6.9/10
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87 user 130 critic

Dolphin Tale (2011)

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A story centered on the friendship between a boy and a dolphin whose tail was lost in a crab trap.
4 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Harry Connick Jr. ... Dr. Clay Haskett
Ashley Judd ... Lorraine Nelson
Nathan Gamble ... Sawyer Nelson
Kris Kristofferson ... Reed Haskett
Cozi Zuehlsdorff ... Hazel Haskett
Morgan Freeman ... Dr. Cameron McCarthy
Austin Stowell ... Kyle Connellan
Frances Sternhagen ... Gloria Forrest
Austin Highsmith ... Phoebe
Betsy Landin ... Kat
Juliana Harkavy ... Rebecca
Megan Lozicki Megan Lozicki ... Brittany
Jim Fitzpatrick ... Max Connellan
Kim Ostrenko ... Alyce Connellan
Michael Roark ... Donovan Peck
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Storyline

A lonely and friendless boy finds and untangles a hurt dolphin that is caught in a crab trap. He becomes very attached to the dolphin when the tail must be taken off to save the dolphin's life. The boy believes the dolphin would be able to swim normally if it was given a prosthetic tail. Written by Douglas Young (the-movie-guy)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Inspired by the amazing true story of Winter

Genres:

Drama | Family

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some mild thematic elements | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Canada | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 September 2011 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Delfiini lugu See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$37,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$19,152,401, 25 September 2011, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$72,286,779

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$95,404,397
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS | DTS (as Datasat Digital Sound)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The dolphin pendent Clay carves for Sawyer, doesn't have a tail, just like Winter. See more »

Goofs

At the beginning of the movie, before Winter is rescued, Sawyer is riding a blue bike. After Winter is rescued, and throughout the remainder of the movie, it is black. See more »

Quotes

Sawyer Nelson: If you don't wear the tail, you're gonna die.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #20.27 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

World Gone Crazy
Written by Tom Johnston
Performed by The Doobie Brothers
Courtesy of DooBro Entertainment Corporation & HOR Records
By arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Great Kids' Stuff
23 September 2011 | by jdesandoSee all my reviews

"Family is forever."

Although Dolphin Tale is by far not my favorite film of the year, like Midnight in Paris, it is a solid kids' film, an adventure that treats animals and 11 year olds with respect and doesn't demonize adults.

A dolphin, Winter, needs a new tail to survive a crab-trap entanglement, and 11 year old Sawyer Nelson is the new friend to help her through the adjustment. His job: show us that being excited about something worthwhile is the answer to school blues and mother loss. The film is aces at showing that being engaged in helping a living being leads to success and happiness.

A slew of other good-willed people help Winter, from like-minded friends to doctors to grandpas. And that's the sweet point of the film, emblazoned on an all-purpose Swiss Army knife: "Family is Forever." With two crucial families needing a mother in one and a father in the other, "family" extends to the community that nurtures children, adults, and animals. Not only does a Clearwater, Florida, marine rescue hospital need financial support to continue, so also does a crippled soldier and Winter. The figurative connections are obvious but still carefully entered into the drama so as not to heighten the sugar content.

Besides, any movie that includes Kris Kristofferson as a benevolent grandpa and Morgan Freeman as a caring prosthetics doctor can't be all bad. For a supposedly sophisticated film critic, I'm veritably childlike in the presence of these accomplished actors. BTW, Ashley Judd as single mom gets my attention, as she always does.

Yet that Winter, she's all any man could want: smart and silky with mysterious eyes that seem to say, "With our help, you men will make it just fine." No man bashing in this film, just recognition that communal charity and mutual respect will win the day.

Something about this Disneyesque, retro children's adventure makes me happy.


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