Rated: PG

Distributed By:

Warner Bros.

Directed by:

Charles Martin Smith (Airbud)


Harry Connick Jr. as Dr. Clay Haskett; Ashley Judd as Lorraine Nelson; Nathan Gamble as Sawyer Nelson; Kris Kristofferson as Reed Haskett; Morgan Freeman as Dr. McCarthy; Cozi Zuehlsdorff as Hazel Haskett

Adapted From:

Plugged In Online

Dolphin Tale

Twelve-year-old Sawyer Nelson is so shy he has a hard time stringing more than a couple of words together. This doesn't help him much when it comes to friends. Or school for that matter. No sleeping late and hanging out at the beach all day for him this summer. Sawyer has to spend the next lonely three months in summer school to get his grades up. That is, until he discovers Winter.

On the way to school, Sawyer sees a young dolphin washed up on shore, its tail caught in a crab trap. Even after marine hospital volunteers take her away, Sawyer can't stop thinking about the hurt dolphin. After class that day, Sawyer quickly heads over to try to see her again. He meets Hazel, the daughter of the hospital's head marine biologist, who tells him they've nicknamed the little dolphin Winter. Sawyer keeps coming back, day after day, begging to help nurse Winter back to health, and an unlikely friendship emerges. 

"Just because you're hurt doesn't mean you're broken," prosthetic specialist Dr. McCarthy says. In fact, as people work together to find a way to save Winter, it becomes symbolic of the victory all of them can share. Sawyer becomes deeply engaged with his desire to help save the injured Winter, and it draws him out of his shell.

The film contains some scary imagery, especially when the audience is first introduced to Winter and her injuries.

Dolphin Tale, based on and starring the real Winter, is full of charm. It praises family love and support while encouraging viewers to remain determined in the face of all the rusty barbs that life can splash at them. It’s one of those rare movies families can have fun watching without fear of stepping on sharp objects hidden just beneath the surface. And that’s something everyone can appreciate.

Copyright © 2011 by Focus on the Family. Used by permission. Clubhousemagazine.com