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A good, heart-warming movie
Ten13Grl3 January 2003
Flipper is a good movie that you can just sit down and watch with the little ones without having to worry about shielding their eyes at any point during it. Sure it's a bit cheesey at times and the writing is not on scale with an actor of Elijah Wood's caliber, but it is an entertaining film to watch and it's nice to see him playing a somewhat normal teenager. His character Sandy does lean towards the overly obnoxious side of things in the beginning though. So much so that you know if you were in the uncle's place, you'd take him out for a midnight ocean ride and not return with him.
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It's a lot like Casablanca really
marysia2 September 2004
Dolphin - cute

Elijah Wood - very very cute, especially when wet and partially nekkid

Paul Hogan - strangely attractive, must have been the leather bondage cuff he wore through the whole movie

Plot - very silly

Cute blonde - romance sub-plot highly unconvincing, clearly no girl can come between a boy and his dolphin and Elijah doesn't even make a vague attempt at kissing her, instead choosing to spend all his time fondling Flipper

Ending - strangely similar to Casablanca, as Elijah says farewell to the finned love of his life...

Lij: Last night we said a great many things. You said I was to do the thinking for both of us. Well, I've done a lot of it since then, and it all adds up to one thing. You're going out into that sea with your family where you belong.

Flipper: eee eee eee

Lij: Now you've got to listen to me! Do you have any idea what you'd have to look forward to if you stayed here? Nine chances out of ten we'd both wind up in SeaWorld. Isn't that true, Paul Hogan?

Paul: I'm afraid the kid is right

Flipper: eee eee eee

Lij: I'm saying it because it's true. Inside of us, we both know you belong with your family. You're part of their life - the thing that keeps them going. If that pod leaves here and you're not with them, you'll regret it. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon. And for the rest of your life.

Flipper: eee eee eee

Lij: We'll always have that time under the pier. We didn't have - we lost it until you found the poison barrels. We got it back last night.

Flipper: eee eee eee

Lij: And you never will. But I've got a job to do, too. And where I'm going you can't follow. What I've got to do, you can't be any part of. Flipper, I'm no good at being noble, but it doesn't take much to see that the problems of one little boy and his dolphin don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. Some day you'll understand that. Here's looking at you, kid.

I'm so moved I may weep.

In summary, approximately 5000 times better than Queen of the Damned, not quite as good as Lord of the Rings.
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A sweet heartwarming movie
Juni78ukr23 June 2004
Flipper is a nice heartwarming movie for whole family. It's obviously not a great movie, Free Willy looks much better almost in every component of film making. Possibly, at times it becomes a bit naive , and the writing and the script are not the best part of the movie, but it's a entertaining film with very good cinematography (including underwater shots) and some important moral messages. Elijah Wood proves himself one more time as an incredibly talented and underrated actor. He can make bad movie watchable, okay movie - good, good - great and great movie becomes all time classic. Paul Hogan performance also was very good and he is completely fit to his role. As I already say above, whole cinematography was very good. But underwater shots definitely is the best parts. So Flipper is a perfect way if you want to see nice, sweet and entertaining movie. If you like me become sick and tired of modern Hollywood trash, filled with sex, violence, vulgarity and profanity you most likely would like this movie.

My rating: 7,7 out of 10. Feel free for mailing me about any of my comments and posts here.

Sorry for my bad English.
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Paul Hogan has the best character in the picture, but the dolphin's pretty charming too
TheUnknown837-14 October 2010
The 1996 movie "Flipper" is a Hollywood remake of a popular cult television series and a few mostly forgotten films from the 1960s. My personal experience with the latter is very limited. I've only seen one complete episode from the TV show, part of an older Flipper movie, and clips of others in the saga about a kid named Sandy and his best buddy, an unnaturally intelligent (even for his species) and charming dolphin. But my experiences are enough to tell you that the core elements and spirit of the show are incorporated into this big-screen version. It's another story about a boy and his (insert animal species). And although the movie's adult star Paul Hogan commands the most interesting character, the dolphin is charming enough to recommend the movie.

