Dolphin Tale

2011 • 112 minutes
1.68K reviews
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About this movie

In an inspirational story of the bond between animals and humans, a boy named Sawyer discovers an injured dolphin, who is brought to a marine hospital and named Winter. Unfortunately, her injuries cost Winter her tail, without which she may not survive. But with Sawyer's devotion, a marine biologist's (Harry Connick Jr.) expertise and the brilliance of a prosthetist (Morgan Freeman) charged with creating a new tail, Winter may receive a second chance at life.

Ratings and reviews

1.68K reviews
Kyle Vansteelandt
January 21, 2022
When it comes to marine biology, dolphins are one of the most beloved creatures of all; they are highly intelligent, energetic, and efficient predators. They also have been known to save people from sharks by getting the people out of the water and back to shore on time. In this sweet family drama, this amazing true story focuses on one particular dolphin that has quite an incredible story to tell. A young boy named Sawyer Nelson (Nathan Gamble) untangles and cuts the rope off of a young female bottlenose dolphin named "Winter," who's tail is badly injured. The marine employees including a young girl named Hazel Haskett (Cozi Zuehlsdorff) Eventually hired Sawyer to help Winter and be a part of the team. Eventually, Winter's tail had to be amputated because it has been damaged badly. Amazingly, Winter can swim without her tail, but the crew needs to put a new tail on Winter (a special cast for the dolphin), or her tailless behind will cause stress on her spine. The direction by Charles Martin Smith is simple yet effective; this film showed me that he has the talent to let my guard down until a big surprise pop out of nowhere with such excellent timing, particularly the comedy which by the way the humor is clever, especially the comedic moments with a mischievous great white pelican named "Rufus." There is also a very funny scene involving an out-of-control toy helicopter. In one scene where the crew builds a new tail, the visual effects that were used here are witty because they are very well utilized. There are moments where we get the close-up shots of Winter's eyes and see the emotion within her eyes in certain elements that shows affection, sadness, and determination. What amazes me about Winter is that her tailless behind represents the missing limbs of humans that have been into tragedies. The aspect that supports the whole movie is the beautifully pleasant score by one of my favorite film composer, Mark Ishman. Mark Ishman is a pro at composing film scores that are strongly effective with seriously emotional results. Most of the characters are very likable because they are good-natured even if they can become grim, and some of them can also get through difficulties even without limbs. When Sawyer worries about Winter, he learns more about dolphins, mostly the sounds that dolphins use to communicate. The friendship between Sawyer and Winter is utterly pleasing; they talk to each other by whistling, they gently touch each other, and they play with each other. And when they do play with each other, it's really cute and highly amusing to watch; I was laughing and smiling with pure joy. Hazel is Sawyer's friend. She tries to cheer Sawyer up, Sawyer teaches Hazel how to fly her toy helicopter, and they both make a great team. Kyle Connell (Austin Show) is Sawyer's cousin, he has some empathy for Sawyer. Dr. Cameron (Morgan Freeman) is a wonderful doctor; he gives Kyle inspiring motivation to move forward, and he can also help Winter by designing her a new tail. But my only problem I had with Dr. Cameron is that he thinks that dolphins are fish, and calls Winter "stupid." If dolphins were fish, they would have gills, they would have scaly skin, they would be cold-blooded, they would communicate by making sounds, and they would not be able to breath air. Dolphins are mammals! If this actually happened in that actual event, I would be mad and I wish the filmmakers would fix that. And sometimes, it's okay to write differences to the story that was true, as long as they have been done for a logical reason and have been done right. To conclude: this delightful family drama will inspire, amaze, and captivate the whole family. Highly Recommended.
4 people found this review helpful
A Google user
March 21, 2012
The movie dophin tale is so amazing it really inspired me to see such a wonderful movie like that hope winter has a long lasting life. I wish to see you one day winter you really toched my heart like no other animal has ever done your such a beautiful dolphin hope those people you seen helped you relate to yourself never give up and keep tryin and believing in yourself no matter how much n hard u try never give up cause you can do it love you winter :)
16 people found this review helpful
Justin Voysey
July 31, 2014
Awesome movie. It was Very touching! I live less than five mins from the Clearwater Marine aquarium and it's a very cool place to visit it never gets old going there! It was nice seeing all the very familiar place right here in my home town that they pick to shoot this film! Five stars highly recommend must watch can't wait for the second film to come out!
6 people found this review helpful