OK for kids 7+
Heartwarming tale is sweet, inspiring for kids and tweens.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this inspiring family drama with themes of courage and survival is based on the true story of an injured dolphin named Winter. There's very little content that isn't age appropriate for kids of all ages, but younger viewers may be sensitive to a few mildly upsetting scenes: the opening shot of Winter stuck on the beach with a bloody, tied-up tail; the news of an injured character returning home from his deployment; and a sequence showing a hurricane hitting central Florida. Many school-aged children may actually already be familiar with the story, since the book about Winter's rescue is included in some middle-grade lesson plans.
- Families can talk about Winter's story of survival. How is the dolphin the "hero" of the story? Who helps her beat the odds? What are some other movies about animals that defy expectations?
- What's the movie's message about the difference between school work and life experience?
- How does the movie portray "handicap"? Why does Winter become a symbol to people with various disabilities?
The good stuff
Educational value: Kids will learn about marine animals, especially dolphins, and how they live and move and what they need to survive. The doctor's explanation of prosthetics is also surprisingly educational, as is the scene showing the amputee veterans who are playing basketball with their prosthetic limbs in place.
Messages: The movie is swimming in positive messages about the importance of family and friends, the bond that exists between human and animals, and the idea that being disabled doesn't mean that you can't accomplish your dreams.
Role models: All of the characters are positive role models: Sawyer is loyal, Hazel is loving, Dr. McCarthy is generous, and Dr. Haskett is dedicated to his work. Everyone works together to save Winter, even when it looks like hope is lost. The kids persevere with their desire to keep Winter alive.
What to watch for
Violence and scariness: When viewers first meet Winter, she's lying on the sand with rope tied around her tail and body, and her tail fin is bloody and bruised. When she eventually has to have her tail amputated, she's shown in the water with the remaining stump; Sawyer and Hazel are very upset. Sawyer's cousin returns from his deployment in a wheelchair, but his injury isn't described or discussed in detail. A hurricane hits Florida and destroys parts of the sanctuary, but no animals are shown hurt.
Sexy stuff: A mildly flirtatious first meeting between two adult characters, plus some brief shots of shirtless and swimsuit-wearing teens at a pool party.
Language: "Crappy," "holy smokes," "shoot," and "stupid" are as strong as it gets.
Consumerism: Brief mentions/shots of a Nintendo DS, Swiss Army knife, and Wikipedia.
Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not an issue
Fan Reviews provided by
Nice Story by shaunbek
Do your tear ducts need a workout? If so, this is the place for you. Very touching for those who don't mind a little sticky-sweet once in a while.
Heartwarming Inspirational Wonderful Family Friendly Movie by hawaii888
This is a true story that is an excellent family friendly movie. This movie will make you laugh, make you cry and make you stand up at the end and cheer for the amazing Winter!!! My family has seen this twice already and loved it just as much the second time as we did the first. This is a must see for every family out there!!
YES! by steelersbrowns
LOVED IT! Perfect family movie...no sexual references or innuendos, no adult-only humor, no foul language. What a sweet story and the best part was that it's based on a true story. We've seen the real Winter in Florida and hope everyone visits her and contributes money!!
Dolphin Tale by Ms C
This movie has everything to keep your interest. Both young and old will enjoy this movie and make you think before throwing things in our waterways. Go support your local Aquariums! This is a five star movie.
Heart-warming family film by GrammyMelody
This was one of the best family movie's I've seen in a long time. I took my grandson on his 5th birthday--some parts of it were a little slow for him but he said he loved it & was able to tell his mom the basic plot when asked. Anyone under 5 would probably been less interested, however.
The story was also very engaging for me, which is definitely not always the case with "kid-friendly" films. The fact that it is based on an equally heart-warming true story is a great plus--little Ayden loved the scenes of the actual story at the end. Great work by the talented writers, cast--and especially Winter! Take your kids or grandkids--or just go yourself for a fun, innocent show.
Must see! by vipertho
Dolphin Tale Movie Review
I really thought the Dolphin Tale movie was AMAZING. It was a heart-warming story about Winter the dolphin. I thought it was one of the best movies of the year. It was a contender like Transformers Dark of the Moon and Reel Steel. The story of the Dolphin Tale was about Winter the dolphin and how she lost her tail but survived. The Dolphin Tale was shot in Clearwater, FL where the Clearwater Marine Hospital treated her and helped her survive. It is an amazing TRUE story about Winter that every family and disabled person should see. You can see her at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium or go to Seewinter.com for live webcam feed.
Dolphin Tale by teresawanders
Great family movie. Message of hope and not giving up on solving a problem. It did drag a little towards the end. It is based on a true story and that is also inspiring.
Feel -good movie by Philly_fan
I took my seven year old granddaughter to see this for her birthday. We both enjoyed the movie very much. Definitely a family movie for all ages.
Great Family Movie by lzajane
We need more decent movies like this in the threatre. Most movies have lanuage, sex & violence in it but this movie was AWESOME!!! Great kids friendly especially if they are into animlas etc..