The kids and I were invited to see an advance screening of Dolphin Tale (Warner Bros. Pictures). It’s a tale about a tailless dolphin. The movie is actually based on a true story about a dolphin that became tangled in a crab trap. The dolphin eventually lost it’s tail, but learned to swim by moving like a snake. Unfortunately, moving side to side for a long period of time can result in a fatal spinal injury for dolphins. Dolphin Tale is about a group of people that tried to save the injured dolphin. Bottom line: Dolphin Tale is a slow movie, but if you and your kids like movies based on a true story, or a movie like Free Willy, you’ll enjoy this film. Dolphin Tale will open in theaters next month (September 23rd). The movie is rated PG (mild tension in a few scenes).
Inspired by the amazing true story of Winter
Dolphin Tale is based on a true story about Winter the bottlenose dolphin (I think Winter plays herself in the movie). In real life, Winter was about three months old when she lost her tail as a result of a crab trap in 2005. In the movie, a boy (Sawyer Nelson) bonds with Winter. Before Sawyer arrives at Clearwater Marine Hospital, Winter was isolated and ready to die. But with the help of Nathan and his friends, Winter regains the will to live. Not only does Winter live, but she also regains the use of a tail thanks to a prosthetic limb designed by Dr. McCarthy.
Dolphin Tale isn’t full of action and incredible special effects. However, it’s the type of movie that can inspire people — especially people with disabilities. Winter shows us that people and animals can overcome disabilities to live a happy life. The movie also shows us that even a child can make a difference in the world around us. We just need to try even when it seems impossible.
A tailless dolphin is the star
As you can guess, Winter the dolphin is the star of this movie. The main humans in the Dolphin Tale are Nathan Gamble (Sawyer Nelson), Cozi Zuehlsdorff (Hazel Haskett), Harry Connick Jr. (Dr. Clay Haskett – Hazel’s dad), Morgan Freeman (Dr. McCarthy), Ashley Judd (Lorraine Nelson – Sawyer’s mom), and Kris Kristofferson (Reed Haskett – Clay’s dad). The film also features Austin Stowell (Kyle – star swimmer who became disabled after he joined the army), Frances Sternhagen (board trustee), Ray McKinnon (Sawyer’s teacher), Juliana Harkavy (Rebecca), Marc Macaulay (John Fitch), Rus Blackwell (Coach Vansky), Jim Fitzpatrick (Max), Richard Libertini (Maury Morton), and Austin Highsmith (Phoebe). Dolphin Tale was directed by Charles Martin Smith.