Director: Charles Martin Smith
Cast: Harry Connick Jr., Ashley Judd, Harry Connick Jr., Morgan Freeman, Kris Kristofferson, Winter-The Dolphin, Nathan Gamble, Austin Stowell, Austin Highsmith.
Synopsis: ‘Dolphin Tale’ is inspired by the true story of a Dolphin called ‘Winter’ who severely damaged her tail after getting caught in a crab trap and the compassionate strangers who saved her life.
Review: Sawyer Nelson (Nathan Gamble) is a young boy who has turned himself into a loner after his father’s sudden exit from his life. He hangs out in his little workshop alone and avoids interaction with the rest of the world. Even his mother Lorraine (Ashley Judd) tries, but cannot help him. Until one fine day, while passing by the beach, he happens to notice a Dolphin, washed up on the shore with a crab trap entangled around its tail. Sawyer cuts off the crab trap and does what he can to help the Dolphin before the animal rescue team arrives from a local hospital.
From that day on begins the unique bond between boy and Dolphin. Sawyer visits the hospital everyday to check on the Dolphin (now named ‘Winter’). Unfortunately, ‘Winter’ is not doing so well, the tail was so infected; that it had to be amputated. Will Sawyer give up on his only friend? To what lengths will this boy go to save this beloved Dolphin? The rest of this movie unveils the true story of how the determination of a young boy saves the life of a Dolphin as well as how the Dolphin saves him.
Not only is the story based on facts, the Dolphin ‘Winter’ also stars as herself. It is a touching recreation of a true story, there is no doubt about that. But throughout the film one fails to connect in a way that is beyond ordinary. Maybe it’s the slow pace, maybe it’s the average performances, or maybe it’s the strange choice of music. But for a movie about a boy’s unique friendship with a Dolphin, it still explores emotions at the surface level. Overall, the film is a decent watch for kids and animal lovers. But personally I would have preferred if it was a documentary.
Verdict: A good watch for animal lovers.