Dolphin Tale: A Family Friendly Movie Review

February 2, 2012

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The movie Dolphin Tale came out on the big screen September 2011, just as we were making our annual family pilgrimage to the beaches of Florida. One of the things we treasure most about our time at the beach, is watching the dolphins play in the water. We watch them from our balcony early in the mornings and right from the shore during the day and again at sunset. We’ve observed mother’s with their babies and have even been thrilled to see them jump and flip out of the water. Much better than any dolphin show! Wish I was fast enough to get a picture of that!

We usually skip the theater and wait for movies to hit the redbox for $1.00. The kiddos have eagerly been awaiting this movie and I actually managed to snag it the first weekend it was available.

It’s very hard for us to find movies that the entire family can truly enjoy. Amazingly this one hit a home-run for the entire family.

Dolphin Tale is inspired by the true story of a young dolphin named Winter. Winter is caught in a crab trap, severely damaging her tail. She is rescued and transported to the Clearwater Marine Hospital. Winters’ tail is amputated and her journey back to recovery includes a prosthetic tale! From what I’ve been able to read that is about where the real story ends and the movie begins. However, it is important to know that the real Winter stars as herself in the movie.

This movie includes many cliches. Troubled boy finds and befriends an animal in danger. Nonetheless, we didn’t mind the cliches one bit. It’s true. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. And you’ll cheer at the end. Both MacGyver and Miss Enigma, ages 8 and 5, were totally transfixed by this movie. They giggled and clapped and thoroughly enjoyed themselves. They watched it Friday night and again first thing Saturday morning. I think some children under age five may find it hard to sit through. No talking animals in this movie.

MacGyver especially liked Sawyer, the main character. Sawyer was into remote control planes and was good at inventing things. This is totally inline with MacGyver’s personality. As a mother and teacher, I liked seeing a positive image of a young boy learning through hands-on applications.

This movie is extremely family friendly. No potty-humor or inappropriate innuendos. I did not flinch once while watching the movie with the children. Many family friendly movies these days are not all that child friendly! I also liked the relationships in the movie. In general, all of the characters treat each other with respect and kindness.

The children are hoping to visit Winter in the future. Yes, you can actually visit the real Winter at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Florida. The website also includes the real story of Winter’s journey and the development of her prosthetic tail. For more photos and information about Winter visit Winter the Dolphin.



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