It doesn't get much sweeter for young animal lovers than this heartwarming family drama. Dolphin Tale is predictable and kid-centric, featuring a loveable dolphin and plenty of swelling music as each feelgood moment approaches. Yet the schmaltz is endearing, earnest and surprisingly tolerable.
Much of this reflects a credible cast doing their best with a bland script. Morgan Freeman, in particular, injects humour into his slightly quirky character. What also helps this film, based on real events, is that most of us probably think having a pet dolphin would be awesome.
After 11-year-old Sawyer (Nathan Gamble) discovers an injured dolphin on a Florida beach, the dolphin is taken to a local marine hospital run by Dr Clay Haskett (Connick Jr), where it's named Winter and its tail is amputated. Things are looking grim until Sawyer comes to check on her. There's a connection between the pair and soon he's nursing Winter back to health, helped by prosthetics expert Cameron McCarthy (Freeman) who makes Winter an
While Freeman shines, Judd as Sawyer's solo mother is wasted talent, as is Connick.
Emotionally manipulative, this film will probably reduce you to tears but in a jolly, uplifting kind of way. Don't bother wiping the tears from under 3D glasses though, 2D will do just fine. Other than clever underwater shots in the opening sequence you'll forget you're watching in 3D and might, like me, leave the cinema still wearing your glasses.
Cast: Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, Harry Connick Jr.
Director: Charles Martin Smith
Running Time: 113 mins
Rating: PG (Coarse language)
Verdict: A movie with a real sense of porpoise