In this picture, Sandy (Elijah Wood) is Porter Ricks's nephew (not son as in the show) and is reluctantly sent to his uncle's seaside home for a summer after a (what else?) divorce. Sandy is all but willing to accept his three months living by the ocean until a dolphin separated from its clan following a trigger-happy boater's tirade decides to stop by his favorite pier. Sandy, of course, forms a friendship with the dolphin, whom he names Flipper. And in the end, just like with "Free Willy," the plot leads up to a struggle to reunite Flipper with his kin.

This big-screen version of "Flipper" is a little flimsy and it's more whimsical than it is consistent. And just like with Free Willy, Lassie, Old Yeller, and every other cute critter in these kind of stories, Flipper has the ability to read minds, understand English, and run an underwater bank all without any training (Confused? See the movie). But honestly, I think that is part of the appeal that the TV show had for children and that's why I think that appeal will remain for this movie. Even for this adult, these whimsical and rather implausible adventures and tactics were packed with charm and the nostalgia they stirred up was rather enamoring. Yes, a better movie would be made if they tried to make a more realistic boy-and-dolphin story. How woul a *real* dolphin from the wild react to such a situation and how would an ordinary kid not under the control of movie conventions respond? And of course it'd be better if we didn't have a hokey backstory of toxic waste and an evil hammerhead shark named Scar? Wait? Scar? A shark named Scar? Okay now, Scar is a compelling name for an evil lion or even a Comanche war chief, but a hammerhead shark? The shark is not a good villain here. It's mouth is way too small to communicate menace, the moaning sounds it makes (an impossibility for real sharks) is phony, and the special effects used to simulate it are not sufficient.

But who cares? What do we expect in a "Flipper" movie? A cute dolphin, a simple story, and a lot of whimsical under and out-of-water adventures. We get 'em. And there are some more magical moments, such as a very splendid little sequence where Flipper swims through the depths and explores the marvels of underwater life. The underwater nature photography is quite pleasing. And although Flipper does not do anything that we haven't seen him (or Free Willy, for that matter) do before, he is quite a good-looking and charming character on the screen. But ironically, it is Paul Hogan who carries the movie along when Flipper is not on-camera. Because even though the star, Elijah Wood, is as fine an actor for this part as anyone, he doesn't have anything to do that makes him stand out as a character. His change of mood over the course of the picture, dialogue, and attitude all are familiar. So when he starts to lose our interest, it is Paul Hogan who saves the day. He just has an enormous amount of on-screen charm and charisma with all of his costars. Even the movie's most ardent detractors will agree with that.

Bottom line, even though I had a lot of mixed reactions, I did modestly enjoy this "Flipper" movie. It's not, I say, on par with "Free Willy" but as far as movies about a young, troubled kid and his cetacean best friend go, this one does alright. Paul Hogan is the best element in the picture, but the dolphin is charming enough to make it worth recommending. It is best seen with young children, for it will engage them (as it did me when I was younger) and charm parents as well. And adults who grew up with the TV show will be pleased at the same time.
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Fun and heartwarming fare with everyone's favourite dolphin
roghache6 June 2006
I was rather appalled to see the low rating this movie received here, personally considering it fun family fare. It revolves around a young teenager, Sandy Ricks, who is sent by his mom to Coral Key to spend the summer with his Uncle Porter. While there he befriends a dolphin named Flipper. Lots of adventures ensue amid the predictable nephew / uncle bonding as well as a little romance for Sandy with a local girl.

I'm a great Crocodile Dundee fan myself so absolutely loved Paul Hogan in his role as crusty and comical Uncle Porter. For starters, he keeps an endless stock of Spaghetti-O's in his house to serve as his usual meal, heated with a blowtorch! Elija Wood, Frodo from The Lord of the Rings, appeared quite competent playing the young Sandy, a boy at first none too fond of his forced summer vacation locale.

