winter or go to Sea academy? Release the healthy rescued dolphin or keep it as Winter’s companion? The handicapped are prominently, sympathetically and respectfully featured. We have a dolphin with no tail and an aquarium visitor with an artificial leg. We have a few cameos by one armed Christian activist and surfer Bethany Hamilton.
The film does not end after the plots are concluded. The real ending is a mini-documentary featuring the actual rescues portrayed in the film. The Clearwater aquarium is real. Winter is real, and is still on display.
This is a thoroughly good movie and possibly a must see for kids and families. It has absolutely no: violence, explosions, car chases, bad language or sex. If you don’t see it in the theaters, you may catch it on cable or Netflix. It should be a warm and happy experience for everyone.
Violence: None / Profanity: None / Sex/Nudity: None
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.
…DOLPHIN TALE 2 has a strong moral worldview. …emphasizes hope, companionship, family, commitment, responsibility, and loyalty. The entire family will be able to see this movie because it’s refreshingly wholesome. …
—Ted Baehr, Movieguide
…as clean as a freshly scrubbed tank, as wholesome as Hazel’s freckle-faced smile, as sweet as Winter would find a pail full of herring—without there being a single red one in the batch.
—Paul Asay, Plugged in
…Earnest and educational …mostly an easy, breezy ride that will please younger audiences and their parents with its message of resilience and hope. [3/4]
—Bruce DeMara, Toronto Star Newspapers
…Even more so than last time out, [director] Smith focuses a great deal of attention on the details—the day-to-day minutiae of the facility’s rescue and rehab work that elevate what could have otherwise been another well-intentioned but soggy fish-out-of-water yarn. … [2½/4]
—Michael Rechtshaffen, The Hollywood Reporter
…The pacing is sluggish, the storytelling predictable. Compared to the original, it’s pretty inferior in the inspiration department, too. …
—Christa Banister, Crosswalk
…“Dolphin Tale 2” is a frolic in the shallow end…
—Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
…It’s all so quaint to the point of being anachronistic… the first half proves to be remarkably joyless when compared to the corny but effective charms of its predecessor. …
—William Goss, The Austin Chronicle
…Critter outshines humans… Bland and predictable, but the wildlife antics and mild suspense will entertain very young viewers. [2/4]
—Rafer Guzmán, Long Island Newsday