Dolphin Tale

Dolphin Tale

3.8 10
Director: Charles Martin Smith

Cast: Charles Martin Smith, Harry Connick Jr., Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd

     
 

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Dolphin Tale is a heartwarming family film inspired by the true story of an adorable bottlenose dolphin named Winter, who was rescued by a young boy off the Florida coast and taken in by the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Sure, the story of a boy and his animal friend is a familiar -- if not dated -- trope, but it works reasonably well here thanks to the earnestness that director Charles Martin Smith brings to the project. He turns Dolphin Tale into the kind of movie that gives "family friendly" a good name, and he does it without compromising the core of the real Winter's experiences -- first surviving without a tail, then learning to use a prosthetic appendage, and finally serving as an inspiration for children and adults with disabilities. The film centers on Sawyer Nelson (Nathan Gamble), a young boy dealing with the absence of his father and spending a summer without any friends. Things change when he finds Winter, an injured dolphin who lost her tail after being tangled in a crab trap. Sawyer, along with veterinarian Clay Haskett (Harry Connick Jr.) and Clay's daughter Hazel (Cozi Zuehlsdorff), rescues the mammal and brings her to the marine hospital, where he decides to spend the summer helping with Winter's recovery. Eventually, Sawyer's dedication inspires a local doctor (Morgan Freeman), who agrees to design a prosthetic tail for Winter. While Dolphin Tale boasts an impressive cast -- Ashley Judd plays Sawyer's struggling single mother (who strikes up a romantic relationship with Haskett), Kris Kristofferson makes an appearance as Haskett's grizzled, preachy father, and Freeman plays the cranky military doctor with a sentimental side -- the film's soul lies with the mutually dependent relationship between a troubled preteen and his marine-mammal BFF. Winter is captivating on camera both within the narrative of the film and in documentary footage showcasing Winter interacting with people with disabilities. The underwater sequences are stunning, capturing the unique playfulness of dolphins (with a little CGI help), and they even utilize some effective point-of-view shots from the dolphin, which lends a sense of authenticity to an otherwise predictable story. Ultimately, Dolphin Tale is a comforting throw back to classic family films from the Disney vault, in which the kids are polite, the adults have all the answers, and there's no problem a little good-hearted TLC and dedication can't solve.

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Product Details

Release Date:
12/20/2011
UPC:
0883929191697
Original Release:
2011
Rating:
PG
Source:
Warner Home Video
Time:
1:53:00
Sales rank:
23,512

Special Features

The Hutash Rainbow Bridge: ; Animated short about the legend of Rainbow Bridge, narrated by Harry Connick, Jr.; At Home With Winter: ; Behind-the-scenes look at the real winter's home at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Florida; Dolphin Tale: Spotlight on a Scene:; See how the filmmakers combined amazing underwater 3D footage with stunning visual effects to create the opening sequence; Winter's Inspiration: ; The true story of the real Winter's rescue and how the advances made in creating her prosthetic tail have helped human amputees; Ormie and the Cookie Jar:; Pig see cookie, pig want cookie. Meet lovably persistent pig Ormie in this original animated short.; Plus: ; Additional scene and gag reel

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Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Harry Connick Dr. Clay Haskett,Actor
Morgan Freeman Actor,Dr. Cameron McCarthy
Ashley Judd Lorraine Nelson
Nathan Gamble Sawyer Nelson,Actor
Kris Kristofferson Actor,Reed Haskett
Cozi Zuehlsdorff Hazel Haskett
Austin Stowell Kyle Connellan
Frances Sternhagen Gloria Forrest
Austin Highsmith Phoebe
Betsy Landin Kat
Juliana Harkavy Rebecca
Megan Lozicki Brittany
Jim Fitzpatrick Max Connellan
Kim Ostrenko Alyce Connellan
Michael Roark Donovan Peck
Richard Libertini Fisherman
Ray McKinnon Mr. Doyle
Ashley White Sandra Sinclair
Tom Nowicki Philip J. Hordern
Rus Blackwell Coach Vansky
Marc Macaulay Board Member Fitch
Jennifer De Castroverde Board Member Marx
Denise Durette Board Member Christina
Vivian Ruiz Virginia
Laila Harris Little Girl in Wheelchair
Stacy Ann Rose Little Girl's Mother
Kurt Yaeger Veteran Tim
Mike Maki Veteran Mike
Mike Pniewski Prosthetic Consultant
Nicholas Turner Martin Bully #1
Carlos Guerrero Bully #2
Paul Amadi Kyle's Friend
Charlotte Connick Hordern Grandchild
Winter Winter
Abby Stone Winter Trainer
Cat Rust Panama Trainer
Elaina Franklin Dolphin Trainer

Technical Credits
Charles Martin Smith Director,Screenwriter
Deva Anderson Musical Direction/Supervision
Brad Arensman Associate Producer
Christopher Aud Sound/Sound Designer
Kerry Barden Casting
Scott Clements Sound Mixer
Yolanda Cochran Co-producer
Michael Corenblith Production Designer
Robert Cox Set Decoration/Design
Noam Dromi Screenwriter
Robert Engelman Executive Producer
Richard Fojo Art Director
Hope Hanafin Costumes/Costume Designer
Richard Ingber Producer
Mark Isham Score Composer
Karen Janszen Screenwriter
Broderick Johnson Producer
Andrew Kosove Producer
Karl Walter Lindenlaub Cinematographer
Philip A. Patterson Asst. Director
Arc Productions Animator
Carl Rogers Associate Producer
Harvey Rosenstock Editor
Paul Schnee Casting
Steven P. Wegner Executive Producer
Nancy Worthen-Hancock Makeup
David Yates Co-producer

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