Of course the dolphin is magnificent and there are some wonderful underwater scenes. Set in the Florida Keys, it was apparently filmed in the Bahamas. This adaptation of Flipper makes great family entertainment, a sweet, sentimental, and fun movie that is infinitely superior to many of the cinematic offerings for youngsters nowadays.
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A dolphin can be a great friend after all.
emasterslake24 June 2006
This is a spin off of the TV series Flipper. But I don't remember much about the TV series so I don't know the difference from one another.

This is about an average boy teenager named Sandy. Who is spending the week with his Uncle which he's unaware on what he's like.

Sandy isn't too excited in seeing him because he really wanted to go to a Red Hot Chilly Peppers concert.

His uncle is Porter an Austrailian/American seaman who enjoys fishing for a living. And lives in a rigidly old hut that might not look to satisfying to guests.

Sandy finds it unbelievable that he's related to this guy. things seem boring till he encounters a dolphin who is very playful. Sandy finds a new friend to be with through out his vacation.

This movie isn't too bad. Cool thing is it had Ejiah Woods as Sandy and Paul Hogan as Porter. I recommend it for 8 and up. Rent it first before buying it.
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Good family movie
Neil Welch13 May 2012
Warning: Spoilers
The 1996 take on Flipper has Paul Hogan as the nominal male lead, but the main character is actually Elijah Wood, at the exact moment between child and adult actor.

The story won't surprise too many people - boy befriends dolphin, they solve the problem of missing fish and poorly dolphins by finding illegal toxic waste dumping - but it is colourful, moral, and entertaining, with lots of underwater photography and, of course, dolphins.

Which is not to say that it doesn't have the odd moment which makes you roll your eyes - the hammerhead shark groaning was my favourite - but it is still a pretty good Sunday afternoon family film.

Joel McNeely's music is lovely.
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Wonderful Family Film With Good Values!
Tom A. Pennock31 January 2003
Universal Studios version of "Flipper" (1996) is a great heartwarming film for the entire family with good values and sentimentality. It is the story of Sandy Ricks, a teenager from Chicago who reluctantly spends his vacation with his Uncle Porter Ricks in the Bahamas. This ultimately changes the teenagers life and he grows up in the process. He learns to appreciate nature and to have a respect for the environment. I grew up in the 1960's and the NBC television show "Flipper" was my favorite childhood show. Elijah Wood is perfectly cast as a 1990's Sandy Ricks and gives an excellent performance. As much as I liked the NBC television show and MGM theatrical feature films with Luke Halpin as Sandy in the 1960's I liked this feature the best! I feel Elijah Wood is the best Sandy Ricks. With respect to Luke Halpin I feel Elijah Wood has more of a range of acting talent and emotes more as an actor which makes his performance excellent and more believable. I think Elijah Wood is the best young actor working today in films. Director Alan Shapiro also wrote the screenplay and has done an excellent job as both writer and director of this film. Paul Hogan gives a comical and likable performance as Sandy's Uncle Porter Ricks. Mr. Hogan's performance perfectly offsets Elijah's role as Sandy. I am a big fan of underwater films. This film was beautifully shot in the Bahamas like "Thunderball" (1965 UA) was. The director of photography was Bill Butler A.S.C. who lensed the film "Jaws" in 1975. Mr. Butler is a very talented cinematographer. The underwater director of photography was Pete Romano. He did a superb job with the underwater cinematography. I enjoyed the film score by Joel McNeely. This good film score featured Crosby, Stills and Nash among other talented artists. This motion picture was shot in Panavision like "Thunderball" in the aspect ratio of 2.35:1 If possible try to see this film in a scope version as originally framed and visioned by Alan Shapiro and Bill Butler. Another very nice thing is that Mr. Shapiro gave the "original" Sandy Ricks (Luke Halpin) a small part in this remake. He portrayed Bounty Fisherman #3 in this film. This was a very kind gesture on Mr. Shapiro's part! As you can tell I am a real true fan of this film. Sadly this beautiful film was met with harsh words by the majority of movie critics. I originally saw this movie on my birthday, May 31st of 1996 in a movie theater. It meant a lot to me. I have it on numerous video versions. The VHS versions are in "pan and scan". The laserdisc version is "letterboxed" 2.35:1! I even have a VCD in 2.35:1 from Hong Kong which is "letterboxed". But my most prized possession is an "original" 16mm theatrical feature print which I will treasure for the rest of my life! Thank you Mr. Shapiro, Elijah Wood, Paul Hogan and everyone involved for making this a memorable movie for me to enjoy!

