“What hurts more, your leg or your pride?” That’s a line I didn’t expect to hear in a film based on a true story about a dolphin. But then again I didn’t expect to enjoy this film that much. In 1976, Winter the dolphin get its tail caught in a crab trap; the film then retells the story about a boy from Florida who helps the dolphin get back its mobility.
Sawyer Nelson (Nathan Gamble) finds the dolphin and gets help from Clearwater Marine Hospital. Once there, Sawyer, Dr. Clay Haskett (Harry Connick Jr.) and Hazel Haskett (Cozi Zuehlsdorff) keep a constant vigil with the mammal in the pool. However, they soon conclude that Winter needs a prosthetic tail. In comes Morgan Freeman, who with his role as the inventor comes up with the prosthetic.
The parallel journey of human and mammal learning to deal with their disability is remarkably retold.
Back on dry land, Sawyer’s cousin, local swimmer, Donavan Peck (Michael Roark) is picked to serve his country and leaves to join the army. After some time, Peck comes home having lost a leg. The parallel journey of human and mammal learning to deal with their disability is remarkably retold.
Director Charles Martin Smith intertwines the child’s and adult’s story with the dolphin’s story seamlessly, enabling us to focus our sympathy and emotions on both human and animal through the magic of P.O.V. The shimmering underwater sequences make a splash as well.
…full of life lessons fit to take back into the classroom.
The target audience is obviously children but the story attaches itself to adults as well. It seems a tad unseasonal for a film suited for a summer audience to have an October release when the kids are back at school, nevertheless, the film is full of life lessons fit to take back into the classroom.
Dolphin Tale doesn’t offer any social commentary but while most family films offer fun for all, this true story is full of inspiration for every age.
Images courtesy of Dolphin Tale