Dolphin Tale 2: Film Review – Winter’s tale now has Hope

Dolphin Tale came as a pleasant surprise to everyone. On the surface, the film seemed like a cheesy attempt to evoke sympathy. However, with a cast comprising Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd and Harry Connick Jr., the film was bound to have its redeeming traits. Upon watching the film, it quickly became clear that Dolphin Tale had more than its fair share of entertaining qualities. 
Three years after Dolphin Tale, comes its sequel Dolphin Tale 2. Sawyer (Nathan Gamble), who rescued Winter, is now an employee at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA). Winter, now in the pink of health, is devastated when his friend Panama passes away. The dolphin starts lashing out, even refusing to wear his prosthetic tail. As a result, there is soon a marked deterioration in Winter’s health, which has everyone concerned. The only way a good outcome seems possible is if Winter can be paired with a female dolphin. Though there are a few hurdles along the way, everyone sees a ray of hope in a newly-rescued dolphin, who is aptly-named Hope. Whether or not things will end well for Winter and the CMA, forms the crux of the plot.



The film features remarkable acting, especially by Harry Connick, Jr. who wonderfully depicts his love and concern for Winter. In fact, his acting is bound to strike a chord with all the viewers who have had, loved and cherished their pets. Unfortunately, there is very little focus on Harry Connick Jr., Ashley Judd and Morgan Freeman. Instead, the limelight is on Cozi Zuehlsdorff, who tries but fails to make much of a lasting impression.

However, the real stars of Dolphin Tale 2 are the animals themselves. And Charles Martin Smith recognizes this. Though the humans have their own sub-plots, they aren’t nearly as interesting as the stories of Winter and his friends.

Dolphin Tale 2 has the acting, the effects and the emotional aspect down pat. Despite this, the individual elements fail to come together effectively.

A major reason for this is the plot. It often feels like there is just too much going on in the film. A lot of the scenes, dialogues and sub-plots also seem to have the sole purpose of tugging at viewers’ heartstrings. Where its predecessor did that without having to resort to cheap tricks, Dolphin Tale 2 does it in a way that feels inauthentic.

Why should you watch this film?

Dolphin Tale 2 is a film aimed at a very specific age group and for them, it works. It has just the right amount of drama to keep young viewers entertained, without ever weighing them down. To add to this, the animals and their interaction with the humans are bound to please them enough to keep them entertained. Everyone older than 12, however, might be let down by the emotional manipulation and the unoriginal plot.

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  1. G.G

    December 29, 2014 at 12:21 am

    The dolphin is my favorite animal and its hard to see one struggling, but in the beginning of the movie it doesn’t finish how she got all the way tangled in the rope. Why?

  2. Kim

    May 5, 2015 at 10:07 pm

    Winter and hope look great together

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