P.S. I must add that the quality of the Universal DVD is superb! It is the best DVD as far as quality I have ever seen. The color and resolution is spectacular. The soundtrack is great. I think Universal must have used the same transfer for the DVD that they did for the laserdisc version. The 35mm scope print is "mint" and Alan's film really has a wonderful look to it. A great tribute to a wonderful film! The DVD's resolution is even superior to the laserdisc quality! It's just spectacular! Thank you Universal Home Video for the great quality control and transfer. Many thank's for doing a superb job on this wonderful family film. Also many thank's to you Alan for all your extreme kindness to me!!! It's a real honor to know you!!! (Review Revised/Updated June 27, 2005)
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One of my faves
rubyjaneosborne30 December 2017
It is not 'A Dolphin's Tale' and if one more person asks that I will have a full on meltdown. Just watch it. Please. It's one of my favourite films, and the uncle, (Paul Hogan), is the coolest dude. Someone we should all aspire to be someday.
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Perhaps not an adventure of a lifetime, but hardly a boring summer either
TheLittleSongbird30 September 2017
Liked but not loved 'Flipper' as a child. Still feel the same as a young adult. It's a long way from a masterpiece (though it never was trying to be) and will never be one of my favourites, but it does exactly what it strived to do and ticks most of the right boxes.

'Flipper' won't blow the mind. While it is good that the story is easy to follow, at times it did seem a bit too basic and safe, for a feature length it's slight and it can be pretty predictable, nobody for example will be surprised by how the film ends. The dark shadiness of how the human villain is written, played by Jonathan Banks, does not gel with the innocent, fun-loving, light-hearted atmosphere of the story, almost like he accidentally walked straight from a different film.

That Banks didn't seem to know whether to overdo the sliminess or give an indication that the villain also wasn't that smart didn't help. The dialogue sometimes is a little cloying.

However, 'Flipper' looks very pleasing. It's a beautifully shot film and even more pleasing to the eye are the idyllic locations and the stunning underwater sequences. The music is upbeat and charmingly whimsical. It's all very capably directed too.

Most of the time, 'Flipper' is very charming and sweet, epitomising childhood innocence and has a lightness that stops the film from feeling heavy. It has a lot of fun and a heart of gold, so much so that although it's a problematic film it is difficult to be too hard on it. It teaches a valuable message that for the type of message that it is is handled in a way that while not exactly restrained doesn't beat one around the head.

Elijah Wood is appealing in the lead role and Paul Hogan plays it straight very effectively. Apart from Banks, the rest of the cast also do admirably with amiable if somewhat one-dimensional characters. Stealing the show is the dolphin, impressively rendered with a mix of show-stopping animatronics and the real thing but also with a personality that melts the most cynical of hearts. Wood's chemistry with the dolphin is the film's driving force and is a large part of what makes the film charming.

