Warner Bros. Pictures and Alcon Entertainment’s Dolphin Tale 2 is the second installment of the story of Winter the dolphin who was featured in Dolphin Tale”(2011). The first movie tells the story of Winter who was caught in a fishing line and lost her tail which was badly damaged. She is fit with a prosthetic thanks to the tireless efforts of the staff of the Clearwater Marine Aquarium and Sawyer Nelson who finds Winter stranded on a Florida beach and the story ends on a very happy note.
Dolphin Tale 2 picks up several years later with Winter happily giving shows and becoming the biggest draw at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Sawyer and his female counterpart, Hazel (the Marine director’s daughter), have both grown up quite a bit but are easy recognized from the first movie. Sawyer now works at the aquarium and has started looking at a possible career in marine biology himself.
A tragedy at the aquarium leaves Winter feeling very blue and in need of a new partner dolphin. In fact, if Winter does not pair successfully with another dolphin (required by USDA law) the entire Aquarium will go under financially. This dilemma allows the characters to explore several different scenarios to meet the requirement and places them in a moral predicament as the easiest solution might not be the right thing to do. Without giving away any plot points, let me just say that the movie does an excellent job of examining the idea of making a decision that puts others’ best interests before your own even when it might be the hardest decision.
Dolphin Tale 2 is rated PG but is free of any foul language, inappropriate content, or unnecessary violence. One scene where an animal lashes out might be a bit frightening for the very youngest views, but no severe injury is sustained and no blood is shown. Some of the ethical dilemmas faced by the characters might go over the heads of younger viewers but the story itself and amazingly beautiful cinematography will definitely hold their interest.
Having seen the first Dolphin Tale movie is crucial to understanding the backstories that drive the actions of many of the characters throughout the second movie. (You can easily rent Dolphin Tale on Amazon.com. to get caught up if you haven’t already seen it.) All of the main characters are reprised from the first movie: Harry Connick, Jr as Dr. Clay Haskett,
Ashley Judd as Sawyer’s mother Lorraine, Nathan Gamble as Sawyer Nelson, Kris Kristofferson as Reed (Clay’s father), Cozi Zuehlsdorff as Hazel (Clay’s daughter) and Morgan Freeman as Cameron McCarthy, the developer of the prosthetic tail. Bethany Hamilton, the famous surfer who last an arm to a shark attack in 2003 makes several guest appearances as well.
My whole family enjoyed Dolphin Tale 2 when we had the chance to catch an advanced screening. We would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a fun movie to see together this weekend. Dolphin Tale 2 opens today (Friday, September 12) in theaters nationwide.