Friday, December 23, 2011

Review of "A Dolphin Tale"

If you are looking for that elusive film which the entire family can watch without scandalizing Mom or boring the teens, look no further. "A Dolphin Tale" is wholesome family fare with an inspired theme. I was raised on "The Wonderful World of Disney" on Sunday evenings, so I know a good animal story when I see one, but "A Dolphin Tale" is more than just that. It combines inspirational human stories times that of Winter, the dolphin who was found on the Florida beach near death, tied up in ropes for a crab trap.
 Sawyer Nelson (Nathan Gamble) is a middle school boy living alone with his single mother, is upset to be stuck in summer school at the same time his role model, his cousin Kyle (Austin Stowell) is leaving for a tour of duty in Iraq. Life has given Sawyer precious little to care about, and now he's losing his best friend.

Riding his bike along the beach to school, Sawyer sees a fisherman calling for help after discovering a dolphin beached on the shore with its tail entangled in the lines of a crab trap. Sawyer calls for help and while awaiting the ambulance, forms a bond with the dolphin, who communicates with him. He is disappointed that their relationship is abruptly ended by the ambulance's departure, however, when he walks into the Marine Rescue Center, he meets Hazel ( Cozi Zuehlsdorff) the girl on the ambulance, again and she sneaks him into the pool where  her father Dr Clay Haskett's ( Harry Connick Jr) is supervising her rehabilitation. Hazel notices Sawyer's unusual bond with the dolphin she named Winter and convinces her father that this may be Winter's last hope to pull through her ordeal. What she doesn't realize is that her father's hospital is also on life support, and a miracle is needed or Winter will be homeless.
What touches the heart in this film is the parallel between Kyle's ordeal when he is wounded in Iraq and faces losing his future as an Olympic swimmer, and that of Winter whose life depends upon her accepting a prosthetic tail. Many disabled children have drawn hope from this uplifting and true story. Delightful  acting from Morgan Freeman as Dr Cameron McCarthy, the Veteran's Hospital doctor who give wounded soldiers a second chance.

.The entire family watched it together, and look forward to seeing it again.
No nudity, innuendo or foul language.

You can purchase the film on Blu-ray or DVD here.

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