In conclusion, decent likable film but not one of those "bowl the viewer over" films. 6/10 Bethany Cox
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A feel-good movie reminiscent of the TV-series.
OllieSuave-00711 May 2014
This is a feel-good family film that very much follows the heart-warming and fun adventure elements of the 1960s Flipper TV-series. It involves teenager Sandy Ricks (Elijah Wood), who is sent by his mom to live in the Coral Key with his Uncle Porter Ricks (Paul Hogan). At first, Sandy wasn't too keen on his new home, but that soon changes when meets a dolphin named Flipper. This friendship leads to a stronger relationship between uncle and nephew fascinating adventures for Sandy.

As Paul Hogan hasn't done much films since his Crocodile Dundee days, it was great seeing him in the Porter Ticks role, in which I think he gave a comical yet touching performance. Elijah Wood did a nice job portraying Sandy Ricks, and he has a touching on-screen chemistry with the wonderful dolphin. Luke Halpin, the original Sandy Ricks from the TV-series, plays one of the bounty fisherman in the movie. The story is a little slow at times, but the fun dolphin adventures make up for it.

The oceanside scenery is breath-taking and beautiful, reminding you of a care-free, relaxing and therapeutic atmosphere. Overall, it is a heart-warming and innocent film that is great for the entire family and a great substitute to many of the over-the-top action and teen-flick nonsense youngsters endure.

Grade B
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Not "Free Willy", But A Good Family Film Never The Less
bayardhiler10 March 2013
1996's remake of "Flipper" may not go down in history as the greatest family film of all time; however, for what it is, "Flipper" is still a pretty good, clean film for the whole family. It all starts when Sandy Ricks (a young Elijah Woods) is forced to spend his summer vacation with his Uncle Rick, (played by Crocodile Dundee himself, Paul Hogan) in the Flordia Keys, since his parents have recently divorced. Unhappy and resentful at first, things change for Sandy when he comes across that lovable and friendly dolphin, Flipper. But its not all fun, as we soon find out there are villains at work, in the form of shady fishermen and toxic waste dumper Dick Moran (played to slimy effect by Jonathan Banks) and by a particularly hungry hammerhead shark, nick named Scar. The story is told with very solid production, in the form of Elijah Woods and Paul Hogan, who make a great pair together, as two characters who come from different worlds but ultimately become close, beautiful underwater photography of the Florida Keys, amazing dolphin choreography, and decent writing. Now, a number of people have said that this was Hollywood's attempt to cash in on the "Free Willy" craze that was happening at the time and I'll admit, there may very well be some truth to that. However, "Flipper" is easily able to stand on it's own flipper (couldn't resist) without any mention of "Free Willy", which is remarkable considering that it is a remake. The film also features a good supporting cast, with Chelsea Field as the local scientist and love interest of Rick, Jessica Wesson as local girl, Kim, Jason Fuchs as Marvin, a shy genius, and in small role, Isaac Hayes as the town sheriff. It may not be "Free Willy", but that doesn't mean "Flipper" isn't worth watching. 8 out of 10.
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My kids love it
krsnow18 November 2006
I like this movie. I may be biased because I love dolphins. However, my 3 and 4 yr. old will sit and watch the whole movie.... It's not Oscar material, but definitely entertaining. The dolphin cinematography is well done with a beautiful backdrop of ocean scenery and sunsets. My favorite scene is when Flipper "flips" the pop can out of the water striking Sandy in the head. It's an endearing funny moment that makes me laugh every time. On the other hand, the villainous banterings of the bully boatman (forget his name) are a little hard to take. And the shark scene is far from reality. Question: do dolphins really make that much noise? Or is there some serious dubbing happening here? Bottom line: my kids like it and it keeps recycling through our VCR.
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Fun But a Bit Too Dark At Times
rhoward-1427 March 2006
Warning: Spoilers
This Film Was Nicely Done. The Scenery was beautiful, the Dolphin was lovable and lively. Elijah Woods and Paul Hogan turn in fine performances as their characters' relationship grows (Particularly Hilarious was the fact that Paul Hogan's character keeps on hand a Large Supply of Spaghetti-O's, which he eats for most meals, after heating the contents with a blowtorch). The musical score was also bright and cheery. My biggest complaint is that the movie is unfortunately offset, somewhat substantially, by the nastiness of the story's bad guy, played by Jonathan Banks (same actor who played the villain in Beverly Hills Cop), who shocks the viewer within the opening half hour by sadistically shooting another dolphin. I found Banks' Dirk Moran to be a bit heavy-handed for a movie advertised to be as family-oriented as this one. His villain was more reminiscent to me of one of the villains in the "Bad Boys" Movies, which is the type of film where you are more likely expect to see a crueler bad guy. Thus, while I like the film, I encourage parents to watch it themselves, before renting it with their children.
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not quite as good as Free Willy, but definitely wonderful!
twisterchaser32 June 2005
I can't say that this movie deserves a ten, because I would be lying. I adored this movie when I saw it, though! It carries the unique bond of a friendship between a teenager and a dolphin. Although it doesn't display the sweetness that Jesse and Willy had in Free Willy, it provides an exciting movie that the whole family will enjoy! If you love marine animals, or if u love just a perfect family film, this movie is suited for YOU! Flipper definitely shows us how adorable dolphins are, and they are playful and could easily be house pets if everyone had a big enough pool! I love whales and dolphins, so obviously this movie works for me. I do think that the producers should have chosen another shark instead of the hammerhead to enhance the antagonist part in the story. Perhaps a great white? FLIPPER IS MAGNIFICENT! So check it out!
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I thought it was good.....
angel_jo_b30 December 2002
well! its just finished on channel 4 about an hour ago! it was cool, better than free willy i have to say! ermm what to say...kids wud deffo like this film, the only fault is that it didnt show the rhcp's concert!! was lookin forward to seeing that when it was mentioned however...:P:P dont rent it wait for it to come on the television - pretty good acting ttfn xx
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so I was watching the Faculty...
jetergirl200125 December 2002
We watched this movie to count the number of times EW falls. Which is 6 times. We also decided to include a gratuitious butt shot count and a buggy eyed scene count. 5 and 12 respectively. We laughed many times mostly at own commentary which was better then the movie. And the wonderful rock t-shirt collection. I recommend that you watch if you must. Like if your ever baby sitting little ones and they happen to have it go for it. Otherwise stick to LOTR as Frodo is less creepy....okay not really. I have to go --- flipper's on. p.s we are not EW fans.
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A really well made film.
19460Stratford14 November 1999
Yes, it's "Flipper". But writer/director Alan Shapiro has put together a gem of a version. Spectacular above and underwater photography from "Jaws" veteran Bill Butler and haunting music by Joel McNeely and Crosby, Stills & Nash make this truly memorable family entertainment. Shapiro, whose last film was improbably "The Crush", shows himself once again to be an extremely talented -- and versatile -- filmmaker. Rent it!
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Flip It Into the Ocean.
Python Hyena16 June 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Flipper (1996): Dir: Alan Shapiro / Cast: Elijah Wood, Paul Hogan, Chelsea Field, Isaac Hays, Jonathan Banks: Like Lassie, Flipper has endured a long time and now it is time to resurrect it with a lame remake that nobody gives a crap about. Now Elijah Wood arrives at his uncle's hut for the summer. He would rather be at a Red Hot Chilli Peppers concert. He eventually meets Flipper the dolphin and they attempt to prevent fishermen from dispatching oil cans in the water. Predictable formula featuring characters that merely take up space. Children may enjoy the film although an attack by a hammerhead shark may scare them. On that thought, watching a wildlife program would be more entertaining. Director Alan Shapiro does his best with the flimsy material with only the production and photography to back it. Wood overacts throughout the entire film. He does exactly what countless other child actors have done only he does it worse. Paul Hogan as his uncle recites Crocodile Dundee. Chelsea Field and Isaac Hays round out the cast with Jonathan Banks playing the idiot villain. Lassie worked for the 1940's just as Flipper did the 1960's. Now we seem to have adopted Free Willy and Man's Best Friend. They all seem to travel the same story structure whether the creature is of land or water. Purpose to be an updated version that deserves to drown in cinematic wastelands. Score: 3 / 10
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A Boy And His Dolphin
sddavis6312 August 2010
Warning: Spoilers
This is loosely based on the 1960's TV series of the same name, of which I know I watched a few episodes but really have no memory of. So the movie stands alone for me. It isn't great in all honesty. It's strongest point is that it's completely family-friendly. There's nothing here that would make you hesitant about letting your kids watch this, and younger kids will especially enjoy the story of the friendly dolphin as he interacts with his human friends. That may also be the biggest weakness of the movie, mind you. It's yet another cutesy animal story that makes wild animals seem - well - less than wild, and in that sense perhaps dishonours the wild animals in the process. I'm not an animal rights fanatic, but I do think it's better for kids to see wild animals as they really are as opposed to these manufactured "wild" scenes.

The story isn't particularly strong, with the relationship between Flipper the dolphin and Sandy (Elijah Wood) being the backdrop to a larger environmental story revolving around the illegal dumping of toxic waste. Paul Hogan appears as Sandy's uncle Porter, a fisherman in Coral Key, Florida who takes Sandy in for the summer. Jonathon Banks plays another take on the caricature of the requisite evil character - in this case, the one who kills Flipper's dolphin companion at the beginning of the movie, tries to do away with Flipper himself, tries to kill Sandy in the open ocean and is ultimately revealed to be the evil toxic waste dumper. An unbelievably evil character in other words.

So, the story is lacking, although the underwater photography featuring dolphins and also at least one hammerhead shark is pretty well done, and - to reiterate the strongest part of this movie - you have to like the family-friendliness of it.
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Worse than I remember it being
MovieAddict20162 May 2005
I saw this when it came out in theaters back in 1996. I remember I was already familiar with Elijah Wood's work (that's right, he made stuff before "Lord of the Rings"!) and the merchandising tie-ins to the film were pretty abundant ("Flipper" water guns were even circulating).

Adults were reminded of the old movies and TV show and for nostalgia's sake took their kids to see it, who were excited because it was a movie about a dolphin and a stupid boy.

Unfortunately it wasn't what anyone expected and flopped severely. You know a movie's in trouble when a boy swims away from a Hammerhead shark in the middle of the ocean, and a pack of dolphins scare the shark away, and the kid -- instead of getting out of the water into a boat -- floats in the water for five minutes thanking his dolphin for saving him ... apparently he hasn't taken into mind that the shark is still out there, perhaps even below him.

Another problem is Paul Hogan. He looks old, crusty and tired of recycling his Croc Dundee shtick. By now, no one even remembered "Crocodile Dundee" much less Hogan, and I half expected him to suddenly start pretending he didn't know what a hair dryer was for the sake of fish-out-of-water/social-satire laughs.

All in all this is a really poor "family" movie that is amateurish and almost hard to watch at times. I hated it when I saw it in theaters back in '96 and I hate it more now.
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Predictable Family Fare
Theo Robertson1 May 2005
Sandy has to spend his Summer break with his uncle Porter in the Florida Keys and right away we're supposed to sympathise with him . If we had to sympathise with uncle Porter that I could understand but no we're supposed to feel sorry for Sandy . Now let's see Sandy gets a holiday on the South East American coast , the Caribbean in fact and everyone who saw this at a South Central or Hell's Kitchen cinema are supposed to shed tears for Sandy ! Why ? Is he going to get attacked by a giant squid ? Oh hold on he did get attacked by a giant squid in another movie !

As you can imagine FLIPPER plays out like all these other aquatic family movies . Boy doesn't get on with a family member , sea animal is oppressed by these nasty evil humans , boy and sea animal become the best of friends , boy finds love though happily not in the flippers of a sea creature , there's an environmental subplot etc . So in effect FLIPPER is no better or worse than any other movie of its ilk . You know how everything is going to work out before the end credits or even before the opening credits . The only thing of note is Paul Hogan who is fairly impressive in a straight role
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Warning: Spoilers
Free Willy was obviously a big hit for the family, and I had the definite opinion that this film would be exactly the same kind of concept, but with a dolphin instead of a killer whale, but I was prepared to try it. Basically young Sandy Ricks (Elijah Wood) has been sent by his mother to a rustic island in the Florida keys, Coral Key, to spend the summer with his uncle Porter Ricks (Paul Hogan) on his his fishing trawler. Sandy is unhappy in his new environment, bored with nothing exciting to do and having to do chores for Porter, but then sitting on the dock of the bay he meets a new friend, a dolphin he later names Flipper. As they continue meeting he manages to teach his new friend a few tricks, and this also helps him to find another friend in local girl Kim (Jessica Wesson) who gives him the idea to get people to pay to watch the dolphin do his tricks. Sandy and Porter do slowly bond over their time together having fun with Flipper, who they realise was separated from his family by fishing rival Dirk Moran (Jonathan Banks), and there is a big danger coming when the bad guy is planning to dump poisonous substances in the water. In the end the villains are defeated, Flipper swims away with his remaining family, Sandy's mother and sister come to take him home, Sandy says his goodbyes to friends Cathy (Chelsea Field), Marvin (Jason Fuchs) and Kim, and he asks Porter if he can come back next summer to which he happily agrees. Also starring Bill Kelley as Tommy and Isaac Hayes as Sheriff Buck Cowan. The dolphin is cute and lovable doing tricks and jumps, Wood is alright as the teenager who has some fun, and Hogan is okay most of the time with his cheeky remarks and accent, but as a film this was a bit boring and predictable, kids will obviously like the sweet natured feel and heartwarming soundtrack, but for me not much interested me, a rather disappointing family adventure. Adequate!
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'Willy' nilly
vip_ebriega29 October 2008
My Take: Even splendid underwater photography can salvage a familiar script and paper-thin characters.

For those who haven't already got enough of the FREE WILLY pictures, FLIPPER might serve up a decent rental. Others are (heavily) suggested to stay away. Although FLIPPER is harmless affair, it hardly showcases anything for the adult audience (unless it's your first time to see a dolphin).

A remake of a 1960's TV show and film, FLIPPER may have sound like a good idea back then: A dolphin charms the life of boy and a girl, they help ave the environment by first getting rid of toxic wastes thrown in on the sparkling waters of the Florida Keys, and at the same time, battle a shark and a salty sea baddie who happens to be the one responsible for the toxic dumping and also happens to hate dolphins. But even for the 90's, especially if an eerily similar film like FREE WILLY was a recent hit, FLIPPER is just another harmless yet occasionally empty summer splash movie for the kids. Although the animals (this, in case, is the main dolphin, a clumsy pelican and a realistic-looking hammerhead shark, typecast as the villain) and the pristine underwater cinematography steal the show, there's nothing much in FLIPPER to steal from anyway.

The story is completely predictable, something than nowadays even a 6-year old may find evident. The (Human) cast, led by a pre-LORD OF THE RINGS Elijah Wood and an out-of-work Paul Hogan, have rarely anything to do but stand around and look pretty. Their acting skills, whatever they may be to this movie, is rarely revealed on screen, unless you consider the "acting" talents of cheerful Bottlenose Dolphin. I guess not trying to recommend FLIPPER as mindless family entertainment won't be fair, but anyone over the age of 10 (No, make that 8), are better off renting or buying something else. Besides, the film is about 95 minutes tops. That might just give you enough time to something elsewhere without worrying about your kids. That alone might be worth the rental.

Rating: ** out of 5.
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